• 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.

    Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

    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.

    Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

    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?

    Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

    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.

    Photo by Arthur Miranda on Unsplash

    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.

    Photo by fotografierende on Unsplash

    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.

    Photo by Junior REIS on Unsplash

    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.

  • Jacob's Ladder Bible Studies

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

    Praise God in the Storm:

    How to Experience Peace and Gratitude Amidst Adversity

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    Part Two: Living God’s Word 

    Applying 2 Chronicles 20 to everyday life

    Last month, we started Part 1 of our Bible Study series on 2 Chronicles 20 titled “Confronting a Crisis with God-given Confidence”, where we analyzed the biblical account of King Jehoshaphat of Judah’s triumph over a triple enemy threat through God’s divine intervention and his trusting of the Lord.

    Aware that he was unable to ensure the survival of his people by his own strength, Jehoshaphat fasted and sought the Lord and encouraged the rest of Judah to do so. The reassurance and encouragement they received from God gave Jehoshaphat and his people tremendous peace, God-given confidence, and faith to face their enemy on the battlefield, whilst praising Him in advance for a victory unseen, yet promised by God.

    Trials and tribulations are unfortunately a certainty in this world (John 16:33). However, we do not need to live in fear and worry when confronted with challenging circumstances. Instead, we can do what Jehoshaphat and the Judeans did and be encouraged by God’s promises of deliverance, which will increase our faith and bring us tremendous peace, independent of how our current situation appears.

    In Part 2 of our Bible Study, we want to explore 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.

    Seek God in Times of Times of Trouble

    As we stated in our introduction, we all have trials and tribulations to contend with. Jehoshaphat’s adversity came in the form of a military threat from the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Meunites. Today, our “ites” may take the form of sickness, financial issues, unemployment, fertility problems, or a family feud, just to name a few.

    When such problems arise, it is perfectly normal to feel afraid and worried: Fear was also Jehoshaphat’s initial reaction after receiving the intelligence that the enemy triune was about to strike.

    However, we need to remember that we have a Sovereign God, whom we can call on for help in our time of need. Our strength and abilities are finite, but God’s power and might are infinite.

    Therefore, like Jehoshaphat, we must determinedly push our fears aside, take our eyes of our current trouble, and instead, lift our eyes to God and seek Him (2 Chronicles 20:3). In His presence, we can present our petitions to Him.

    How do we seek God’s presence?

    We can do this by praying and fasting, both of which we will now look at more closely.

    Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

    The Power of Prayer

    Prayer is an essential practice of a believer’s walk with God. It is a communication with our Father that is simultaneously an act of worship. By reverently seeking God and expressing our needs, sharing our worries, and giving our thanks, we are acknowledging that He is our Provider, our Healer, and our Shepherd, who guides us through the hills and valleys of life.

    Prayer gives us peace when we are anxious and fortifies us with strength when confronted with trials. Praying also helps us to know God on a deeper level, which assists us in aligning His will to our lives. It invites the Holy Spirit to intercede in our daily decisions, as well as comfort us when we need support.

    Prayer involves not only us talking, but also listening for the answers that God provides to our prayer requests. For that reason, it is always useful to have a writing pad and a pen handy, when praying.

    As we can see in 2 Chronicles 20:15-17, prayer instigates miracles. Not only, did Jehoshaphat and the people of Judea receive consolation from God in response to the threat upon their lives, but God promised them that He would fight their enemies for them and prevail.

    Of course, God can work miracles even when we don’t pray. However, it is evident that many biblical miracles are a direct result of prayer. For example, in John 11:41-42, Jesus prayed to His Father at Lazarus’ tomb and the latter was consequently resurrected. In Daniel 6:19-22, God not only saved Daniel from being eaten by lions, but King Darius of Babylon issued a royal decree that his people should honor God Daniel 6:25-27.

    There is no doubt that there is power in prayer – Jesus confirms this  in Matthew 18:18-20:

    Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 

    For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

    God loves it when we talk to Him through prayer. You don’t need to mechanically recite some rote-learned text or be anxious about saying “the right thing”. Instead, God wants us to talk to Him from the heart with thanksgiving:

    „Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

    Philippians 4:6

    Just like you talk confidently and trustingly to your biological father, in the same way you can talk to God. After all, He is our spiritual Father!

