Summary: We’re going to look at the 3 repercussions of Jehoshaphat's actions, instances of the Word “growing” in the N.T., and look at why the Word can gain power.
HOW THE WORD GROWS IN POWER
2 Chron. 17:7-12
1. A father, teaching his son about the beauties of nature, pointed out a glorious sunset and said, “Look son, isn’t that a beautiful picture God has painted?”
2. Son said, “It sure is, Dad, especially since God had to paint it with His left hand!” “What in the world do you mean, ‘God had to paint it with His left hand?’”
3. “Well, Dad, the preacher at church says that Jesus is sitting on God’s right hand!”
7 In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah. 8 With them were certain Levites—Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah—and the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the Lord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people. 10 The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not go to war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs brought him flocks: seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred goats. 12 Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful; he built forts and store cities in Judah” 2 Chron. 17:7-12.
1. Jehoshaphat, whether intentional or not, undertook one of the greatest measures for subverting the Kingdom of Darkness: He publicly taught the Word of God.
2. We’re going to look at the 3 repercussions of his actions, instances of the Word “growing” in the N.T., and look at why the Word can gain power.
3. The title of this message is “How the Word Grows in Power.”
I. REPERCUSSIONS OF JEHOSHAPHAT’S ACTIONS
A. WHAT HE DID
1. Jehoshaphat sent out Bible teachers with the Books of Moses (Gen. – Deut.). They taught throughout all Judah and outlying areas.
2. To the Kingdom of Darkness, this was a devastating assault. Where ever the Word is taught, darkness is driven back and light and liberty come.
B. 3 THINGS THAT HAPPENED
1. “The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah” Vs. 10. Respect for the Living God and for His chosen people grew throughout Palestine.
2. The nations around Judah refrained from going to war with Jehoshaphat (vs. 10). They knew they would have to contend with the Living God as well as with the army of Jehoshaphat. People ought to know that you’re a servant of God and be afraid of facing your Master!
3. Even the Philistines & Arabs brought gifts, silver, and tribute to gain the favor of God & God’s servants.
4. All this because Jehoshaphat put teaching the Word of God to those around him ‘on the front burner’ (a top priority).
1. Little Charlie was accustomed to his grandmother reading to him from the Bible whenever he visited. She showed all the red-lettered writing and said, “Those in red are the words of Jesus!”
2. One time when he was on vacation with his parents, Charlie found a Bible in the hotel room. He thumbed through it seeing only black writing and laid it on the table. “Jesus didn’t say nothing in that Bible!” he said.
II. N.T. INSTANCES OF THE WORD “GROWING”
A. CHOICE OF EMPHASIS
1. “Choose seven men from among you…. We will turn this responsibility [waiting tables] over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word. So the Word of God spread [KJV – “increased”]. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith” Acts 6:3-7.
2. This is the same scenario as the choices of Mary & Martha; “39 Mary…sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” [Martha complained.] 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:39-42.
3. If we choose to busy ourselves with earthly things & neglect the Word, we’ll suffer for it. But if we put ministry of the Word first in our lives, there will be fruit.
4. People will be saved and the influence of the Word will grow among those around us!
B. POWER GREATER THAN THE WORLD
1. “But the word of God grew and multiplied” Acts 12:24, KJV. What’s remarkable about the timing of this growth was that it was at the end of a terrible time of persecution, both by Saul of Tarsus and by Herod, who’d just put the Apostle James to death.