Second Chronicles 20 Commentary
Whenever Jehoshaphat showed faith, the LORD responded in generosity. And whenever the king sinned by doubt, the LORD responded by rebuking him. Such was the life of Jehoshaphat.
Jehoshaphat’s life is like that of any saint today. It is a complex combination of faith and doubt. We can see faith when Jehoshaphat resolves to inquire of the LORD. There is prayer and fasting. So admirable! But again and sadly, we see doubt when the king makes another alliance with Ahaziah king of apostate Israel.
It is clear from Jehoshaphat’s prayer that the danger was clear and present. Judah was in real trouble. The enemy gathered together in order to exterminate Israel. For some strange reason, it is in moments of great danger that the saint turns to the LORD with earnest prayer.
Whenever saints face problems that they can easily solve, they hardly pray about them. They simply move in and solve these problems. It leaves you with the thought that, probably, a life without any overpowering problems for the saint would be a life without real prayer. A son who only shows up when he is in trouble cannot be a very good son.
Regardless, the LORD intervenes with the famous phrase: “For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” Judah is miraculously saved, once again.
Importantly, though the battle was God’s battle, Judah was commanded to stand firm. “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” the LORD commanded.
This is for many saints today. Stand firm; no shaking; no hiding from the problem. The LORD commands the saint to cast his burdens upon the LORD because the LORD cares. But after casting the problem upon the LORD, let not the saint continue shaking in fear. Instead, let praise flow. Like Jehoshaphat, it is a decision that the saint must make.
The chapter ends on a low point. Jehoshaphat makes another alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel.
Many more sins are committed in the times of blessings than in the times of lack and want. These are times of prayerlessness and wicked alliances. There is much self-indulgence and self-praise. It is actually the rich who are said to have the greatest difficulty entering the kingdom of Heaven. You really wonder why we seek wealth so much.
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