Jehoshaphat was king over the southern kingdom of Judah between 873 – 848 BC. He was a good king in the sight of the LORD.
During his reign the people of Moab and Ammon, consisting of ‘a great multitude,’ from the east of the Jordan River plotted to come to battle against Judah and Jerusalem.
When told of the plot Jehoshaphat and his people took immediate action. No time for dithering or attempting to build a coalition.
“So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 20:4
The very people that God had spared earlier, shortly after the Exodus, were now planning to attack His people.
“And now, here are the people…whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt…rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit.” 2 Chronicles 20:10-11
God responded to Jehoshaphat through His prophet Jahaziel.
“Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’” 2 Chronicles 20:15b-17a
Jehoshaphat took God at His word.
“Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 2 Chronicles 10:20b
After Jehoshaphat’s proclamation, he appointed some of the people to sing praises to the LORD, i.e. ‘Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever.’
“Now then they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.” 2 Chronicles 20:22-23
God utterly confused the armies who had in mind to destroy His people. Without Jehoshaphat raising a finger; only his voice in prayer, the enemy was totally obliterated from within their own ranks.
By the time Jehoshaphat arrived on the scene the enemy had been destroyed.
“So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.” 2 Chronicles 20:24
Jehoshaphat then led his people back to Jerusalem with tremendous spoil which had taken three days to gather.
“Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies.” 2 Chronicles 20:27
Another significant outcome of the battle was the effect it had on the other nations that may have had aggressive intentions towards God’s people.
“And the fear of God was on all… those countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 20:29
Several thoughts come to mind relative to the present challenges in the Middle East. What are the chances that either Israel’s present prime minister or the leader of their closest ally, America, has employed the same strategy as Jehoshaphat by calling on God to fight their battles and destroy their enemies?
Many think that a loving God would not be directly involved in such violence as war. That is very myopic.
Beginning in the 14th chapter of Genesis through the 19th chapter of Revelation, God is revealed as going to battle for His people.
There will be wars between the offspring of Isaac and the offspring of Ishmael until Christ returns to put an end to it.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war…” Revelation 19:11
The enemies of Israel had best take notice.
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