Jacob's Ladder Bible Studies

Part 3: Jacob’s Ladder Bible Study on 2 Chronicles 20

The Battle is Not Yours, But God’s

Part Three: Studying God’s Word 

A Review of  2 Chronicles 20 for Private and Group Study

Last month, we looked at Part 2 of our Bible Study series on 2 Chronicles 20 titled  “Praise God in the Storm: How to Experience Peace and Gratitude Amidst Adversity”.

We explored how we can apply the lessons of 2 Chronicles 20 to our own lives; in particular, how we can praise God in the storm, experience peace amidst adversity, and show gratitude for the victories that He gives us.

In this third and final part of our Bible Study on 2 Chronicles 20, we are going to delve deeper into the biblical and life themes presented in this chapter for private and group study use.

If you would like to know more about the benefits of studying the Word of God, then l recommend that you read our page “Why study the Bible?”

The Aim of This Study Section

This study section is intended as a guide to promoting discussion and reflection on 2 Chronicles 20.   

Firstly, I suggest that you read Part One and Part Two of this Bible Study, in order to fully appreciate the lesson portrayed in this biblical account and to consider the chapter’s themes.   

For Whom is This Study Section Intended? 

You can use the questions and reflections in this study section to discuss and review within a group setting, such as a house group, a Bible Study group, or a prayer group. 

Alternatively, you can also study on your own. If this may be the case, l have written some suggestions below in the section “If You are Studying on Your Own” to assist you in your learning.   

Feel free to customize this study preparation by taking out of it what you wish and adding your own ideas and insight. Have fun with it! 

What You Will Need:
  • A Bible, preferable a study Bible. I personally use the  “The Everyday Life Bible” from Joyce Meyer Ministries  
  • An exercise book or journal and a pen  
  • As an alternative to pen and paper, you can use a tablet or a similar electronic device 
What Does This Study Section Compose of?

This study section composes of six parts:

1. Discussion Questions  

2. Testimony  

3. Praise and Worship 

4. Suggested Reading   

5. Journal Writing  

6. Prayer

These are just guidelines to help you structure your group time. Feel free to add or take out elements as you see fit! 

Additionally, talk with your group and ask them for suggestions about what they would like to do. The more ideas, the merrier! 

If You are Studying on Your Own

If you are not in a group and you would still like to apply this study section of 2 Chronicles 20 to your own private study of the Bible, that is also great! Quiet time with God is valuable time, and you can learn a lot about Him during it.   

The following are a few suggestions of how you can adapt the 6 sections of this study guide for private study purposes: 

1Discussion Questions:  

You could start a journal and write down your thoughts to the listed discussion questions.   

2. Testimony  

You could use our suggested topics in the Testimony section as stimulation to write down all the wonderful things God has done in your life by starting a testimony journal or a blessings jar.  

3.Praise and Worship 

Applicable in a group setting as well as for private study purposes. 

4. Suggested Reading   

Applicable in a group setting as well as for private study purposes.  

5. Journal Writing  

Applicable in a group setting as well as for private study purposes.  

6. Prayer  

You can speak the prayer at the end of this section out loud. Your words have power, especially if you speak them over yourself:  

“ So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;  
    it shall not return to me empty,  
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,  
    and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” 
 

Isaiah 55:11 

Now, let’s look at the 6 sections of our study guide.

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1.Discussion Questions

The following are some discussion topics to assist you in delving deeper into the themes of 2 Chronicles 20.

There are no right or wrong answers to these topics; they are merely suggestions to stimulate conversation and an exchange of views within your group. Also, feel free to ask others if they have ideas regarding this topic that they would like to discuss and go with it!  

As each person experiences a different walk with God, it is interesting to hear other people’s perspectives and thereby learn from each other and grow together as a Christian community. Happy talking! 

Discussion Topics on 2 Chronicles 20: 

1.Dealing With Fear and Guilt (2 Chronicles 20:3)

1a. Upon hearing about the inevitable invasion upon his nation, Jehoshaphat’s initial reaction is fear.

