Teaching on 2 Chronicles 20:1-22

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Pressing Into God and Obedience to What God Is Trying To Do In Your Life

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Background Info

Second Chronicles, which extends 1 Chronicles’ history of Judah, was written sometime after people began to return from the babylonian exile in 538 B.C.

The purpose was to perhaps encourage the returned exiles
The ‘Chronicler’ is perhaps trying to encourage the returned exiles, and recalls the greatness of solomon’s reign.
Most of the book, however, focuses on Judha’s fall into sin which had led to the exile.
Judah had several godly kings, especially Hezikiah and Josiah, but it still declined into sin.
Still, God remained faithful to his covenant people, and as the book closes it jumps ahead several years, recording the decree of Cyrus that alowed the Jewish exiles to return to their promised land.
The author is unknown for the book, although many scholers have thought that Ezra was the princilple writer.

Jehoshaphat Hears Of A Forth Coming Battle

Jehoshaphat Hears Of A Forth Coming Battle

Three armies came against Jehoshaphat for battle, this seemed like an impossible situation for Jehoshaphat to win.
Jehoshaphat was afraid as this was a life or death situation for himself and his people.
Have you ever faced a battle that you thought was impossible to win that made you afraid?
Did you win the battle wether it was with God or not?
If it was without God, do you think the battle would have been made easier with Him?

Jehoshaphat Seeks The Lord

V1 - 3
Jehoshaphat set his intentions on seeking God in the middle of this desperate situation.
Jehoshaphat set his face to see Yahweh, he was showing his faithfulness to God as he did in Chronicles 17:4 - 18:4
Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for all the people in Judah and Jerusalem.
People in the OT often fasted in times of high anxiety - it was a way of showing humility or repentance.
David fasted when he pleaded for the life of his child in 2 sam 12:16 and Ezra also proclaimed a fast when he asked God for a safe journey in and the city of Nineveh fasted in response to Jonah’s prophecy
In Verse 3 - Lord is the name Yahweh see below
S3068, 3069, 3070, 3071, 3072, 3073, 3074 TWOT484a GK3378 6823 i.e. יַהְוֶה n.pr.dei Yahweh, the proper name of the God of Israel
Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 217). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
When facing a difficult situation, do you seek God as a first response or a last resort?
Are you intentional to include God in all that you do?
Have you ever considered the possibility of fasting as part of humility towards God?

Abraham Your Friend

Jehoshaphat refers to God’s past acts of deliverance. This would remind the people of Judah and Jerusalem of God’s power and also to encourage God to act similarly again.
Abraham Your friend - In Order to become Gods friend we need to do more than just honor God, We need to follow the example of Abraham to become His friend.
Abrahams friendship with God was legendary and was remembered by the following verses
23and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.
6And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
7Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?
8But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; 1
We need to be ecouraged by the testimonies of what we see in the bible because they show that our God has moved and worked in favour of his people in the past, so if he has done it once he can do it again:-
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever
Abraham was called a friend of God because of his actions, would you consider yourself a friend of God?
Our Eyes Are On You

Our Eyes Are On You

V12 -13
Our eyes are upon you. A statement showing Jehoshaphat’s reliance on God.
Our eyes need to be on God wether we know what to do or not at all times. Jehoshaphat admitted that he didn’t know what to do in this pereless situation, but he knew that God had moved from the people before.
We must come before the Lord like Children, and be married to Him as the bride.
Have you ever cried out to God, ‘I don’t know what to do’?
Did you keep your eyes on Him or was your response one of retraction?

Jahaziel Becomes A Profit

God raises up a Profit in the way of Jahaziel.
Jahaziel was a Levite from the descendants of Asaph, one of the families in charge of the temple music (see ).
Levite from the descendants of Asaph One of the families in charge of the temple music (see ).
It was bold of Jahaziel to address the assembly in the midst of King Jehosaphat but God compelled Him to speak up to the people of Judah and Jerusalem
Have you ever been bold enough to help someone with a word of wisdom even though it could have got you into trouble? ie by putting a friendship on the line.
If not, do you regret not having a bold response?
If you have been bold like Jahaziel, how did the situation turn out?