    Additionally, we can take Jehoshaphat’s prayer to God in 2 Chronicles 20:5-12 as inspiration for how we can structure our own prayers. We examined Jehoshaphat’s prayer in Part 1 of our Bible Study on 2 Chronicles 20, however here is a short break-down of it:

    1. Acknowledgement of God’s Sovereign power

    2. Remind God of His help in the past

    3. God’s presence is holy and a place where you’re confident He will answer your prayers 

    4. Express your needs to God

    5. Thank God in advance for His help and vindication

    6. Worship God with praise and thanksgiving, while you wait for His response.

    Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash

    The Question About Fasting

    Fasting is a practice, which can propagate revelation, instill humility, and forge a deeper relationship with God. In 2 Chronicles 20:3, Jehoshaphat proclaimed a nation-wide feast in Judah before seeking God’s help in prayer. Consequently, Jehoshaphat and his people received God’s promise of victory from Judah’s enemies, which fortified the Judean’s faith.

    Despite the testimony of 2 Chronicles 20 and other biblical accounts, fasting remains a topic that some Christians remain unsure about. Therefore, let’s begin by defining what fasting is.

    What is Fasting?

    Fasting is a temporary abstinence from food or something we particularly enjoy doing, in order to take the focus of ourselves and instead, place our attention on God.

    Whereas we eat food out of hunger, we convert that physical hunger into a spiritual hunger that promotes spiritual growth and deepens our relationship with God. Fasting is a personal sacrifice that expresses our heartfelt subservience and reverence for our Lord.

    It is designed to stretch us, and at the same time, bring revelation of God’s workings in our lives. Additionally, fasting shows God how much we need Him and that we trust Him first and foremost.

    Why Do Christians Fast?

    Christians fast for many reasons. Some fast regularly as part of their faith practice, others fast when seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance (Acts 13:2-3), or when they plead for God’s intervention, such as Jehoshaphat and the Judeans did in 2 Chronicles 20:3. Others fast for healing (2 Samuel 12:16-17) or as an act of repentance (Jonah 3:3-5), and much more.

    Fasting also helps you to unbind yourself from the factors that tie you to this world; therefore, some believers fast in order to break spiritual bonds in their lives such as addiction, pornography, or illness.

    Fasting in Preparation for the Bridegroom to Return

    In Luke 5:33-39, Jesus tells the Pharisees a parable about fasting in the form of a wedding where He is the bridegroom. When the bridegroom is present, the wedding guests honor Him with merrymaking. You cannot expect the guests to fast during a celebration! In this way, we have experienced the ministry of Jesus on earth and have rejoiced in His presence.

    However, the Bridegroom must go away to prepare a place for us (John 14:3), but will return for His bride. In Hebrew, the word for bride is “Kallah”, and is referring to the Bride of Christ, which is the church, of which Jesus is the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-20).

    We as believers are the Church – we are the Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11.2)!

    Therefore, in the same way a bride waits longingly for her groom and prepares herself for his return, so too, do we spiritually prepare ourselves in joyous expectation for Jesus’ return to earth by fasting.

    Do Christians Have to Fast?

    So, now that we have established what fasting is, the next question is, “Do l have to fast as a believer of Christ?”

    What is important to remember is that God loves us unconditionally. His love for you is not based on how much you read your Bible, how often you pray, or whether you choose to fast or not. He loves you because you are His child, and there is nothing that you can do or can’t do that will cause Him to take that love away from you (Romans 8:38-39).

    God wants us to live an abundant life (John 10:10). For that reason, He has provided us with teachings and guidelines in the form of the Bible, that are designed to give us joy, promote productivity, give us spiritual victory, and deepen our relationship with Him. Fasting is one of those teachings that God encourages us to do in order to experience all this and more.

    For that reason, Jesus preached on the topic of fasting in Matthew 6:16-18 by using the conjunction “when” you fast, instead of “if” you fast.

    Therefore, if you haven’t tried fasting before, it is worth trying it, for what you gain from it exceeds the temporary discomfort of abstinence.

    What if Health Issues Prevent Me from Fasting?

    If you’re unable to abstain from food due to health reasons, you can still fast by renouncing something temporarily which distracts you from spending time with God, such as social media or watching TV.

    How long you fast for is something you should ask God in prayer, especially if it is food related. You don’t want to harm your body by depriving it too long of nourishment,  especially fluids. Fasting also doesn’t need to be for the duration of an entire day/days: You can choose to fast for a few hours in the mornings for a few days, which is akin to missing out on a meal.

