"The kingdom of Judah Invaded. [1 - 4]"
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
II Chronicles 20:1"It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle."
"It came ot pass after this also...", after the death of Ahab, when his son Joram took the throne over the house of Israel. We read of this in II Kings 3:5. Remember that the Moabites, and Ammonites were paying taxes to Samaria, the capitol of Israel. Ahab was receiving those taxes, and the Moabites and Ammonites were tired of paying taxes to a foreign king. Now that the old king was dead and his son came to the throne, they rebelled over paying this tribute. These were not the only ones that were tired of these taxes, and they all came together to make their plans for this rebellion.
II Kings 3:5 "But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel."
We see from the next few verses that Ahab's son, Joram, the king of Israel prepared his army for war, and brought his father in law, Jehoshaphat and the house of Judah in with him.
II Chronicles 20:2 "Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, "There cometh a multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi."
Of course those that came were sent from the house of Israel, from his son in law, Joram. It was true they were coming against both Israel and Judah. The armies were forming in this two locations, to the far south of Judah. When they came to do battle with Israel, these armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites would have to pass through Judah, and Jerusalem to get to the land of Israel. These two nations are tied together directly in this war.
II Chronicles 20:3 "And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah."
The last time Israel invited Jehoshaphat to war, Ahab brought all four hundred of his false prophets before him, and Jehoshaphat allowed himself to be deceived by not listen to Micaiah the prophet of God, and it almost cost him his life. After his return from that battle that cost Ahab his life, there was a change in Jehoshaphat's life, for he brought his people back to the ways and laws of God. Jehoshaphat now had the fear of God in him, and the wisdom to seek guidance and instruction from YHVH our heavenly Father. So Johoshaphat called a fast of all the people of Judah, and asked them to seek the Lord for their protection and guidance against these enemies.
II Chronicles 20:4 "And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord."
The news of the enormous army that is coming their way has reached all the people of Judah, and it was time for all the congregation to come together to seek Divine counsel of the Lord. This seeking of the Lord did not include Israel, for the house of Israel was deep into calf worship, sexual orgies of the grove worship, and had long departed from the laws and ways of the Lord.
II Chronicles 20:5 "And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court,"
The congregation from all the cities of Judah came together at the house of the Lord to hear their king speak and ask the Lord for protection. The king came to the platform stood up and spoke.
II Chronicles 20:6 "And said, "O Lord God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven? and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is above to withstand Thee?"
Oh that the leaders of our land would acknowledge the same wisdom that Jehoshaphat is saying here. Jehoshaphat is making it known to all the people that YHVH is the creator of all things, in the heaven and on the earth. God is the creator of them as well as their enemies, and He also control the minds of our enemies. There is no power and might greater that YHVH our Father. He is the God of our father, and He is our God. "In thine hand", is a statement that is taken from the words of David, which Jehoshaphat had access to.
II Chronicles 20:7 "Art not Thou our God, Who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy People Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham Thy friend for ever?"
Jehoshaphat is calling attention to the people that it was "our God" that drove out these inhabitants of the land before Israel could enter the land. This land was given to Israel as a "Covenant promise" from God our Father to Abraham. The fulfillment of that promise came right on time, after the children of Israel grew into a nation, while down in Egypt.
II Chronicles 20:8 "And they dwelt therein, and have built Thee a sanctuary therein for Thy name, saying,"
The children of Israel were given the promise land, and they lived there through the three hundred years of the time of the Judges, and the kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon, before the kingdom was split into two nation. It was under Solomon that the sanctuary or Temple of God was built in Jerusalem. In fact Jehoshaphat was standing in the court yard of that Temple as he is giving this speech to the people of Judah.
II Chronicles 20:9 "`If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in Thy presence, (for Thy name is in this house,) and cry unto Thee in our affliction, then Thou wilt hear and help.' "
Jehoshaphat is reminding the people that this is the very purpose that this Temple was built, so that God's children could stand before God's presence in His house, and cry onto Him for help from the affliction and trouble coming their way. If we cry unto the Lord, God will hear us and help us.
When the troubles came our way, do you think the people and leaders of our land and communities come together to cry out to the Lord for help? In the planning rooms of our Military, and political leaders, how much time is spent calling on the Lord for help and direction? Today our nation is more concerned about the rights of the homosexual sodomites, killing the unborn, and the removal of the commandments so our children don't read and understand the bible in schools. We are in the end times, and the events and prophecies of those times are current events today.
II Chronicles 20:10 "And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir [Edom], whom Thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;"
These armies coming against them are the Ammonites, the Moabites, and the Edomites, as well as many other Canaanite peoples. These are the areas of the Arab nations of today, and they did not like the Israelites, Israel or Judah. Things haven't changed much, have they? These heathen nations are the same peoples that God protected six hundred years prior, when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, and were wandering through the wilderness. The Israelites were instructed to go around these peoples, on their way to the promise land. Now here they are coming without number, in full force to battle God's people.
II Chronicles 20:11 "Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of Thy possession, which Thou hast given us to inherit."
