Summary: This sermon inspires us to trust God will take care of us inspite of our situation
This text surrounds the answered prayers of a king and a nation, King Jehoshaphat and Judah. Jehoshaphat was the son of King Asa. As, you may know, Asa was the king who was zealous in maintaining the true worship of God, and in rooting all idolatry, with its accompanying immoralities, out of the land of Judah.
Jehoshaphat’s reign is noted for its adherence to God’s instructions. He was the 4th king of Judah. He reigned over Judah for 25 years; He eradicated much of the pagan worship and provided itinerant teachers of Mosaic Law. He reorganized the legal system by appointing judges in key cities, with an appeal court in Jerusalem. He has been noted as one of the best, most pious and prosperous kings of Judah.
His reputation among surrounding nations was for the most part impeccable, as a matter of fact, there were some surrounding nations which honored Jehoshaphat and often sent him tribute.
However, we find Jehoshaphat here in chapter 20 surrounded by a coalition of armies: Moabites, Ammonites, and the Edo mites.
This was quite peculiar to me seeing how the bible appears not to implicate any animosity between Jehoshaphat and the 3 Kings of this coalition.
It does though, exemplify that often people can’t stand to see you doing well for too long. I learned and perhaps, Jehoshaphat gained some lesson as well. People don’t always have to have a reason to want you to fall. They don’t necessarily have to have any particular reason to want to see you fail, to see your demise, see you tormented, see you struggle.
In fact, often when you are doing your best to do God’s will, that’s when you can always count on satan to launch an attack.
Interestingly enough, Jehoshaphat teaches us a great lesson, about going into and facing adversity. We are taught by the immediate response of Jehoshaphat as he receives the report that Judah was surrounded by outside forces.
Jehoshaphat says, "LET’S PRAY!" You see, he meets his adversity with fasting and prayer. Can I tell you this? Often the best weapon a child of God can use when confronted with trouble, turmoil, and tumult is prayer. In reality the prayer prayed by this king and this country expresses the powerlessness of Judah and their trust in God. You do understand that prayer informs God of your willingness to be willess and allows HIM to take care of matters.
Because he understood the power of God, He prayed and God answered his prayer.
God spoke through a Levite preacher, and told Jehoshaphat, don’t worry, don’t fret, and don’t be scared, I will take care of you! I just believe even today that God is still saying the same thing to us to day. Don’t be scared! I’ll take care of you!
Often we ask God to take care of us and protect us and fail to realize that there are certain criteria that must be met by us which unveils our undying loyalty, and undeterred trust that God will prevail.
God also informed him of some measures that must be taken in order for Judah’s victory to be realized. He gives some very distinctive instructions that I believe would be quite helpful to us even today.
I. SET YOURSELF
The phrase set yourself in its Hebrew translation means:
to place, station oneself, present oneself. It really means to place yourself in position. Place your self in the proper order for battle.
There are times, many of us believe that when we have not been delivered from some of our dilemmas, that somehow God has forgotten or chosen not to deliver us, when in fact that is not so. God however; gives us the same directives he gave Judah. He tells us all to position ourselves for His blessing, stand ready for what He is preparing to do. God often tells us to continue on as though our enemies don’t exist.
Sometimes, He wants us to move beyond what our eyes will allow us to see.
Look, in every deliverance there is responsibility that lies not only with the deliverer but also with the delivered.
That’s biblical, He told Noah to build an Ark, He sent Moses to Pharaoh, Abraham had to climb a mountain, Naman the leper had to wash in the Jordan river, the widow had to make a biscuit for Elijah... Jesus told the man with the withered hand to stretch, He told the lame man to get up, and He told Bartimaeus to come then go. He made another blind man wash his eyes in a pool!
Yes, God still says today to each of us to set yourself. Of course God could just make it happen, but he doesn’t make it because many of us would show no appreciation and no faith in God. Deliverance calls for some work, it calls for some movement on the part of the delivered.