    Are There Different Types of Fasts?

    There are different types of fasts one can do which are biblical based. If you’re interested in learning more about them, this article should prove quite useful for you and also entails some great tips on how to fast.

    Photo by Tim Wildsmith on Unsplash

    Step Out in Faith

    As part of His assurance of victory against the upcoming enemy invasion, God declared to Jehoshaphat and his people that they would not be participating in the battle themselves. Rather, God would be fighting for them (2 Chronicles 20:17).

    However, in order to see this promise materialize, the Judeans still needed to stand on the battlefield and face their enemy. This required them to step out in faith – literally – and march to the end of the valley at the Ascent of Ziz, where the battle was to take place. It must have been a difficult task for a skilled army to step onto a battlefield without the intention of warring – most likely they weren’t even carrying weapons. However, God kept His promise and gave the Judeans victory without them losing a single drop of blood (2 Chronicles 20:24).

    2 Corinthians 5:7 states the importance of putting our faith in God over that which is tangible or adheres to human logic:

    “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

    Hebrews 11:1 also defines faith as a conviction that is based on our trust in God, rather than what we can see:

    “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

    Stepping out in faith when we don’t know the outcome of a situation is certainly not an easy thing to do, but it is a heart attitude that instigates a victorious Christian life. For when we stop relying on our own capabilities, on other people, and even on institutions, and instead trust God, we can be confident that He is solving our problems and taking care of what matters most to us, which frees us to live a peaceful, joyful, and fulfilled life.

    There are times when we do step out in faith and suddenly become afraid and lose our confidence in God – that is human nature. However, rest assured, when those times occur, God is always there to catch us.

    That’s what Jesus did for Peter when he stepped out of a boat during a storm and walked on water towards Jesus in Matthew 14:28-29. Suddenly intimidated by the strong winds, Peter began to sink and called out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30). Jesus immediately responded by stretching out His hand and catching him.

    How can you step out in faith? By recognizing what fears you, and handing it over to God (1 Peter 5:7). Having done that, surrender the outcome to Him and trust that He will turn whatever is against you and make it work out for your good (Romans 8:28). And in the meantime, live your life and enjoy the daily blessings that God gives you: your family, enjoying a laugh with friends, the smell of freshly mown grass, or that first morning cup of freshly brewed coffee!

    Therefore, take an example from Jehoshaphat and the Judeans and step out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t see how your situation is going to work out; instead, trust that God already has a plan for you that He will bring to fruition, for He is the only One, who can make the impossible, possible (Matthew 19:26)!

    Photo by Alex Radelich on Unsplash

    Worship While You Wait

    In a Bible Study group l attended once, a lady was asked what she does after she prays.

    “I wait”, she answered.

    This response resonated with me. I don’t know about you, but sometimes l get caught up in my pray petitions: I keep praying and asking and thanking God, however, l don’t sit back and expectantly watch out for Him to answer my prayers.

    Since applying this wisdom into my own prayer practices, l have not only developed patience in trusting God’s timing over my own, but l have also experienced another facet of my relationship with God: That He encourages me, consoles me, and teaches me to rely on Him in that interim period between my petitions and their manifestations.

    Furthermore, in order to deepen my relationship with God in my waiting period, l take inspiration from Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah by worshiping and praising Him:

    “Then 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. And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.”

    2 Chronicles 20:18-19

    How do l worship and praise God? I put on worship music and sing and dance loudly around my home. I even march around clapping my hands and praising God verbally for all that He has done and will do, just like l can imagine how Jehoshaphat and his people did on the battlefield:

    When he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy splendor, as they went before the army, saying,

    ‘Give thanks to the Lord,
        for his steadfast love endures forever.’”

    2 Chronicles 20:21

    If you want to find peace and deepen your reliance on God with the outcome and timing of your prayers, I suggest that you try worshiping Him while you wait. It is also proves to be a powerful ignition to set supernatural events in motion. When the Judeans started worshiping God on the battlefield, the triune enemy turned on themselves and destroyed each other!

    „As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the Ammonites, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. For the Ammonites and Moab attacked the inhabitants of Mount Seir, destroying them utterly; and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.”

    2 Chronicles 20:22-23

    Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

    God Fights Your Battles

    When confronted with a difficult situation, we often go into combat mode.