These nations of the world wouldn't give one thought of God's inheritance to Israel and the promised God gave to Abraham. Sure most of them are family to Abraham also, but the inheritance went to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And as we read in Genesis 48:16-20, Jacob passed that inheritance on to Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. To Judah he gave the right to rule and make laws.
II Chronicles 20:12 "O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee."
When we recognize that we are at our weakest, then we are at our strongest, for we turn our battles over to the Lord and He provides the way of escape. This is the basis of Christianity, our learning to lean on the Lord for help. Jesus revealed the is Matthew 11:26 - 30.
Matthew 11:26 "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."
It pleased Christ that those who refused to believe Christ, even after they saw the works and heard His teaching, remained blind to the truths and things of the kingdom."
Matthew 11:27 "All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him."
What Christ is saying here is that I chose those that will have their eyes open, and see Me and the kingdom of My Father. It's the Spirit of God that blinds certain individuals and opens the eyes of others.
Matthew 11:28 "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
The word "rest" means "sabbath" in the Hebrew tongue. Christ becomes our Sabbath, all of our sabbaths when we accept Him, repent and believe on His name. So Jesus is telling us that those with the spiritual eyes to see, and the spiritual eyes to hear are laboring in this world, and they could have their burdens lifted. Let Jesus Christ lighten those loads, and give you rest from them.
Matthew 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall fine rest into your souls."
Jesus is asking you to learn all about Him. When His Word becomes part of your life, and the central part of your heart which is your mind, His Holy Spirit will open your thinking and reveal things to you, so you can find rest for your soul.
If you think that by taking the yoke of Christ, it becomes adding work to yourself, then you are comparing yourself to a dumb ox. The purpose of the yoke is to share the work [pulling] burdens, and hook those burdens to Christ also. Jesus is telling you to let him share your burdens; you do what you can do for yourself, and allow Him to do those things that you can not do. When we are yoked to Christ, then our work become His work, and He protects us from those things and enemies that we can see.
Matthew 11:30 "For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
When we study His Word and take those teachings and apply them to our prayer live and seek repentance when we do wrong, then those burdens are lifted like a balloon full of hot air. Taking Christ's yoke is not a problem to us, for it is Christ that does the harnessing. The Master yokes the oxen, and places the traces upon them.
The reason that I went into this for us today, is that Jehoshaphat went through the same thing that we are going through. He allowed himself to be cornered by Ahab and drawn into a battle with Israel, against what the prophet of the Lord warned him about. That cost Ahab his life on the battle field, and almost cost him his life. When Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem, God placed this prophet of God at his side that warned him again to return to the good works that he did when he took over the kingdom. That work brought blessing to Judah, and brought the Laws of God and the prophets back into the minds and lives of his people.
Now standing before all his people of Judah, Jehoshaphat is yoking himself back to God and our creator, and calling on the Lord for His help in the time of trouble. That is what God wanted all along. It is also what God wants from us; to learn to lean on the Lord for all of our direction and help.
II Chronicles 20:13 "And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children."
These people of Judah now know the enemies that are coming toward their land to harm them. The are listen to their leaders call on the name of the Lord for help, and they are turning their hearts and minds back to the Lord. It was the right time for them to come back to the Father for protection, and it also is a good time today for us to come back to Jesus for our protection.
Jehoshaphat didn't ask for Joram and his 400 heathen priest to join them in prayer; no, he knew that it was up to God's people to humble themselves before the Lord, and then call out and seek His protection from their enemies. II Chronicles 7:14 "If My People, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
It is not up to the heathen to join with God's people, but for those that know the ways of the Lord, to return to those ways. When they do, then God has made a promise to each of us that believe on Him and His Ways. "I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." God promises each of us in the next verse; "Now Mine eyes shall be open, and Mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place." Friend, this promise is just as good for you and I as it was for Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah, as their enemies were on their way to end their lives.
II Chronicles 20:14 "Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation;"
It is thought by many that the Song or Psalm 83 of Asaph was written at this time. "Keep not Thou silence, O God: Hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O God."  "For, lo, Thine enemies make a tumult: And they that hate Thee have lifted up the head." 
The purpose set forth by these heathen nation is set in verse four to six; "They have said, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; That the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance."  "For they have consulted together with one consent: They are confederate against Thee:"  "The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;"  and it continues to name the Arabic peoples of then and today, along with Russia [Edom], plotting to end Israel's life and name. History repeating itself, only today it is under the Islamic nations.
II Chronicles 20:15 "And he said, "Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, `Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's"
This prophet of God is letting the people know that God heard their words of humility, and prayer for redemption and salvation, and He will act upon them. Get it? The battle is now His, and not yours. Don't overlook this, "Thus saith the Lord unto you, `Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; FOR THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD'S" When you turn to God in repentance and humility, then the battle is not yours but God's. It is time to stand back and watch as God takes care of your enemies.
II Chronicles 20:16 "To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel."
As these people sit in their counsels and plan their war plans, God is there and knows their thoughts before they think them. He is now letting the plans be known to the people of Judah, so they can look on, and know that God took care of their enemies.
