Thursday, May 22, 2008

The battle is not yours, but the Lord’s

2 Chronicles 20

2Ch 20:1
After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat.

2Ch 20:2
Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, "A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar." (This was another name for En-gedi.)

2Ch 20:3
Jehoshaphat was alarmed by this news and sought the Lord for guidance. He also gave orders that everyone throughout Judah should observe a fast.

2Ch 20:4
So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord.

2Ch 20:5
Jehoshaphat stood before the people of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord.

2Ch 20:6
He prayed, "O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!

2Ch 20:7
O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham?

2Ch 20:8
Your people settled here and built this Temple for you.

2Ch 20:9
They said, `Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, disease, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.'

2Ch 20:10
"And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them.

2Ch 20:11
Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance.

2Ch 20:12
O our God, won't you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help."

2Ch 20:13
As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children,

2Ch 20:14
the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.

2Ch 20:15
He said, "Listen, King Jehoshaphat! Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don't be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God's.

2Ch 20:16
Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.

2Ch 20:17
But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord's victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!"


2Ch 20:18
Then King Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord.

2Ch 20:19
Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.

2Ch 20:20
Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, "Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed."

2Ch 20:21
After consulting the leaders of the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: "Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!"

2Ch 20:22
At the moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.


2Ch 20:23
The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had finished off the army of Seir, they turned on each other.

2Ch 20:24
So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, there were dead bodies lying on the ground for as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.

2Ch 20:25
King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing,[fn4] and other valuables-more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all!

2Ch 20:26
On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing,[fn5] which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.

2Ch 20:27
Then they returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, full of joy that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies.

2Ch 20:28
They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets and proceeded to the Temple of the Lord.

2Ch 20:29
When the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them.

2Ch 20:30
So Jehoshaphat's kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

2Ch 20:31
So Jehoshaphat ruled over the land of Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi.

2Ch 20:32
Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the ways of his father, Asa. He did what was pleasing in the Lord's sight.

Blessings to all!
CJ

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