    Our battle mindset is initiated by fear, which turns into worry. In response, we retreat into our mental war room to strategize how we are going to solve our problem. Our minds grind and groan under the stress of testing out possible scenarios, all of which are unpredictable in their outcome, due to our subjective and limited understanding of the situation.

    Once we have settled upon what we believe to be the best possible tactic, we plunge into a course of action in the desperate hope that our plotting and planning will work out.

    However, what if l told you that God has promised us that He will fight our battles for us?

    What if l told you, that He encourages us – nay, commands us – to rest, while He takes on that which has come against us?

    Look at what Exodus 14:14 states:

    “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.”

    I have chosen the AMPC version specifically, as it illustrates beautifully how God assures us that we can be at peace and rest, while He fights for us. This means, that we can let go of worry and fear, and say goodbye to the mental carousel of planning and plotting that keeps us up at night.

    Instead, we can enjoy a peaceful, worry-free life, being confident in God that He is working in our situation and is offering a solution, which is better than anything we could have ever dreamed of achieving with our own finite capabilities.

    The people of Judah experienced this promise from God in 2 Chronicles 20:17:

    “This battle is not for you to fight; take your position, stand still, and see the victory of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”

    What a relief for the Judeans to know that not only was their survival assured, but God was going to fight their enemy on their behalf without any fear of bloodshed or loss of life! How at loss for words they must have felt, and how grateful!

    Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash

    Go Get Your Blessings

    When the people of Judah arrived to the place where their enemy had fallen, there awaited them “livestock in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more” 2 Chronicles 20:25. In fact, there were so many spoils to be taken, that the Judeans needed 3 days to move the entire loot back to Jerusalem!

    In the same way, God is preparing blessings for us; however, we need to do our part and go get them.

    In the Judean’s case, this meant literally stepping out in faith onto a battle they were instructed to not participate in. In our case, it may mean starting that side business from home, asking that girl to marry you, or answering a call to ministry that God has laid on your heart.

    God get your blessings!

    Keep Honoring God After The Victory

    After God has answered our call for help, it is important that we keep on honoring Him.

    Firstly, we must remember to thank God for all that He has made possible. In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus healed 10 lepers on His way to Jerusalem, however only one of them returned to thank Him.

    Let us not be like the 9, who didn’t offer their gratitude!

    Judah knew the importance of giving continual thanks. After they had claimed their war booty, Jehoshaphat and the entire nation entered Jerusalem with musical fanfare, and headed straight to the temple to show further gratitude to the Lord for His help and victory.

    Secondly, we need to keep remembering God’s past acts of goodness, even after our immediate threat has passed. If we don’t, we can forget the mercy and might of God and return to worrying and becoming fearful when the next challenge arises, which it unfortunately inevitably will.  We might also start to rely on our own abilities instead of seeking the One whose abilities supersede ours, which can lead to unwise decisions and unwanted consequences.

    Jehoshaphat experienced this for himself in 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, when he attempted another ungodly alliance with Ahab through his son and successor, King Ahaziah of Israel. The two entered a partnership to build ships for trade in Tarshish. Fortunately, Jehoshaphat heeded the advice of the prophet Eliezer, and he withdrew from the agreement, for God destroyed all of the ships.

    The Israelites who entered into the land of Canaan knew the importance of remembering God’s previous miracles and acts of provision. After God had taken them safely across the Jordan river, they collected 12 stones from the waters to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. On the Canaan side of the Jordan river, in Gilgal, the Israelites set up these 12 stones as a memorial for future generations to remember how the Lord dried up the Red Sea and the Jordan river for them to cross into the Promised Land, as well as serve as a constant reminder of His power and might.

    So, how can we remember God’s past acts of goodness and provision?

    In our family, we keep a “Miracle Book”, which is a journal where we record all the acts of goodness that God has done in our lives. For further suggestions, click here to read an article we wrote on this topic.

    You can also set up your own memorial stones by collecting stones from the beach or the forest and placing them on your windowsill or any other visible place in your home.

    Photo by Lisa Zoe on Unsplash

    We hope you enjoyed reading Part 2 of our Bible Study on 2 Chronicles 20, and that it gave you some revelation on how to apply the biblical lessons of this chapter into your everyday lives.

    Next month, we will be posting our third and final part of our Bible Study, where we delve even deeper into the biblical themes discussed in Parts One and Two for private or group study purposes.

    So, stay tuned for that!

    If, in the meantime, you haven’t yet read Part 1 of our Bible Study on 2 Chronicles 20,  you can read it here.

