Friday Fix Bible Study: 2 Chronicles 17:1-9 and 2 Chronicles 20
By Kai Barton and edited by Shaniqua Benjamin
This is a written record of a Bible Study session undertaken during youth Friday night discussions and is thereby credited to all of them.
Jehoshaphat succeeded the throne after his father’s death and according to the art of war, this was the time at which kingdoms are considered to be at their weakest. For his first act as King, Jehoshaphat positioned troops in all of the fortified cities in Judah and set garrisons in the land and in the cities of Ephraim, as if preparing for an invasion.
Jehoshaphat walked according to God’s commandments and took delight in the ways of the Lord. As a result of his reverence for God, he took down the altars dedicated to false worship and ensured that appointed leaders and Levites taught the people of his nation the law of the Lord. Jehoshaphat could see the effects of not being obedient to God and not aligning yourself with His will because of the mistakes and dissension that he witnessed from his own father.
He was and is a true testament to the fact that you do not need to be a product of your surroundings or upbringing.
The Lord blessed Jehoshaphat greatly as a reward for his diligence; the people of Judah gave him presents and the people of surrounding nations feared him greatly, with the Philistines and the Arabians bestowing him with great gifts, leading him to amassing an abundance of honour and riches. You need God to protect you, however, God has given you the gift of freewill because he desires to play an active role in your life.
Jump forward to 2 Chronicles 20: 1-17, we see that the Moabites, the Ammonites, and some of the Meunites had joined forces to take down Judah.The Moabites and Ammonites were descended from drunken incest between Lot and his daughters. Following biblical genealogy, Lot was Abraham’s nephew and the Israelites came from the line of Abraham, making the nations indirectly related.
Pastor Smith pointed out that some of the greatest challenges in life will come from those closest to you.
When King Jehoshaphat was informed that his Kingdom was under threat from his enemies who had joined forces to rise up against him, he immediately turned to God and told all of Judah to fast. As did the leader, so did the people. All the people went to the temple to seek God, even the wives and little children. It is never too early to begin serving the Lord and the power of a praying woman is never to be underestimated. Many of the Kings in Israel who served God justly had god-fearing wives or mothers.
Fasting before a battle?
Interestingly, this was not only a battle of the nations but a battle of God’s.
Some may question the logic of fasting when preparing for a war, however, this account reveals to us that instead of depending on your physical power, you build spiritual strength and develop cognitive clarity, resulting in you depending solely on God. It also aids you to practice strength and commitment. As some of you may know, the fast that Daniel and his friends embarked upon was such that they excelled in stature compared to their counterparts (Daniel 1:15).
From this story, we learn that fasting is about bringing your petitions before God and aligning your desires with His. We also discover that it is paramount to know what you are fasting for.
In the end, the Lord matched Judah’s spiritual competence with physical action. Judah lost no men in battle but were still able to prevail against their enemies by standing still and praising the Lord, for all that he is and all that he had done for them in the past. The Lord used their loud praise and worship to confound their enemies and cause them to turn against one another.
What can I do now?
Do not underestimate the power that praising and worshiping the Lord – for all he has done in your life, in the past and in the lives of others – has to strengthen your faith, lift your mood and dissuade the powers of the Devil.
Find a song to help you fight your battles. It can be one with a testimony you relate to or one that includes your favourite scripture. Whatever the case may be, find a song to break the silence or blare over a raging storm that will help to see you through and turn your heart and mind towards God.
Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.
Here is a song to start with: Donnie McClurkin – Stand