Gods Response

V15 - 17
V 15 God speaks through Jahaziel and tells King Jehoshaphat ‘do not be afraid..... for the battle is not yours but God’s’
V 17 This is a full on clear instruction from the Lord.
20:17 Take your stand! Stand Just as Moses encouraged the people to “stand firm and see the salvation of Yahweh” as they came out of Egypt (), Jahaziel encourages them to stand firm and wait for God to fight for them.
20:17 Take your stand! Stand Just as Moses encouraged the people to “stand firm and see the salvation of Yahweh” as they came out of Egypt (), Jahaziel encourages the people to stand firm and wait for God to fight for them.

Jehoshaphat Instructs The People

v 20 Faith in action!!! Jehoshaphat led the people of Judah and Jerusalem out into the wilderness and stood firm just as God has instructed them to do.
20:17 Take your stand! Stand Just as Moses encouraged the people to “stand firm and see the salvation of Yahweh” as they came out of Egypt (), Jahaziel encourages them to stand firm and wait for God to fight for them.
Take strong note that when God tells you to do something, do it
But how do we do this?
Have you followed through on an instruction from God before?
How did you respond to His call?
How did the call end from God?

God Keeps His Promise

V22 - 23
God in action, doing as he promises.
God moves as they praise him with song - This was Gods que to move as the people of Judah and Jerusalem believed in what was said through the profit Jahaziel.
This is a repeated action as in
13:16 and God gave them into their hand Because of their faithfulness, God gave Judah and Abijah victory over the larger army of Jeroboam (see note on v. 18).
Chronicles often emphasizes God’s sovereignty in war. Victory in battle is attributed to God (). The kings or commanders in battle often show their reliance on God rather than their military’s strength (). Several times God’s hand is evident in the specific events of a battle (; ). God often rewards righteous kings with peace (14:6; 15:15; 20:30; ).
God keeps his promises as he has shown us from the beginning of time.
Is there a promise God has made to you but he hasn’t kept?

