Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

The Holy Spirit – Day 4

Jubilant Jehoshaphat

Bible text(s)

14The Spirit of the LORD came upon a Levite who was present in the crowd. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah; he was a member of the clan of Asaph and was descended from Asaph through Mattaniah, Jeiel, and Benaiah. 15Jahaziel said, “Your Majesty and all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this large army. The battle depends on God, not on you.

2 Chronicles 20:14-15GNBOpen in Bible reader

Imagine what you would think if you were watching the news on television and it was announced that the Israeli army had gone out without weapons to defend the country against an aggressor, and had put, at the forefront of its troops, a choir of fine singers to worship God as they went?

Yesterday we heard how David acknowledged that his victory against Goliath belonged to the LORD, and when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, the Holy Spirit empowered him to exhibit this same reality. Today we see this God-fearing king going into battle with his army carrying no weapons, but with a choir leading them and praising God with all its might.

We read that “The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father …” (2 Chronicles 17:3-4). Jehoshaphat recognised that ignorance of God’s Word amongst his people caused them to be spiritually poor, so he sent out officials and priests to teach the people God’s Law. This had such a profound effect that “The fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the land surrounding Judah …” (2 Chronicles 17:10) and Jehoshaphat became powerful and rich, and peace reigned as he continued to train up the people in the ways of the LORD.

Then he made God angry with him and brought problems on himself. He allowed his son to marry the daughter of King Ahab, and thus allied himself with a king who had rejected God’s true prophet, Micaiah, in favour of those who told him what he wanted to hear. Although Jehoshaphat recognised Ahab’s false values and rebuked him, (2 Chronicles 18:7) he still found himself in his royal robes united in battle with him, a clear target for the enemy. But when he cried out to the LORD to deliver him, God was faithful and rescued him, but allowed the disguised Ahab to be mortally wounded by an arrow finding its way between the sections of his armour (2 Chronicles 18:33).

God-fearing people make mistakes at times when their hearts are enticed away from obedience to God by evil inherent in the world. However, God works for the good of His people and this learning curve enabled Jehoshaphat to trust God even more. He exhorted his people to “Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld …” as they marched, without weapons, into battle against the vast army of Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites. They trusted God for victory and worshipped Him, and He confused their enemy, who then fought each other.

How precious for them to be able to return “joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies” (2 Chronicles 20:27).

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.15
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