Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jittery Joyful Jehoshaphat

Last night the Bible study I lead meditated on 2 Chronicles 20:1-30, the story of one of the greatest challenges of King Jehoshaphat's life. The text says that the Moabites and Ammonites (descendants of Lot's daughters) came to make war on Jehoshaphat. His response as the leader of the people of Israel was amazing: a model for any leader today.

Below I have provided an outline of Jehoshaphat's response. But don't rely on the outline. Read the passage for yourself and be encouraged.

1. Some men came and told Jehoshaphat that a vast army was coming against him.

2. Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord.

3. Jehoshaphat prayed publicly in behalf of the people.

4. The Spirit of the lord came upon Jahaziel as he stood in the assembly. He said, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's."

5. Jehoshaphat humbly accepted the word from the Lord and led his people in worship.

6. Early in the morning Jehoshaphat led his people in worship ("Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.") and to face the enemy.

7. When they arrived at the place of battle they saw that their enemies had destroyed one another. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.

8. Jehoshaphat returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. They went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lutes and trumpets.

9. The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side. (The quotes are from the New International Verision)

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