Seeking God in Fearful Times: 2 Chron. 20
Seeking God in Fearful Times: 2 Chron. 20By: Todd Hudnall
2 Chronicles 20 is a significant episode in the history of Judah.
It is great instruction for us in times of sudden impending trouble.
20:1 It happened after this that the
people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against
20:2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming
against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar”
(which is En Gedi).
The enemies of Judah have joined together to bring a sneak attack
20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a
fast throughout all Judah.
It was natural for Jehoshaphat to be afraid but he allowed his
fear to drive Him to seek the Lord. Fasting showed the seriousness of the
20:4 So Judah gathered together to ask help
from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
20:5 ¶ Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the
house of the LORD, before the new court,
20:6 and said: “O LORD God of our fathers, are
You not God in heaven, and do You not
rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no
one is able to withstand You?
20:7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this
land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your
20:8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name,
20:9 “If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will
stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in
our affliction, and You will hear and save.’
20:10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You
would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they
turned from them and did not destroy them—
20:11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession
which You have given us to inherit.
20:12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this
great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our
eyes are upon You.”
This is a powerful prayer, remembering God’s promises and stating
their utter dependence upon Him. “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are
20:13 ¶ Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children,
stood before the LORD.
20:14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah,
the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the
sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.
God brings His answer by the Spirit. Often in times when I’ve not
known what to do, God has brought a word of instruction that turned the
situation. We need to wait on God in times of crisis.
20:15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem,
and you, King Jehoshaphat! 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.
God is telling them not to fear the enemy but to fear Him.
20:16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of
Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of
20:17 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!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the
LORD is with you.”
20:18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his
face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before
the LORD, worshiping the LORD.
20:19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of
the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and
20:20 ¶ So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of
Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “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.”
20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should
sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went
out before the army and were saying:
“Praise the LORD,
For His mercy endures forever.”
Judah turned their back on their enemies and turned their face to
God to worship Him. In doing so their enemy will be defeated.
20:22 ¶ Now when 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.
20:23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of
Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them.
And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to
destroy one another.
Old Testament battles were really spiritual battles and examples
for us. When they praised God, chaos and confusion came into the enemy’s camp.
20:24 ¶ 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.
20:25 ¶ When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they
found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious
jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry
away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much.
God gave them a great reward for their dependence and obedience.
What looked like their worst day turn out to their best day.
20:26 And on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, for there
they blessed the LORD; therefore the name of that place was called The Valley
of Berachah until this day.
20:27 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.
John 16:24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and
you will receive, that your joy may be full.
20:28 So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and
trumpets, to the house of the LORD.
20:29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against
the enemies of Israel.
When they turned to God when they were afraid, it resulted in the
fear of God spreading throughout the countries around them. As His followers,
if we fear God, we need fear nothing else.
If a matter is not serious
enough to pray about, then it is not serious enough to worry about; and if it
is serious enough to pray about, and we have prayed about it, then there is no
need to worry about it.
On this National Day of Prayer we're reminded instead of fretting and worrying over the state of our nation, we are to pray for our nation. Let's pray for a moral and spiritual awakening. (2 Choronicles 7:14)