In the Bible, it states 365 times that we need not fear. Additionally, God reassures us that He will never fail us, nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Despite these assurances, however, we can still experience fear when a threat or difficult situation arises.

Question: Why do you think we fear, although we know God is with us?

1b. There is reason to believe that Jehoshaphat’s fear of the triune enemy is also due to the guilt he faces at letting God down through his alliance with King Ahab of Israel 2 Chronicles 18.

In 2 Chronicles 19:2, Jehu the seer confronts Jehoshaphat on his alliance with Ahab, stating that “because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord.”

Question: Have you wanted to approach God, but felt like you didn’t deserve to be in His presence due to guilt or an awareness of past wrong doings?

2. The Power of Prayer (2 Chronicles 20:5-12)

Jehoshaphat stands in the temple in Jerusalem, in front of the gathered assembly of Judah, and prays. God responds to his petition through Jahaziel the Levite and assures the people of His help and victory against their enemies.

Questions: Why is prayer believed to be so powerful? How important do you think God considers prayer? Does God help us even when we don’t pray?

3. Spiritual Enemies (2 Chronicles 20:29-30)

After their victory, Judah’s neighboring nations get the message and keep their peace with her: They understand that God is on Judah’s side and they don’t wish to share the same fate as her previous enemy.

Questions: Do you believe that apart from human adversaries, we can have spiritual enemies as well? Consider 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. How do these spiritual foes perceive God? Consider Matthew 8:28-34.

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2.Testimony

“But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony.”

Revelation 12:11

Sharing your life experiences and the victories that God has vouchsafed you is a verbal expression of your gratitude. It gives not only our Father glory, but it encourages fellow Christians, who may be going through the same trial that you have undergone.   

Testimony Topics on 2 Chronicles 20

1.The Battle is Not Yours, it’s God’s (2 Chronicles:15)

The invasion of the triune enemy on Judah is possibly the biggest adversity the nation has ever faced. Without God’s mercy and intervention, Jehoshaphat and his people know that they could never conquer the invaders with their own might. All the glory for their subsequent victory they give to God.

Questions: Have you also faced what seemed like the biggest challenge in your life? How did God intervene on your behalf? Did you thank God for His help and acknowledge Him when others witnessed your victory? If not, this testimony alone is a good start in glorifying Him!

2. Providing A Good Christian Example (2 Chronicels 20:3-4)

Jehoshaphat summons the people to seek the Lord together and fast. However, before he does that, he seeks the Lord himself. Jehoshaphat knows that he can’t expect the people to drop everything and do his bidding, if he doesn’t set them a good example with his own behavior.

Questions: Are there colleagues, friends, and even family members, who don’t know God, but know that you are a Christian? In what ways do your life choices and general behavior reflect Jesus to other people?

3. When God Asks You To Be a Spectator, Not An Instrument (2 Chronicles 20:17)

God informs Jehoshaphat and the Judeans that they will not be participants in the battle against the Moabites, Ammonites, and the Meunites.

Questions: Have you ever borne witness to an event that God has orchestrated which concerned you, but that you weren’t involved in? What was the outcome?

4. Step Out in Faith (2 Chronicles 20:20)

Jehoshaphat and his people find tremendous comfort in God’s assurance of His help and victory in the upcoming battle. However, in order to see this victory materialize, the Judeans still need to step out in faith – which in this case means literally stepping out onto the battlefield with no intention of fighting.

Questions: Can you recall a time when you stepped out in faith, before you knew of the outcome? What does 2 Corinthians 5:7 mean to you in your faith walk?

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3. Praise and Worship

2 Chronicles 20 provides excellent examples of the importance of praise and worship, and consequently, the power of God which can be unleashed as a result of it.

As a reaction to the favorable response that God gives them to their prayer petition, “Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord” (2 Chronicles 20:18).

Additionally, when the Judeans see the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites advancing towards them on the battlefield, their counterreaction is to send singers ahead of their army, who praise and worship God. As a result, the Lord brings confusion into the enemy camp, and the triune enemy consequently turn on each other and destroy themselves (2 Chronicles 20:21-23).

