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Summary: this sermon explains who king Jehoshaphat is. It talks about: his passion for God; seeking the Lord; asking for help from God and waiting upon the Lord. It is biblical, intelligent and funny

Kings and Chronicles part 3

Who is king Jehoshaphat?

Well it is February. The holidays are over, sleeping in is over and we must all go back to work. I know for Rachel and I we did not even get a January holiday but we also begin to feel the stress of the New Year coming upon us. There are more deadlines at work, the savings are spent and we have mortgage payments to make. I know all of us here have family commitments, mortgages, kids, parents, study, work and sports all starting up again at this time of year. Add in the stress of international news like Iran getting nuclear bombs etc and it just seems everyone is a bit too stressed.

What to do when planes pierce buildings and thousands of people die in an instant? What to do when my family is coming apart at the seams? What to do when I’m disappointed? What to do when life is too hard or when I just can’t seem to win? What do we do?

Tragedies come, lives fall apart. What often remains is stress. Even when the times are good stress is often enemy number 1, isn’t it? Overcommitment. Deadlines. Unrealized expectations. People problems. A stack of phone calls to return. Taking one kid to the 6 o’clock practice on one side of town and the other to the 6 o’clock appointment on the other side of town. And bills, who can forget bills. It often becomes too much. And just when you thought that was the worst, something else happens.

We have all been there. We have all done that. Life. It can become stressful.

Sports Illustrated offers a great illustration to paint this picture.

“A stress fracture begins when the shocks and strain of playing a game create microscopic cracks in the outer layers of bone – usually in the legs and feet. If the pounding continues and those crevices, which often go undetected, aren’t allowed to heal, they can enlarge. When the cracks become large enough to cause pain, they are stress fractures.”

Last week we look at Elijah, today we are looking at Jehoshaphat. It should be noted that there are some big themes that run throughout Kings and Chronicles. The main issue of these books is the people’s lack of personal faith in God. They had their rules and their traditions, but it all broke down because the people did not have a personal faith in Jesus Christ. At the end of this sermon I am going to ask:

Do you have a personal, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ where you are passionate about all that he is, or, do you have a faith that is based on church attendance and rituals?

Summary of today’s talk is:

I. Seek the Lord (v. 3)

A. Jehoshaphat did not try to do it himself

B. For success, people need God’s favour and guidance

II. Ask for help from the Lord (v. 4)

A. There may be times when we are too afraid to ask for God’s help in fear of the answer

B. Using all of our strength includes asking for help

III Wait for the Lord

a Know that the Spirit of the Lord will come (v. 14)

b Manage our fear (v. 15)

c Know that the Lord will be with you (v. 17)

2 Chronicles 20:1-17

I. Seek the Lord (v. 3)

A. Jehoshaphat did not try to do it himself

There is one thing higher than Royalty: and that is religion, which causes us to leave the world, and seek God.

Elizabeth I

English monarch 1533 – 1603)

3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. (verse 3)

Stress is what King Jehoshaphat must have felt when the people came to him and said, “Sir, there are three nations about to attack us, we don’t know what to do.”

A bit of background on our friend Jehoshaphat.

His name means ‘Jehovah judged’ or ‘judged by God’.

Jehoshaphat became King of Judah, at the age of 35 and reigned for 25 years. His career was marked with many triumphs, recorded in the Books of 1 and 2 Kings. The greatest of these must have been ending the warfare that had gone on continuously between Israel and Judah since the death of Solomon. He proved to be an able ruler. He succeeded in bringing Edom under his control. He had a mighty army for his vast lands. He was feared and held in the highest regard by all surrounding nations. Philistines and Arabs, alike, brought him tributes and gifts.

I. Seek the Lord (v. 3)

B For success, people need God’s favour and guidance

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. (verse 3)

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