    Stay safe and blessed!

    Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog and Faith Love Life Designs. She was born in England, was raised in Australia, and currently lives in Germany with her husband, Solomon.

    Madeline is in recovery from burnout, chronic depression, and anxiety. She believes that God can take life’s adversities and work them out for His good; hence, she uses her writing voice to raise awareness of mental illness, as well as to spread the light of God’s love to those who are mentally trapped in the dark, and provide them with hope and encouragement.

    Sources:

    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.

  • Jacob's Ladder Bible Studies

    Part 1: Jacob’s Ladder Bible Study on 2 Chronicles 20

    Confronting a Crisis with God-given Peace and Confidence

    Part 1: Understanding God’s Word

    Bible Commentary on 2 Chronicles 20

    When l first gave my life to the Lord, one of my mentor’s told me about the victory of King Jehoshaphat against a triple enemy attack on his kingdom of Judah.

    After reading the chapter myself, what resonated with me was the heart attitude that Jehoshaphat displayed in seeking the Lord despite his personal fears, as well as entreating his people to trust Him as well. Jehoshaphat’s praise of God on the battlefield taught me the importance of thanking God in advance for His victories and to always step out in faith, even when the presence of trouble and strife are determined to convince you of defeat.

    Additionally, the peace that Jehoshaphat and the Judeans experienced during this crisis gave me revelation that God is our calm during the storms of life. We can have the peace that Jesus offers us in the face of adversity (John 14:27), if we stop trying to fight with our own finite strength, and instead, let God fight for us with His infinite power.

    Lastly and most importantly, this biblical chapter taught me that God declares promises to His people and He keeps these promises – and more. God promised the people of Judah victory over the triune of enemies that were on the march to destroy them, and He delivered this promise to them, as well as blessing them with the rich spoils of their defeated enemies.

    We hope that the following analysis of 2 Chronicles 20 will encourage you to seek God when trouble arises, to trust Him with the outcome of your situation and to thank Him in advance for a favorable outcome.

    We also pray that you receive a revelation of the peace that Jesus offers us, secure in the knowledge that God keeps His promises of victory and blessings, even in the darkest of situations.

    Photo by Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash

    An Unexpected Military Assault Threatens the Future of Judah

    (2 Chronicles 20:1-2)

    2 Kings 20 begins with King Jehoshaphat, the ruler of Judah, receiving disturbing intelligence: the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Meunites, who occupy territories to the west and south-west of Judah respectively, have formed a military coalition against Jehoshaphat and his people. In fact, they are already in the vicinity of Hazazon-tamar, having crossed the Dead Sea from Edom, and are ready to embark in battle against Judah.

    The Moabites and the Ammonites derived from the union of Lot with his two daughters (Genesis 19:37-38). The Meunites were the descendants of Meunim and occupied territory to the south-east of the Dead Sea on the eastern border of Edom. Though not Edomites, they were commonly identified as belonging to the latter, due to their cordial relations with each other.

    Map of Ancient Israel and Judah courtesy of bible-history.com

    Why this triune chose Judah as their target is unknown; however, the fact that they could creep up on Judah certainly indicates that the surrounding 10 tribes, who Jehoshaphat had helped in requiring Ramoth-Gilead, had betrayed their friendship to the Judean king and allowed this terrible threesome safe passage through their territories, in order that they may arrive unchallenged in Judah.

    Perhaps the reason for the neighboring nation’s betrayal was Jehoshaphat’s alliance through marriage to King Ahab of Israel in the north. Ahab and more so his wife, Jezebel, were infamous for their cruel leadership and idol worship. Jehoshaphat was essentially feared amongst his neighbors (2 Chronicles 17:10), however maybe entering into a closer association with Ahab had lessened the surrounding nation’s respect for him, and as a result, they grew bold in their attempts to destroy the Judean King, as they doubted whether God’s favor was still upon him. What is certain though, is that other tribes had joined the military axis to aid in the defeat of Judah (Psalm 83:6-8).

    Whatever the reason, the people of Judah are facing an unexpected crisis through a triple enemy threat. How they chose to respond will determine their survival.

    Seeking God’s Presence Amidst Fear

    (2 Chronicles 20:3-4)

    When Jehoshaphat receives the information that not only one army, but three armies and their auxiliaries are literally on his doorstop ready to attack, he is naturally afraid.