Such is the power of praise and worship!

How to Implement Praise and Worship in Your Bible Study Group

You can start off your Bible Study session by each member of the group expressing gratitude to God for something that He did for them that week. 

Following that, you can play some worship music and sing.  If someone in the group plays an instrument, it can be used as a musical accompaniment. Together with a tambourine, you have the making of a great worship session!  

Alternatively, you could play worship songs from the internet or a CD. 

We also have a ready-made list of worship songs available to you at a mouse click on Spotify.

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4. Suggested Reading

Reading the Word of God not only teaches us about how much God loves us, it gives us guidelines on how to live the life He wants us to live – a life of victory and joy. 

The following is reading material that relates to the themes we have been discussing in 2 Chronicles 20. 

Scriptures:

Do not Fear

Psalm 112:7

Isaiah 41:10

Hebrews 13:5 (AMPC)

Psalm 56:11

Seek God in Prayer

Philippians 4:6-7

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Having God-given Confidence

Joshua 1:9

Deuteronomy 28:13

Numbers 23:19

Isaiah 54:10

2 Timothy 1:7

Praise and Worship

Psalm 100:4 

Psalm 29:2 

Revelation 4:11 

2 Samuel 6:5

Interesting Online Articles Relating to 2 Chronicles 20:

www.blog.bible, “What is Courage: Self-Confidence or God-Confidence?”, Ann-Margret Hovsepian.

www.www.christianity.com, “What Is the Power of Prayer?”, Heather Riggleman.

www.thelife.com, “Praising God in Hard Times: Praise is Possible”, Ebony Murdoch.

www.jacobsladderblog.com, “My Soul Will Be Still, For the Lord is In Control”, Madeline Kalu.

Inspirational Quotes Relating to 2 Chronicles 20:

“Meet your fears with faith.” Max Lucado

“With the power of God within us, we need never fear the powers around us.” Woodrow Kroll

“Praise and worship is such a powerful device to dismantle every shackle, and it’s able to break down every wall.” Euginia Herlihy

“It is one thing to believe in God; it is quite another thing to believe God.” R.C. Sproul

“Great moves of God are usually preceded by simple acts of obedience.” Pastor Steven Furtick

Photo by Alexandra Fuller on Unsplash

5. Journal Writing

Writing down all the good things that God has done in your life is a very powerful tool for a Christian. Not only does it help us to remember what God has done for us; reading over God’s past victories and blessings over you provide encouragement and empowerment in times of trouble. All you need to start is an empty exercise book and a pen. Alternatively, you can keep a digital journal.   

There are a number of forms of journals, where regular writing in it will strengthen you in your walk with God:   

  • A testimony journal   
  •  A dreams and visions journal   
  •  A blessings journal   
  •  My favorite –  a gratitude journal   

Try to write once a day in your journal. All you need is 5-10 min to jot down everything good that has happened to you during the course of your day, no matter how trivial.    

Meditate upon what you wrote, and acknowledge that it is God who was responsible for these good things happening today, and not you or your own works.    

 ‘”Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.’   

Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)   

Journaling in Your Group:

You can e.g. allot 10-15min for journaling in your group, and afterwards share your written thoughts with each other.   

An alternate suggestion is to incorporate journal writing as part of your quiet time with God, then discuss your results when you meet as a group.  

Journaling on 2 Chronicles 20

1. In 2 Chronicles 20:12, Jehoshaphat ends his prayer by stating, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Are you currently in the midst of a challenging situation, or are being confronted by adversity? Using 20 Chronicles 20:12 as a reference, what measures can you take to switch your focus off your troubles, and instead, place your eyes on God?

2. Are there any particular Christian songs, gospel music, or hymns that encourage you and lift your spirits when you play them? Write three of them down in your journal and give a brief description about why they resonate with you.

