Bible in a Year Series -
Day #181 - This post is
of a year-long series where we are reading chronologically through the
Bible. Click here to learn more. You are most welcome to
join along at any time.
Today's text from the ESV Study Bible: 2 Chronicles 19-23.
I greatly enjoyed reading the narrative of 2 Chronicles 20. Here we find information that is original with the "chronicler", and helps us to better understand Jehoshaphat.
A massive army was assembling to destroy Judah, and King Jehoshaphat, knowing that he was completely helpless, assembles the nation to seek the Lord in prayer:"“O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 7 Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ 10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy— 11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 13 Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children."
Got the scene? Completely helpless before God. Ever been there, or at least thought you were there?
And then...Judah gets the most amazing response from God:"And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”"
Wow! Take time to mull this around in your mind. God has answered their prayer, rewarding their supplications. Yet, God still required that they act upon this faith, go and only "stand firm" in the battle, and watch the one and only Yahweh destroy the enemies of his chosen people.
What a display of God to the land of Judah. Imagine how thankful they must have been to be spared their lives in such a magnificent way.
God desires that His name be glorified. And in this situation, He clearly made His name known, not only to Judah, but to the surrounding nations who were now afraid to mess with the One God.
Oh my soul, continue the journey to "stand firm" in God's promises, and thereby marvel at Yahweh's display of affection.