    Jehoshaphat’s fear may have been intensified due to the following reasons:

    •   He barely survived a battle to claim Ramoth-Gilead in which Ahab died, and is consequently aware of his own mortality.
    • Jehoshaphat is shocked that God allowed Judah to be threatened after he obediently implemented national reforms throughout the nation to bring the people back to God (2 Chronicles 19:4-11).

    Jehoshaphat’s initial reaction of fear is natural, especially as the threat to his kingdom is a complete sucker punch. However, what he does next is instrumental in determining the survival of Judah – he seeks God.

    Jehoshaphat deliberately turns his mind away from the imminent danger he is in, and instead, gives God his full attention and consideration – not only with his mind, but with his heart. Instead of seeking the counsel of his military advisors on how best to retaliate to the inevitable battle, he will ask for help from the Almighty Himself. His enemies may have formed an alliance against him, but Jehoshaphat knows that the most formidable ally he has is God.

    So great is Jehoshaphat’s determination in hearing from God, that he summons the entire nation of Judah together to seek God’s presence through prayer and fasting as a united front. As this crisis is one that involves all Judeans, it is only right that all residents of the kingdom should be involved in asking for God’s help. Having the people pray and fast together would also reinforce the spiritual teachings and reforms he had previously introduced in 2 Chronicles 19:4-11.

    Jehoshaphat’s request for a national appeal to God was unusual for a King to make in ancient times: The people would have been more accustomed to being summoned to mobilize themselves for war and not be summoned for the purpose of  prayer and fasting.

    This act demonstrates Jehoshaphat’s recognition of his limited human capabilities, as well as his humility and faith in seeking the One who has the divine power to deliver Judah from their enemies. Instead of feeling indignant or frustrated that God allowed this situation to occur, Jehoshaphat is going to approach God with sincerity, thanks and praise, which we will read in the upcoming verses.

    Pray First, Act Later

    (2 Chronicles 20: 5-12)

    We have established that Jehoshaphat’s recognition of Judah’s peril leads him to seek God before he takes any action. Therefore, instead of organizing his army, he organizes a time of national prayer and fasting in Jerusalem.

    The whole of Judah assembles in the temple to pray, in an area which some scholars believe to have been the women’s court. Although priests were the only ones permitted to burn incense and perform other sacramental duties, as a King, Jehoshaphat could pray and preach.

    Jehoshaphat’s prayer can be divided into 6 parts:

    1. Acknowledgement of God’s sovereign power (2 Chronicles 20:6)

    The Moabites, Ammonites, and surrounding nations such as the Philistines worshiped local deities. Jehoshaphat begins his prayer by giving praise to God and His almighty power, and acknowledges His supremacy over all other gods and nations, as well as His absolute sovereignty as the ruler of heaven and earth.

    2. Reminding God of His help in the past (2 Chronicles 20:7)

    Jehoshaphat reminds God of His help in freeing the Israelites from their enemies in the past, and His promise that Abraham’s descendants will continue to inherit the land He has given them. If God has helped His people before, Jehoshaphat is confident that He will help them again in their current hour of need.

    3. The temple is holy and a place where God answers prayers   (2 Chronicles 20:8-9)

    The temple grounds in Jerusalem have borne witness to many petitions and answered prayers in the past. King Solomon for example gave a prayer and dedication to the temple on the very same spot where Jehoshaphat is standing now (2 Chronicles 6:12-42), and God responded to him (2 Chronicles 7:1).

    Jehoshaphat wants to remind God that His people built the temple at His bequest as a place to not only worship Him, but to seek refuge and help in their times of need. As God answered the prayers of their predecessors, Jehoshaphat is  confident that God will answer Judah’s prayers in this holy place now.

    4. Jehoshaphat pleads vindication at the injustice of his enemies (2 Chronicles 20:10-11)

    When the Israelites entered the Promised Land after wandering 40 years in the desert, God forbade them from invading the territories of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir (Deuteronomy 2:8-9, Deuteronomy 2:19). Israel obeyed God and left these nations in peace.

    Now Jehoshaphat is reminding God of Israel’s former obedience and how it would be unjust of the enemy triune to be allowed to conquer them and take away the land, which God had promised would always be in their possession.

    5. Jehoshaphat expresses public humility and Judah’s need for God (2 Chronicles 20:12)

    As a typical ancient King of the Near East, Jehoshaphat is looked up to and viewed as a role model and source of inspiration by his people. Maintaining a public image as a fearless, formidable leader was imperative in those times for upholding the respect of their allies and arousing fear in their enemies. It was also politically advantageous for a king to always present his most courageous, positive side to his people.