3. Write down 6 points that you learnt from 2 Chronicles 20, using Bible verses from the chapter as references.

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6. Prayer

The following prayer is based on the lessons of 2 Chronicles 20. It can be spoken aloud over yourself, or read together in a group capacity.

Prayer:

Wonderful Lord, Precious Father,

We thank You that You are our help in times of trouble, our rock on which we can stand on, and the lifter of our heads. You command us with Your loving kindness in the day, and at night Your song is with us to comfort us. You will never fail us, nor forsake us.

Lord, as You know, my circumstances are pressing around me like a vice. Tendrils of fear and worry threaten to choke me, but l will not succumb to their advances, nor will l brood and sweat over finding a solution in my own strength.

Instead, l will lift my eyes to You. I will cast my cares at Your throne, and make my requests known to You with praise and thanksgiving. I will trust and rely on You, because l know of Your unconditional love for me.

Great are Your works Lord, and many are the miracles that You perform. What looks impossible for me, is possible with You.

And while l wait on You Lord, l will praise You. I will lift my hands up and thank the One, who gave me breath, who saved my life, and who sets my feet on a straight and direct path. For what would become of me Lord, if l would not experience Your goodness in this world?

Father, help me to encounter You in new and deeper ways. Teach me how to walk in Your truths. Show me how l can be more like You, so that others may see You in me, and yearn to know and love You, like l do.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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We hope that you have enjoyed our Bible study on 2 Chronicles 20 in our  Jacob’s Ladder Bible Studies series.

We look forward to you joining us for next Bible Study. Until then, be safe, and may God’s love and blessings be upon you!  

Madeline Kalu

Co-Founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog

Sources:

www.bibleodyssey.org, “Ahab”, David Bokovoy.

www.hillsdalefmc.net, “Guilt by Association” – 2 Chronicles 19”, Hillsdale Free Methodist Church.

christianity.com, “What Is the Power of Prayer?”, Heather Riggleman.

churchofjesuschrist.org, “10 Meaningful Benefits of Prayer”

desiringgod.org, “Why Do Christians Fast?”, John Piper.

justdisciple.com, “Top 15 Questions on Christian Fasting – Answered”, Nadia Thomas.

soveryblessed.com, “9 Bible Verses on Fasting”, Becky.

justdisciple.com, “Types of Christian Fasting and What’s Right for You”, Julia Oates.

worthbeyondrubies.com, “Jesus the Bridegroom and the Ancient Jewish Wedding”, Diane Shirlaw-Ferreira.

bloggersforthekingdom.com, “3 Powerful Ways to Step Out in Faith When God Nudges You”, LeeAnn.

abarim-publications.com, “Meunites meaning“

biblicalarchaeology.org, “Who Were the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites in the Bible?”

enduringword.com, “2 Chronicles 20 – Jehoshaphat’s Victory”

biblicaltraining.org,“Meunites”

desiringgod.org“What Does It Mean to Seek the Lord?”, John Piper.

bible.org, “Lesson 7: The Man Who Won a War Without Fighting (2 Chronicles 20:1-30)”

gotquestions.org, “Who was the Asaph mentioned in the Book of Psalms?”

studylight.org,“Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible – 2 Chronicles 20”

thelampstand.com., “Tarshish, Cornwall, and Tin and Gold Trade in the Ancient World”

bible.org, “Lesson 4: Confidence in The Crisis (2 Chronicles 20:1-30)”

christianity.com, “Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete)”

forgodsfame.org“The Prayer of Jehoshaphat”, Tim Bell.

2 Comments

  • Eunice

    This is a rich, detailed and immersive Bible study. I can totally relate with the first part which speaks of fear. Recently I have come to realize that many times my fear is borne out of doubt about whether God will come through on time or not. I think being honest and vulnerable before God about what we are feeling and why is a valuable first step to dealing with this.

    • Madeline

      Yes, l too, can relate to having fear, so studying this chapter and sharing it with others was very much on my heart. Thank you for sharing your experience, and l totally agree that we need to know that we can be honest with God and come before Him being vulnerable. God bless!

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