Things I see and how I should apply the things I see

Jehoshaphat was told of some forth coming trouble, his 1st reaction was to be afraid his second was to seek god
I should seek God 1st when trouble arrises
He declared that the people of the kingdom would fast alongside with him to seek help from God
If my problem is big I should consider fasting and praying over it
Jehoshaphat stood in the temple and prayed to God, Jehoshaphat reminded God that he had helped his people previously
I need to remind God from scripture that he has made a similar problem Go away
Jehoshaphat declares that he doesn’t know what to do before God because the problem is to big for himself and the people to deal with but as part of the declaration he states that they are keeping their eyes on God for a solution to the problem
I need to declare to God that he is Lord in all my life and I am ultimately keeping my eyes on Him no matter what happens
God heard Judah and Jerusalems prayer and used an ordinary guy who worked at the temple to tell the people what to do
I need to listen for answers to my prayers from people around me - It may be God speaking to me through them
God reassures Judah and Jerusalem through the use of words to not be afraid, twice
I need to take heart that God has the situation in the palm of His hand and everything will work out for good and I have no need to be afraid
Jehosaphat and all the people worshiped God and they praised Him loudly
I need to press in and worship God - wether this be at life group or church but I need fellow believers around me to share my situation with
Jehoshphat follows Gods instructions that were given through the profit and declares to the people to believe in God and the promise he has made to them
I need to obey God in the instructions he gives to me
The people were instructed by Jehoshapat to pray to God and give thanks for His steadfast love that endures forever
I need to press in and thank God in all things
The people then broke out in song and praise - God moved and fulfilled His promise to His people and the enemy was destroyed
I need to worship God and put him above my problem in faith
The people and Jehoshaphat sought after God they:-
Prayed and reminded God of what he had previously done
Profisised over the situation
Worshiped and praised God
Used their faith to do what God said
Declaired Gods instructions
Prayed & Gave thanks to God
Worshiped & Praised God
Gave thanks to God
4 x Prayer
1 x Fasted
1 x Profisised
2 x Worshiped and praised God
1 x Declared Gods instructions over their situation
1 x Stepped out in Faith
When the heat is on in a situation it is easy to panic and crumble but God gave us feelings for a reason just like Jehoshaphat.
We shouldn’t ignore feeling but we should use our feelings to our advantage.
Feelings that we have are a good indicator that we should be remembering God in the midst of wheatever is happening
When we feel isolated, when we feel lonely, when we feel panic, despair, persecution, hatred, shame and fear we should seek God
When we feel love, when we feel joy, when we feel happiness, peace, thankfulness or just the fact that somebody remembered us we should seek God
All to often we cruise because things are OK, life seems normal - we can’t see God working for us so we don’t ‘see’ any reson to seek him and really press in.
We back away from God because that is our first reaction to a negative situation - it is to hide away because of fear.
We stumble in our walk with Jesus because we can’t admit to our friends that our journey with Him isn’t as perfect as we make out and we need help for fear of being judged.
If we carefully place all our cards on the table the reason why we don’t have that perfect walk that we want with Jesus is, It comes down to us and the priority we place on putting Him first in our lives.
Our journey can be lobsided and weighted unevenly in a perticular area of our walk because we focus on the easy fun parts of the journey - praying is easy for some so we focus on that, worship is easy for others so we focus on that part because we think it will do and get us through, or we disalusion ourselves and convince ourselves that this is ok this is normal christianity
Our journey can be lobsided and weighted unevenly in a perticular area of our walk because we focus on the easy fun parts of the journey - praying is easy for some so we focus on that, worship is easy for others so we focus on that part because we think it will do and get us through, or we disalusion ourselves and convince ourselves that this is ok this is normal christianity
I am the first to admit that sometimes its hard to follow the Lord because it takes effort and comitment beyond my human capabilities. But I can also say that when I have needed God to come through on what I’ve required of God either in prayer, study or fellowship the results have been there for me to see.
In prayer we miss out on what God often says to us because we can’t hear Him - and the result of this is we make wrong choices - we panic
But he can’t bring out of us what isn’t in there in the first place - which is an understanding of sound doctrine from scripture - Jehoshaphat knew God had moved for Judah before, so he sought Him to do it again
Jesus died for us and one of thoses privalidges he paid for was direct access to the Father, yes we talk at Him but our ears are turned to mute because we don’t hear what he says to us through scripture, because we don’t read the book that God wrote for us.
Did you catch that - God wrote a book for us and we neglect to read what he wants to say to us - yet we yearn to have a relationship with Him
We lack in our christian walk because as a group of men we let individual pride and selfishness overtake our love for eachother and our ability to nurture eachother in Him - Jehosaphat let a whole country know that he didn’t know what to do - He humbled himself before them. He could have let His pride take over and sent His armies into a futile battle, but he was wiser than that and he went after God first.
We over burden some people with our troubles that could be fixed by seeking God first and finding out what God says to us directly insted of seeking council - Jehoshaphat went to God for His answer not His council of advisors
Most of our issues come by not admitting like Jehoshphat that we don’t know what to do in our individual walks but we know our eyes need to be on Him
The story of Jehoshaphat shows us a testimony of a King who didn’t know what to do in the face of impending slaughter of himself and his people. We need to be steely like Jehoshphat and admit we got it wrong before God and we didn’t know what to do. But with this scripture we can apply it to ourselves and make a difference.
We should
We are not the only set of broken individuals in the world who have got out of whack in our walk, but we can be strengthened in the testimonies of others who have realigned themselves with God.
Life groups / Home groups / Cell groups have been a focus of the Christian walk for the past 35 years when Rick Warren the Saddleback Pastor introduced a model into the church that echoed the early church fathers, where followers of Christ would come to assemble in someones home.
The early christians would praise God in worship, pray with eachother and for eachother. They would welcome new followers of christ and teach them his ways. They would share OT scripture and show where the messiah was pictured in those scriptures and how he had come to forgive them of their sins, and they had Hope in Jesus through faith.
This is what I propose Brothers
They helped eachother by responding to the call of God sharing eachothers skills, giving eachother a hand up in their walk and not a hand out to get what they wanted.
I want to appeal to you all individually and as a group that - Life church Golborne, echo this model that God proposed.
We should identify what we need as individuals to ease the burden of our walk.
Prayer - Bible reading - Bible Study
We need to be intentional about change and not just pay lip service
We need to be accountable to eachother about the changes we need to make as individuals
We should help eachother with scripture, theology and unpacking any bible related topic that we don’t understand. There is no shame in saying we don’t understand Gods word, even though we feel like we should
We need to edify eachother, paul speaks so much about encouragement
We need to tell our testimonys of how God has moved for us since the last time we met as a group, no matter how small that may be
We should actively seek to grow in numbers as a group
We need to press in when times are tough and let us help eachother with that as a group of men
I see in us the potential to be a strong group of christians that can lead and inspire others wether that be leading in your own home or at work or just with a group of friends.
I see christians that could be on fire for God by being intentional and accountable, that could revive golborne and the surounding areas for him but, it all starts with us as individuals. and your decision to seek him with everything you have just like Jehosaphat did 3000 years ago.
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