Daily Devotional

2 Chronicles 20:30

So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides.

Having substantial reason to be afraid of what surrounds us is not new. Perhaps it’s been a while since you read the story of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20-21. He wakes up one morning surrounded by armies and the sea to his back (That could ruin your day!). Verse 3 almost seems like an understatement “And Jehoshaphat was afraid...” (I’d be frantic: “Dear Lord, I’m surrounded.”).  

Instead of panicking, the King’s potentially consuming fear of these armies drove him to his knees in worshiping fear of God! Jehoshaphat prays: “Lord, we are powerless...we don’t know what to do…BUT our eyes are on Thee.” And God answers, “Do not fear or be dismayed...for the battle is not yours but God’s.” Then the Lord says to the King, “You need not fight in this battle. Station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf...Do not fear...tomorrow go out to face them...for the Lord is with you.”

I love the King’s response: “Jehoshaphat...and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.” Whereas his fear of the armies could have taken over, his personal fear of the Lord affected the whole nation.

You will be amazed at the rest of the story as Jehoshaphat’s small army goes out and stands before this multitude of armies. God says to the King, “Put your trust in the Lord your God, and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” (i.e. “Believe the ones who taught you how great I am”). And Jehoshaphat and his army stayed put and they didn’t throw one spear or shoot one arrow. Instead, the King sends his singers out before the invading armies. They sang out in joyful praise: “Give thanks to the Lord, for His loving-kindness is everlasting.” That’s some battle-cry, isn’t it? It’s our song of deliverance, as well. It reminds me of Psalm 40:3, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.”

And so, on that day, when the people of God were surrounded, God took care of the matter. The armies ran in fear and the dread of God was on all the enemies of Israel. My favorite part of the story is found in the words of 2 Chronicles 20:30, “So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides.”

Perhaps you feel surrounded with physical problems to the North, family problems to the South, financial problems to the East and emotional problems to the West. Hear the words spoken to Jehoshaphat: “The battle isn't yours. It’s God's. Stand and see the salvation of the Lord.” And, like Jehoshaphat, who trusted, obeyed and responded to God’s power, we, too, can experience God’s rest “on all sides.”  

Take to heart the words of Isaiah 40:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” The songwriter said it well: “Because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. Because I know who holds the future. And life is worth the living. Just because He lives." In these challenging days, I especially appreciate the simple words of a quote I once read: “When you’re overwhelmed, give it all to God. Then, resist the urge to interfere.”
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
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