2 Chronicles 20:3 NASB
Jehoshaphat was afraid
and turned his attention to seek the Lord,
and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
2 Chronicles 20:1-13 NASB
¹Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat.
²Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi).”
³Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. ⁴So Judah gathered together to seek help from the Lord; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the Lord.
Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord before the new court, ⁶and he said, “O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. ⁷Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?
⁸They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, ⁹ ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us. ‘
¹⁰Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), ¹¹see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance.
¹²O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
¹³All Judah was standing before the Lord, with their infants, their wives and their children.
Those who wish to serve God are not spared trials. On the contrary, the trials are necessary to really learn to obey God. Even of Jesus is said to have learned obedience through suffering
Although He was a Son,
He learned obedience
from the things which He suffered.
Real life without trials is therefore unthinkable.
When we realize this, a desire is born not to avoid trials, but to fight the good fight. King Jehoshaphat has fought the good fight and we can learn from it.
Of course, when the trials come upon us, we can sing very bravely: “Fear not, only believe…” but you cannot sing away fear unless it becomes a singing before God’s face.
Jehoshaphat has done so, and the way to come to this singing before God in the midst of afflictions is shown here. Are we willing to walk this road in surrender to Him?
When Jehoshaphat became afraid, he decided to consult the Lord.
He proclaimed a fast for all Judah, that is, for all who had reason to fear with him.
Biblical fasting is: being so focused on what God is going to do that you don’t get around to eating; fasting is therefore a concentrated focus on God. “And Judah gathered together to seek help from the Lord.”
When we try to get in good graces with the Lord by walking around on an empty stomach, we do not yet know God as a heavenly Father and we are like the Baal priests on mount Carmel… Whose God is dead and answers not, eventhough their blood flowed!
1 Kings 18:28
So they cried with a loud voice
and cut themselves according to their custom
with swords and lances
until the blood gushed out on them.
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