Prayer and Deliverance
II Chronicles 20:1-30
Often times we are in the midst of big problem. Problems which if we commit mistake in handling, the results are scary and life changing not only for us, for our love ones, but for other people also. Such is the situation which Jehoshaphat king of Judah were facing.
I. Who is Jehoshaphat?
A. He was the fourth king of Judah, and one of the best. He had a Godly father (2 Chr. 14:2). He set himself to cleanse the land of idolatry ( 2 Chron. 17:6), and banished the sodomites. (1 Kings 22:46).
B. Started a system whereby Levites and priests taught the people the Law of God (2 Chr. 17:7-9).
C. Appointed judges and commanded them to be just (2 Chr. 19:6-9).
D. When nations around him attacked, he trusted in the Lord and gained deliverance. (2 Chr. 20:1-30).
E. He made mistake in forming alliance with wicked kings (1 Kings 22:1-36, 2 Kings 3:4-27).
II. His Enemies (2 Chron. 20:1).
A. Moabites and Ammonites are descendants Lot (Gen 19:38, Deut. 2:19). They were of Semitic origin, and closely related to the Hebrews in blood and language. They showed no kindness to the Israelites when passing through their territory, and therefore they were prohibited from “entering the congregation of the Lord to the tenth generation” (De 23:3). The Moabites and the Ammonites hired Balaam to curse Israel (Deut. 23:4)
Why these people want to attack? The Jews are not the quarrelsome people, and as far as I know they never start any trouble. I honestly think it’s because sons of darkness hate the sons of light. Christ was hated without a cause. After all the things He has done, people still rejects Him. Even until now people still rejects Him. We too will be hated without a cause. (Jn. 15:25).
III. Asking Help from God (2 Chron. 20:1-4)
A. Jehoshaphat was informed that the Ammonites, Moabites, and others are coming to make war with him. It’s just natural for him to fear but in the midst of his fear, he made the right decision.
1. Set himself to seek the Lord (verse 3). Here is a wholehearted seeking for the Lord. Jer. 29:13, 2 Chr. 7:14
2. Proclaimed a fast – this was no ordinary fast. It was a national fast which includes even the children (v. 13). People nowadays neglect fasting.
3. Gathered themselves together (v. 4). United in prayer, united in purpose, whole nation in prayer. Get plenty of sticks and fire will burn stronger.
4. Ask help from the Lord (v. 4). They need help and protection. Jehoshaphat and Judah stands like a beggar knocking at the door and will not go away until they are answered. The Lord encourages us to be persistent in prayer like the widow in Lk. 18:1, and the persistent friend in Lk. 11:5.
IV. His notable Prayer (2 Chr. 20: 5-12).
A. His prayer was respectful, and recognizes God’s sovereignty (v.6). He recognized God’s power, might, majesty, glory, holiness, etc.
B. His prayer reminds God of what he did in the past (v. 7). Past blessings, mercies, help, leads us to hope for present and future ones.
C. He reminds God of their covenant relationship and God’s promises. “Our God”, “God of our fathers” (v. 6, 7, 9). A woman may forget her child and father may abandon his children but not so with the Lord.
D. His prayer was humble. “we have no might… neither know what to do. When we are weak then we are strong. Paul trusted on the Lord and was strengthened (2 Cor. 12:9).
E. His prayer was expectant. “Our eyes are upon Thee”. Judah stood waiting in humble and expectant heart. In our prayers, plead earnestly, trust fully, wait patiently, behave wisely, and glorify God. Look unto Jesus not on the problem (Heb. 12:2).
V. God’s Answer (2 Chron. 14:16)
A. A God’s servant began to prophesy as the Spirit of the Lord came in the midst of the congregation.
B. The Spirit’s Message. Be not afraid, the battle is not yours, but God’s. “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. If God goes to Battle He wins, He never loses. (2 Chron. 32:8, Ex. 14:14, Ex. 15:3)
VI. The Battle (2 Chron. 20: 22)
A. The people of Judah did the singing. Verse 21 says that Jehoshaphat appointed singers unto the Lord and that they should praise the beauty of holiness as they went out before the army, and so say, Praise the Lord for His mercy endureth forever. They were very confident of victory that their singers march before their army.
B. God did the fighting. The children of Ammon and Moab first stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir. They were their allies but why did they fought against each other, I cannot explain.
VII. Blessings to the Victor (2 Chron. 20: 25-30).
A. It is said that the “spoils of the war belongs to the victor” and Judah collected in abundance riches, and precious jewels more than they could carry away.
B. Peace and rest. When the surrounding nations heard how God gave victory to Jehoshaphat they were filled with fear and they did not disturb the people of Judah anymore.
Just like Jehoshaphat we must seek God first in any situation. If we seek Him with all our hearts, we can find him and obtain the blessings and help we need. Come to Christ now, don’t reject Him. He is waiting for you with an open hand.