Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat – Praise Works!
By Harrison Woodard
I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. — Psalm 18:1-3 KJV
Based on 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Jehoshaphat, who was ruler of Judah, was an awesome king. He knew the importance of making God first in his life and in the lives of his people. From the very beginning, he began removing all those silly idol shrines throughout the country. He knew that no god made out of rock or wood could help his people. He urged them all to turn their attention to the one true God. Only God could really help his people. And his efforts paid off in a very big way.
During his reign, their faith was put to the test when three great armies came against them. When word of the invasion reached Jehoshaphat, he immediately declared a fast for all of Judah. He commanded everyone, young and old, to gather at Jerusalem to seek an answer from the Lord.
Jehoshaphat stood among the crowd and prayed,
“O God of our fathers, You are above every other kingdom. You led us out of Egypt and drove out all the inhabitants of this land before us. When we have faced trouble, you have delivered us. Now the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir are coming against your people. These are the same nations that You prevented us from destroying when we left Egypt. We have no strength to face this vast army, but we know You have a plan to deliver us!”
And so all of Jerusalem waited patiently for the Lord to speak.
And then the spirit of the Lord spoke through a Levite named Jahaziel who said,
“Don’t be afraid of this vast army because the battle is not yours, but Mine. Tomorrow, march down to meet them, for I will be with you. You will not fight this battle. You will stand still and see My salvation.”
And then Jehoshaphat and all of Jerusalem bowed to the ground and worshipped the Lord. And the Levites stood up and praised the Lord.
The next morning they got up early and prepared to march out to meet the invaders.
Jehoshaphat addressed the army, “Listen to me Judah and residents of Jerusalem; Trust in the Lord your God and you will never fail. Believe His prophets and you will always prosper!”
He then appointed a choir to march before the army and praise God. As they marched they sang, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy lasts forever!”
And as soon as they started praising God, confusion erupted in the invaders’ camps. Two of the armies turned on the other and destroyed it. Then, they turned on each other until every soldier was killed.
When Jehoshaphat’s army reached a hill overlooking the invaders’ camps, there was nothing but dead soldiers as far as they could see. None had escaped.
Jehoshaphat’s army sacked the enemies’ camp and found precious jewels, clothes, weapons, animals and food in abundance. It took them three days to remove all the loot. On the fourth day they gathered in the valley and praised the Lord for the great victory. They returned to Jerusalem with joy, playing trumpets and harps in celebration.
The rest of Jehoshaphat’s reign was very peaceful. All the nearby countries heard how God had fought for Judah. They knew that any attack on Judah was an attack on God, and no man can fight against the one true God.
Some Things To Think About
Satan had inspired these three great armies to attack and destroy Judah. He thought that he could thwart God’s plans by destroying His chosen people. What satan didn’t realize was that Jehoshaphat still had faith in God. He had worked very hard to bring his people back to the Lord. By the time the enemy was near, they weren’t afraid. They simply went to God and sought His protection. After all, they had a covenant with Him (Deuteronomy 20:2-4, 28:7, Exodus 14:13-14). It was an ironclad promise that no army could prevail against them. As long as they believed God and trusted His promises, they would never lose and never be afraid. If you make Jesus the Lord of your life, that same covenant belongs to you.
God told Judah that they would march out to meet the invaders, but that they wouldn’t have to lift a finger. He loves His people so much that He is willing to fight the battles for them! He loves you that much too. Are you reading the Bible and getting to know God? He wants to fight your battles too!
The day Judah’s army marched out they could have easily forgotten what God had said and tried to figure out a way to win the battle. They could have been overcome with fear or pride and been destroyed by the enemy. But instead they marched out confidently knowing that the victory was theirs! They released their faith in joyful praise, which unleashed God’s power on their behalf. It takes real faith to praise God when things look bad. But real faith released through praise will open the windows of heaven and overcome any difficulty.
Faith Building Exercise
Faith comes by continually hearing God’s Word. When you confess (speak) God’s Word out loud you are planting God’s incorruptible seed in your heart (spirit). In time, God’s Word will take root in your spirit (heart) and produce a plentiful harvest of all God’s blessings and promises in your life.
Confess these out loud every day until you believe them in your spirit. They will build your faith. Look up these verses and read them as they appear in your Bible. You can always trust God’s Word because He cannot lie.
I am lifted up above the enemies that surround me. I offer sacrifices of joy. I sing and make music to the Lord.
God’s goodness is so great! He has stored up great blessings for me because I honor Him. While everyone watches, He pours them out on me. He hides me in the shelter of His presence. He protects me from those that conspire against me and falsely accuse me. Praise the Lord! He shows me his wonderful love. He keeps me safe when I am under attack. When I pray, He hears me and rescues me. I Love the Lord and I am loyal to Him and He protects me. I am strong and courageous because my hope is in the Lord!
I sing and make music to the Lord. He deserves my praise. I praise Him in song and with musical instruments. The Word of the Lord is true. He can always be trusted. His unfailing love surrounds me!
I put my hope in my Savior and my God. I will always praise Him.
I sacrifice praise to God and keep my promises to Him. I call upon Him when I am in trouble. He delivers me and I praise Him.
I praise God’s promises! I trust Him and I am not afraid. No one can harm me.
(Psalm 56:4, 10-11)
I trust in the Lord. He surrounds me now and forevermore.
I go out in joy and I am led in peace. The hills burst into song before me and the trees clap their hands.
I live my life worthy of the Gospel of Christ. I stand firm in the Spirit and work with one mind for the faith of the Gospel. I am not intimidated or afraid of my adversaries. This is proof of their destruction and my salvation from God.
The peace of God guards my heart and mind.
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