2 Chronicles 20:1-30 – I’m Gonna See A Victory!

Posted: September 10, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 20:1-30

Judah’s War with Moab, Ammon and Edom

Opening Illustration/Comments

There’s a Christian contemporary song that is popular currently sung by Elevation Worship entitled, “See A Victory” and its lyrics go as follows:

The weapon may be formed but it won’t prosper

When the darkness falls it won’t prevail

Cause the God I serve knows only how to triumph

My God will never fail

My God will never fail

Chorus

I’m gonna see a victory

I’m gonna see a victory

For the battle belongs to You Lord

I’m gonna see a victory

I’m gonna see a victory

For the battle belongs to You Lord

There’s power in the mighty name of Jesus

Every war He wages He will win

I’m not backing down from any giant

I know how this story ends

I know how this story ends

Repeat Chorus

Bridge

You take what the enemy meant for evil

And You turn it for good

You turn it for good

Repeat Bridge 2x

Repeat Chorus 4x

Repeat Bridge 2x

Trusting in the Lord to fight our battles is a tough one on so many levels. First, it sounds kind of defeatist or ambivalent doesn’t it? Are we to just sit back and let God fight our battles for us and what does that mean? All the control freaks out there are freaking out over this, I bet! All the couch potatoes out there are probably saying, “Now, we’re talking, Lord!” I think that’s the thing here is that God will fight our battles for us but we are not to go home and sit on the couch and wait for the results. God wants to be a participant and witness to what He is doing in us, through us and for us. In this passage, we see a key element of God’s fighting for us is at verse 15 where Jahaziel says, “Listen, all you people of Judah” and they are reminded again by Jehoshaphat in verse 20 where he says, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God and will be able to stand firm!” It is clear from these two declarations within this passage that we, like the Judeans, must stop and listen to what God is saying to us through the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. That way we don’t tear off into a reaction to a problem or temptation under our own power. What we think is the best solution may not be God’s desire for us. In order for us to have God fight our battles for us, we must first stop and listen for His voice in our soul. And we must make sure what that voice is telling us is consistent with God’s nature and with His Word. Sometimes, we confuse what our ego is telling us with what God’s will for our lives is. We must always check what we hear in our heads and from others as to what to do is consistent with the nature of God and with God’s Word. But in order to make that discernment, we first must stop and listen and seek God’s voice.

The next aspect of this is to obey what the voice of God through the Holy Spirit is telling us. It’s one thing to hear what God is telling us to do, check it against the nature of God and His Word, but it is another to obey. There are so many things in life where we know from God as to what to do in a situation but we toss it aside and do what we had in mind because (1) it seems the easier course of action and (2) it preserves our human pride. Even Christ followers are not immune to the bullheadedness syndrome – doing what we want to do anyway even when God has spoken to us through our soul or through the words of trusted and more or equally mature Christ followers. Sometimes, what God asks us to do proactively or reactively in a situation is the tougher road. Sometimes, we don’t want to do the harder thing to solve a situation but in order for God to fight our battles for us we must trust him and then we must obey Him when He tells us what to do.

Then, even when we don’t know what’s going to happen and even when God’s solution sounds incredibly weird or incredibly impossible, we must not be afraid. We follow His plan of action and we may have questions about the wisdom of the course of action (that’s just the natural part of being a human) but we must not be afraid. We know that we believe in a mighty God. We must let Him be just that. When we are afraid, it is saying that we do not trust the Lord. Sure, like I said, we can say, “I don’t know about this Lord…but let’s go ahead with this…” When we refuse to act on what God has told us to do because of fear, then, that means we really don’t trust Him. It means that His Sovereignty is meaningless to us, ultimately. We say we trust in a mighty God who is the Creator of All Things and who has dominion over all things and who existed before all of creation (including Satan), but do we really believe that? Do not be afraid to do what the Lord asks of you in the battles of our lives. Believe in a mighty, all-powerful Creator God.

It is that idea of not trying to do God’s job for Him in the trials and tribulations of our lives that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 20:1-30. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

20 After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites[a] declared war on Jehoshaphat. 2 Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom[b] is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea.[c] They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)

3 Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. 4 So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.

5 Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. 6 He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! 7 O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? 8 Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. 9 They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war,[d] plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’

10 “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. 11 Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

13 As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, 14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.

15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”

18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.

20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”

21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:

“Give thanks to the Lord;

    his faithful love endures forever!”

22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.

25 King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing,[e] and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all! 26 On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing,[f] which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.

27 Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies. 28 They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the Lord.

29 When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. 30 So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Jehoshaphat’s prayer contained several essential ingredients. First, he committed the situation to God, acknowledging that only God could save Judah. Second, he sought God’s favor because his people were the people of God. Third, he acknowledged God’s sovereignty over the current situation. Fourth, he praised God’s glory and took comfort in His promises to the Israelites. Fifth and finally, he humbled himself before the Lord and expressed his complete dependence on God for deliverance and not himself.

As the enemy bore down on Judah, God spoke through Jahaziel who told the Judeans that they battle was the Lord’s battle and not theirs so they should not be afraid. We may not have to fight in a military battle (though some do, but most of us do not) but every day we battle temptations, pressures, and the spirits of evil who want us to rebel against God. However, we must remember that we have the Holy Spirit living in us. If we ask for God’s help when we face struggles, God will fight for us just as did for the nation of Judah. God knows whether we are fully devoted to Him or not and He works all situations for good for those who love, honor, and obey Him (see Romans 8:28). Weapons of evil formed against us will not prosper (see Isaiah 54:17) for those who prostrate themselves before the Lord and seek shelter under His wings (see Psalm 91:4). We will have victory in the manner which God desires for us. It may not take the form of victory that we see in our human limitations but we trust that the Lord sees the grander, long-term picture of our lives.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that we are not alone in the trials, temptations, and tribulations of our lives. So often, we go off on our own trails in response to what happens in our lives – even as Christ followers. Maturity in Christ comes from really trusting Him to fight our battles for us. That does not mean that we sit on the sidelines and watch God do something. God requires that we participate in our lives. Then, how do we participate in God fighting our battles for us? We have to do three things. First, we have to stop and listen to His voice. Second, we have to obey what His Spirit is telling us to do – even when it’s the opposite of what we want to tear off and do. Third, we must not be afraid to follow through with what God is telling us to do. Then, in the humility of prostrating ourselves before God and doing what He tells us do (no matter if it seems weird, unlikely, and against our ego-driven needs), we will see the victory that God will bring to the battles of our lives. Because the God we serve knows only how to prevail.

Amen and Amen.

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