Summary: Crisis drives us to God in prayer. The nation sought God with one heart, trusted Him and obeyed His instruction, and they saw the miracle of God.
Israel has been divided into the Northern and Southern kingdoms.
• The Southern Kingdom is JUDAH, and King Jehoshaphat was the 4th king.
• The Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites joined forces to make war against him.
• The King was afraid; and rightly so, for the army approaching him was indeed a huge one, beyond what he would be able to handle. He was in trouble.
His first response was not to organise the army but to pray. When in fear, pray.
• v. 3 he “resolved to inquire of the Lord…” A trouble draws us closer to God, not further away.
• People pray when disasters struck because they saw their own helplessness.
• Look at troubles in this way. God is reminding us that we need His help. He wants us to lean on Him.
This was a good leader. A good leader doesn’t always have the answer but he knows where the answer can be found.
The King RESOLVED to seek God. This is a strong word.
• He was determined to pray and seek God. He was determined to get the whole nation to pray and seek God, and so he declared a fast, a nationwide fast.
• People say if you have the will, you’ll have the way.
• You see, seeking God requires a commitment. You must resolve to seek God today.
SINGAPORE�S Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is a man with determination.
Taken from “Stay Interested in the World, Take on a Challenge”, in The Straits Times, Mon, Jan 14, 2008.
When I was about - 1957 that was - I was about 34, we were competing in elections, and I was really fond of drinking beer and smoking.
And after the election campaign, in Victoria Memorial Hall - we had won the election, the City Council election - I couldn�t thank the voters because I had lost my voice. I�d been smoking furiously.
I�d take a packet of 10 to deceive myself, but I�d run through the packet just sitting on the stage, watching the crowd, getting the feeling, the mood before I speak. In other words, there were three speeches a night. Three speeches a night, 30 cigarettes, a lot of beer after that, and the voice was gone.
I remember I had a case in Kuching, Sarawak. So I took the flight and I felt awful. I had to make up my mind whether I was going to be an effective campaigner and a lawyer, in which case I cannot destroy my voice, and I can�t go on. So I stopped smoking. It was a tremendous deprivation because I was addicted to it. And I used to wake up dreaming...the nightmare was I resumed smoking.
Then one day I was at the home of my colleague, Mr Rajaratnam, meeting foreign correspondents including some from the London Times and they took a picture of me and I had a big belly like that (puts his hands in front of his belly), a beer belly. I felt no, no, this will not do.
So I started playing more golf, hit hundreds of balls on the practice tee. But this didn�t go down. There was only one way it could go down: consume less, burn up more.
• Can we resolve to do what is right, with the same commitment, same determination?
• How determine are you in seeking God? How determine are you in worshipping God?
The people responded to the King’s call. They saw the need, and they came from all over.
• Verse 4 says “they came from every town in Judah to seek Him.”
• This is not easy for them. We are not talking about cars or aeroplanes. Most have to walk to Jerusalem, some on camels, and they are probably fasting.
• And not just some. Read 20:13 “All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.” The whole family turn up.
• What a beautiful sight. You have the young ones standing with the adults. They may not understand everything but they are seeking God, with the rest.
Praying together is important, because two can agree.
• Matt 18:18-20 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
• The emphasis is not in numbers (the more the merrier), but in unity of the plea.
• The people of Judah come with one heart and one purpose, to pray for their nation.