    However, Jehoshaphat openly and publicly admits his fear in this last part of his appeal to God. Although he is a king and is expected to have a solution to their predicament, he is not ashamed to confess, that this time, he doesn’t know what to do. Jehoshaphat’s fear that God might not answer if he doesn’t go all in with this prayer is greater than what his people think of him.

    Though Jehoshaphat doesn’t know how to save his nation, he knows that God and God alone can deliver them from this crisis. Therefore, all of Judah will look to God and put their faith and trust in Him for a favorable outcome.

    6. Worship God while you wait (2 Chronicles 20:13, 2 Chronicles 20:18-19)

    After Jehoshaphat finishes praying, the gathered assembly wait for God to answer, including the women and children. It is not certain how long they have to wait, but it appears that God answers the people quite promptly.

    Even after God replies to their petition, the people of Judah worship Him as they wait for the manifestation of His promises, which we will read about in the upcoming sections.

    Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

    God Commands Judah to Trust Him and Not Fight

    (2 Chronicles 20:13-17)

    God answers Jehoshaphat’s prayer through Jahaziel, who is one of the sons of Asaph, a guild of Levites assigned to sing in the tabernacle choir. It is not certain whether Jahaziel is a validated prophet, nor why he is chosen amongst those gathered to speak, yet the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him and he relays a heartening, yet unexpected response from God.

    Firstly, God consoles His people that the battle they are about to experience belongs to Him, not to them. Therefore, they should not fear.

    Secondly, God gives the Judeans precise instructions to go down to the battle on the morrow and even reveals the exact location of the enemy, who will come up by the ascent of Ziz and position themselves at the end of the valley, before the wilderness of Jeruel.

    Thirdly, the army of Judah will not fight in this battle: Instead, God informs them that they are to joyfully bear witness to the victory that He will bring to them, for His glory, the next day. All they need to do is stand still and trust that He is with them.

    This last command is certainly encouraging, albeit, unusual. Jehoshaphat has a significant army (2 Chronicles 17:12-19), and yet they will not be required to fight. Furthermore, instead of remaining in Jerusalem and having God relay the good news to them after the battle is over, the Judean army is required to mobilize and position themselves on the battlefield with the sole intention of getting a front row seat to the showdown between God and the enemy coalition. This act of participation is necessary from Judah to seal a faith partnership with God.  

    Judah Thanks God for Their Victory Before the Battle Even Begins

    (2 Chronicles 20:18-21)

    As we read earlier, Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah bow their heads and fall to the ground in thanks at the encouraging answer to their prayers. Additionally some of the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Kohen raise their voices in praise to God.

    This reaction is expected, but what l love about this section of 2 Chronicles 20 is that Jehoshaphat and his people continue to give thanks and praise God for His promise of victory – even right up to the moment before the battle begins.

    Trust and belief are always established before gratitude: The Judeans display this by waking up early on the morning of the battle and executing the commands that God had spoken through Jahaziel the day before. There is no mention of weaponry in this section, for their weapons are faith and Jehoshaphat’s reminder of God’s promises to them.

    Jehoshaphat consults his people regarding the delegation of the singers and worshipers for the battle, thus proving his hitherto wise sovereignty. He understands that this current crisis not only affects him directly, but also his people. For that reason, it is only fair that they should have a say in who gets to praise and worship God on the battlefield, especially as deep faith is required to march out before their army and thereby expose themselves blatantly to the enemy lines.

    Once they’re in sight of their adversaries, the people of Judah sing and give God praise clad in priestly robes: The promise of victory is enough for them to rejoice and give thanks, for they already believe. This act of praise may indeed be an unusual tactic to embrace, however it empathizes Jehoshaphat’s reliance on God, his eagerness to please Him (Psalm 51:16-17), as well as his desire to motivate their own soldiers. It also doesn’t hurt that their opponents would also get confused by unarmed singing and dancing civilians!

    Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

    God Makes the Enemy Coalition Turn Upon Themselves

    (2 Chronicles 20:22-24)

    As the singers lead the Judean army into battle, God simultaneously sets ambushes on the enemy coalition of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir.