II Chronicles 20:17 "Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.' "
My friend, this verse should be a pillar in your memory, for this promise is as good for you, as it was for Jehoshaphat and the children of Israel. "You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, and stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you." He does the fighting for you, and you do the watching and praying to Him. Why fear or carry those problems with you when God has told you that they will not be there. If Christians of today could just learn this lesson, and learn to trust on the Lord and His promises, life would be so much more pleasing.
II Chronicles 20:18 "And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord."
You can just see the tears of joy and thanksgiving, as the stress and burden of their battles with their enemies are lifted off their shoulders.
II Chronicles 20:19 "And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high."
There was music in the streets of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah that day, as the people praised the Lord and sang and shouted their prayers to the Father.
II Chronicles 20:20 "And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established ; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper."
Do you think that there was doubt in the minds of any of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They believed in the Lord God, and they were ready to witness the destruction of their enemies, just as God promised through the prophet of God.
II Chronicles 20:21 "And when he had consulted with the People, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, "Praise the Lord; for His mercy endureth for ever."
"The beauty and holiness" is in reference to the sanctuary or Temple of God. They sang songs of Praise to the Father, Jehovah, and thanked him for his loving-kindness, and grace given to them.
When was the last time you thanked God and our Lord Jesus Christ for those many mercies and kindness that he has shown in your life? Many times we get so involved in our problems that we forget to just say "Thank you Father". "Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for your loving kindness and grace offered to me."
II Chronicles 20:22 "And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten."
As they are singing and praising the Lord back in Jerusalem, God has started the battle many miles to the south, creating problems for these enemies of God. These "ambushments" are recorded in the Targum as "angelic powers." God prepared confusion in their minds, and in this confusion, they will turn against each other.
II Chronicles 20:23 "For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another."
Each of their armies turned on each other, and when they had slayed the other army, they started to kill of each other. Today it is called; "being killed by friendly fire". Today we shoot down our own planes, but then they used their swords on each other and slay each other within their own allied armies.
II Chronicles 20:24 "And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped."
That next day when the army and people of Jerusalem approached the sight where the prophet of God told them to go, there on the battle field lay a massive field of dead bodies of their enemies. God did not allow one man of the enemy to escape this judgment. When God seals a battle for you, no matter what the problem, there are no loose ends for you to worry or be concerned about.
II Chronicles 20:25 "And when Jehoshaphat and his People came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much."
When the people of Judah came to the battle field, the battle was over, and it was time for the cleanup. As they gathered all the gold and silver and precious jewels off the dead, it was so much that it took three days to gather it all up, and they they did not have the means to carry it all away. God not only protected them that day, but he blessed them for having the faith to turn to Him, and give him the praise for the victory.
Again, after you ask God for the victory, or lay a problem at Jesus feet, thank Him for the victory for it will come.
II Chronicles 20:26 "And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the Lord: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day."
The word "Berachah" means blessing, and that is that name of this valley from that day forth; the valley of Blessing.
II Chronicles 20:27 "Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies."
Stop and ask yourself, Where did the victory come from? It was from the Lord, he gave them the victory, as they rejoiced and sang songs at the Temple in Jerusalem.
II Chronicles 20:28 "And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the Lord."
II Chronicles 20:29 "And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the countries, when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel."
II Chronicles 20:30 "So the realm of Jehosaphat was quit: for his God gave him rest round about."
Do you think that any of the nations around Judah wanted to mess with them after the news of the destruction of those other armies reached their ears? There was peace in the kingdom of Jehoshaphat and Judah.
II Chronicles 20:31 "And Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah: he was thirty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi."
II Chronicles 20:32 "And he walked in the way of Asa his father, and departed not form it, doing that which was right in the sight of the Lord."
On the whole, Jehoshaphat tried to do what was right in the eyes of God, and followed the ways of the Law. God blessed him and Judah greatly for placing the law of God in the ways and minds of the people.
II Chronicles 20:33 "Howbeit the high places were not taken away: for as yet the People had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers."
As the laws of God were promoted throughout Judah, he allowed those high places of heathen rites and rituals to remain in place. As long as those groves remained, the people would continually be tempted to return to their old religious practices.
II Chronicles 20:34 "Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel."
II Chronicles 20:35 "And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly:"
About the twenty or twenty first years of Jehoshaphat's reign, after he made a grand effort to turn the hearts of the people back to God; Jehoshaphat turned himself again to the king of Israel. His mind turned back to the commerce and shipping that Solomon had with Hiram, the king of the Kenites. This then was the third commercial alliance with the wicked king to the north.
I Kings 22:48, 49 "Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber."  "Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat, "Let my servant go with thy servants in the ships." 
If Jehoshaphat would have built these ships and they would have become sea worthy Judah would have joined himself with Ahaziah. However, God put an end to Jehoshaphat and Judah's shipbuilding.
II Chronicles 20:36 "And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Ezion-gaber."
II Chronicles 20:37 "Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works." And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish."
The prophet of God, Eliezer, told Jehoshaphat exactly why those ships were tore apart. These ships were not the ordinary boats sailed along the coast, but the big heavy ocean going vessels. God made sure that not one of them would ever be worthy enough to pull away from shore.
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