Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-23.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah reigned over Israel faithfully, but not perfectly (2 Chr. 20:32-33). Through Moses, God had charged all of his kings to lead His people in righteousness, specifically according to His Word (Deut. 17:14-20). It was through faithfulness to the Word of God that Israel would be blessed and enjoy God’s dwelling in their midst, bringing peace to all of the people. At the time of Jehoshaphat, Israel’s peace was being threatened by attacks from their enemies (2 Chr. 20:1-2).
As Israel’s king, Jehoshaphat leads Israel to the throne of God for help revealing many wonderful truths for us to meditate and reflect upon.
Main Thought/Theme: By God’s power and wonderful steadfast love, Israel’s peace is secured through victory by a King who who conquers and comforts God’s people by trusting in God and His Word.
We as God’s people need a king. “And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly…” (2 Chr. 20:5a). We often forget that we as people are tainted by sin in a way that makes us overly self-sufficient and selfishly individualistic, and we are in need of a brave and courageous leader who will lead us faithfully to the Promised Land according to God’s Word. We are taught in the Old Testament that one of the reasons for Israel’s defeats and falls into sinful misery was because they had no righteous king to lead them according to God’s Word (“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” – Judges 21:25).
We as God’s people are often spiritually attacked by God’s and our enemies, threatening our peace in God’s presence. “A great multitude is coming against you…We are powerless against this great horde…” (2 Chr. 20:2,12). In a world of sin and misery, on pilgrimage to the Promised Land, we have yet to fully realize the permanent peace that has been promised for us who live in God’s presence. We need a leader who can protect and defend us against all forms of evil attacks. We need a leader who can bring us permanently into a state of peace and into God’s presence. God in His sovereign rule ordains for our spiritual enemies to attack us so that we might be humbled, and utterly depend upon Him alone. In ourselves, we are proud, but when attacked by our enemies, we are reminded of deep indwelling sins and weaknesses that still remain within our hearts, and our need to be constantly watchful and sober, trusting God and His Word. We as God’s people long for God to give us “rest all around” (2 Chr. 20:30b).
We as God’s people need a king to teach us to seek God for His power and grace. “…O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you…We will stand before…you…and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save” (2 Chr. 20:6,9). In ourselves, we are sluggish to do good, and we are slothful in spiritual matters (“The spirit is willing, the flesh is weak” for God’s people). We need a king who will pray for us, one who will live to lead us regularly into God’s presence, and will seek the power of God on our behalf so that we can stand and be delivered.
We as God’s people need one who can gather us together in a community to stand together. “…All Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children…And all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD” (2 Chr. 20:13,18b). God has created His people as a community, the Church, His holy assembly, so that we might seek after Him together in dependence upon the great king that God has provided to us! God’s people are His chosen race and possession, His holy nation, His royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9). We are called together to be witnesses to God’s great power (“And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel” -2 Chr. 20:29; cf. Acts 5:5b,11; 9:31).
We as God’s people need a king, but one greater than King Jehoshaphat. God has provided His people a king greater than King Jehoshaphat! Though King Jehoshaphat was faithful to a certain extent, He died (2 Chr. 20:31-34), and eventually all of Israel was driven from the Promised Land because of their sins against God. Jehoshaphat could never rescue and deliver God’s people from their spiritual enemies of sin, death, hell, and the devil. But one greater than Jehoshaphat could—and did!
King Jesus came in the fullness of the times to conquer all of God’s and our enemies, and to bring perfect righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit through His eternal rule and reign! (Rom. 14:17). Jesus’s reign is an eternal reign that will never end. In Him, all of God’s people have peace from their enemies, and one who will both conquer and comfort!
In Jesus, we have a perfect king who rules and reigns perfectly according to God’s will, and grants us the grace and His Spirit to acknowledge Him, and to submit to Him in love. One of the great treasures of Christ’s resurrection and ascension-enthronement at God’s right hand is the gift of the fullness of Christ’s Spirit to dwell within His people (Acts 2:33-34). King Jesus subdues our hearts, and gives us strong faith to submit to His rule according to His word. Is your heart submitted to Him? He is so wonderful and glorious as our king (Psa. 45), let us worship and serve Him, giving Him our all!