    Confusion arises in the enemy ranks, and the Ammonites and Moabites turn against the Meunites, suspecting betrayal. After the men of Mount Seir are slain, the Ammonites and Moabites turn on each other. Not one member of the three tribes survive.

    Imagine the incredulity and amazement from the Israelites when they reach the enemy camp and see the multitude of fallen soldiers! God has won the battle for Judah without them having to engage in warfare themselves. He has kept His promise of victory! Hallelujah!

    Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

    God Rewards Judah For their Reliance on Him

    (2 Chronicles 20:25)

    As if a victory against their enemy isn’t enough, God continues to richly reward the nation of Judah for their reliance on Him in their time of peril.

    With the enemy camp compromised and their possessions lying around, the Judeans help themselves to the spoils. In fact, there are so many goodies to divide up, such as cattle, precious gems, garments and more, that the victors need three days to gather everything and take home!

    Thank God In All Circumstances Not Just In Emergencies

    (2 Chronicles 20:26-30)

    On the fourth day after the battle, the nation of Judah assembles in the Valley of Beracah, which becomes known as the Valley of the Blessing after the blessings they give the Lord for His deliverance from their enemies.

    The Judeans continue with their thanks and praise as they enter Jerusalem with joy in their hearts and songs bursting from their lips. Accompanied by harps, lyres, and trumpets, the enter the temple and continue to bless the Lord.

    This outward expression of thanks displays the importance that the Judeans lay in not only acknowledging public acts of mercy with public gratitude, but also provides an excellent example of how giving thanks to God in all circumstances is important to them – not only in their time of need, but also as well in their moment of victory (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

    Giving God praise and glory for His mercy and grace also shows the surrounding nations on whom the Judeans lean on and trust in for support. With such a formidable divine ally, the neighbors who may have supported the enemy coalition earlier in the chapter or may still have aggressive intentions towards Judah now hold her in reverential fear and consequently leave her in peace.

    Break Bad Behavioral Patterns By Constantly Renewing Your Mind and Refusing to Compromise

    (2 Chronicles 20:31-37)

    Despite God’s undisputed help and victory over their enemies, Jehoshaphat and his people are still vulnerable to falling into old patterns of bad behavior and compromising their beliefs.

    Although they bore witness to God’s miraculous intervention, there remain those amongst the people of Judah, who are still not prepared to wholeheartedly follow God. Thus despite the national reforms he made in 2 Chronicles 19:4-11, Jehoshaphat compromises with the people by tolerating the practice of idol worship in his land.

    He also slips back into the old habit of making unholy alliances like the one he made with Ahab in 2 Chronicles 18.

    Jehoshaphat enters into a trade alliance with Ahab’s son, Ahaziah, who has succeeded his father as King of Israel after the latter’s untimely death (2 Chronicles 18:28-34). They aim to build ships in Ezion-geber, to sail to Tarshish, which was a pivotal trading city for iron, tin, and gold (Ezekiel 27:12).

    However, this time, Jehoshaphat withdraws from the alliance. God sends a prophet by the name of Eliezer, who declares that God will destroy Ahaziah’s and Jehoshaphat’s endeavors.

    This warning is enough to renew Jehoshaphat’s mind of the previous mercy and goodness of God, recall to him the guilt he experienced during his first alliance with Ahab, and to place fear in him of God and His consequential wrath if he doesn’t end this agreement. It’s a good thing that he does withdraw, as God destroys the ships designated for Tarshish.

    We hope you have enjoyed reading Part 1 of our Bible Study on 2 Chronicles 20.

    If you would like to learn how you can integrate the lessons of this chapter into your own life and experience peace and godly confidence even in the midst of trouble, then join us next month for “Part 2 – Living God’s Word – How to Confront a Crisis with God’s Peace and Confidence”.

    To be informed on the publication of Part 2, as well as other posts we publish, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter. Additionally, we regularly provide our subscribers with offers and free gifts, so that’s definitely something to look forward to!

    Stay safe and blessed, and we look forward to have you join us for Part 2 of our Bible Study!

    In Christ,

    Madeline

    Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog and Faith Love Life Designs. She was born in England, was raised in Australia, and currently lives in Germany with her husband, Solomon.

    Madeline is in recovery from burnout, chronic depression, and anxiety. She believes that God can take life’s adversities and work them out for His good; hence, she uses her writing voice to raise awareness of mental illness, as well as to spread the light of God’s love to those who are mentally trapped in the dark, and provide them with hope and encouragement.

    Sources:

    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.