In Jesus, we have a Savior who has dealt the definitive death blow against His and our enemies, and who continues to rule and reign over God’s people, protecting us from dangers, and upholding us by His Spirit in the peace He has purchased for us with God. When you fear, do you put your focus upon Christ, and remind yourself that you have nothing to fearful about? (2 Tim. 1:7).
In Jesus, we have a Savior, God and man, who sits at God’s right hand in glory, who grants to us His Spirit so that we might seek the Father’s power and grace in our time of need. Do you desire to seek Him, knowing that He truly cares and keeps all of His promises to His people? (Heb. 2:14-18; 4:14-16).
In Jesus, we have one who has gathered us together in a community to stand together as the church. We have been baptized by Christ through His one Spirit into one church and fellowship (1 Cor. 12:13).
Christ-Centered, Application for God’s people: What we learn from 2 Chronicles 20:1-23 in our union with Christ our King and Conqueror:
- In our union with Christ, let us together as the people of God, seek the LORD in our fears, so that we can find confidence and courage to stand strong in the LORD’s power, not our own (2 Chr. 20:3-4; Zech. 4:6; Eph. 6:10-18; 2 Cor. 12:7-10). This is an important part of putting to death our tendencies to self-sufficiency and individualism. Confessing our fears to the LORD can bring about a strong faith by God’s grace as we turn from them to Him who is our conquering and comforting King!
- In our union with Christ, let us pray to God, remembering His rule and reign over creation, and especially over every detail of history, and His care for our lives in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Chr. 20:6-7). Let us be confident that when we come as a congregation to our Heavenly Father through Jesus’s mediation, by His Spirit, He will hear us and save us (2 Chr. 20:9). Let us humbly turn from our weaknesses, to gaze upon God’s strength to us and for us in Christ Jesus, saying with Israel:
“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you”
(2 Chr. 20:12; Heb. 12:2a: “Looking to Jesus”; cf. 2 Cor. 3:18).
- In our union with Christ, let us be confident that as God’s people, when we gather together as families in the assembly, in God’s special presence for worship, God will be faithful to send His Spirit upon the minister/servant called to make His will known through preaching (as Jahaziel in 2 Chr. 20:13-17). Let us expect as God’s people, assembled as Christ’s Church, especially on the Lord’s Day, that God will speak specifically to us in our situations (see 2 Chr. 20:15-17), and give us specific directions for us as a church corporately, and as individuals, and to all age groups (“…All Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives and their children”– 2 Chr. 20:13).
- In our union with Christ, let us pray for God’s Spirit to be upon our minister of the word that he would speak God’s words boldly and fearlessly and accurately (2 Chr. 20:15-17; cf. Eph. 6:18-20). May His preaching be God’s very word, focused on God’s power and grace revealed in Christ, comforting our souls with God’s covenantal faithfulness (“Listen…Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed…for the battle is not yours but God’s”– 2 Chr. 20:15).
- In our union with Christ, let us worship together in gratitude for God’s powerful promises and good word toward His people (“[The people] fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD…”). Let us properly respond to God with praise of His ruling and reigning King Jesus (2 Chr. 20:18-19). In light of Jesus’s complete victory over our spiritual enemies (2 Chr. 20:15b: “…The battle is not yours but God’s”; cf. Rom. 8:34-39), let us offer ourselves in sacrifice to Him, serving Him wholeheartedly in dependence upon His powerful Spirit (Rom. 12:1-2).
- In our union with Christ, let us ask God for greater faith in His word, in order that the salvation that has been accomplished by Christ our great king will be more deeply understood and believed by us as His people at KCPC. Let the peace of God that passes all understanding, and the joy of the LORD that is our strength be the results of faith in God’s Word, knowing that in Christ that our king says to us exuberantly:
“Here me…[people of God]! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe His prophets, and you will succeed!” (2 Chr.20:20).
- In Christ, let us give thanks to the LORD, for His steadfast love endures forever! (2 Chr. 20:21b). Jesus Christ has conquered and comforted us through absolute and perfect trust in God and His Word! Glory to our king!
Conclusion: God has been so faithful to us at KCPC by providing to us Jesus Christ, a wonderful and glorious king who has conquered all of His and our enemies, and who sits at God’s hand to provide the fullness of His blessing of comfort and peace to us through His Holy Spirit!
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” – ESV Romans 8:35-37