In Chapter 20, a major horde of invaders from Moab and Ammon comes at Judah to completely overwhelm and eliminate them. These are the same people whom Joshua and his army evaded in disobedience instead of driving them out according to God’s specific command – no enemy of God is to be left in the Promised Land given to Israel as an inheritance by God.
The horde is so massive that Jehoshaphat realizes Judah has no chance of withstanding the coming onslaught. Is God’s judgment at hand?
When a nation is under attack, what should it do?
Good question for America right now, under attack from within and from without. Is God’s judgment imminent? Can we survive if Russia, China, Iran and North Korea all attack at once? ISIS is all around us, waiting…waiting… Is there anything we can do?
Yes there is.
Here is what Jehoshaphat does, before disaster can strike:
- The king “sets his face” to seek the Lord, declaring a fast throughout the country.
- The entire nation assembles in perfect unity to seek the Lord.
- The newly assembled court of judges meets in the capital city.
- The king prays aloud on behalf of the entire nation:
- God you are in heaven, ruling over all nations, none can withstand you!
- You gave this land to the descendants of Abraham as an inheritance.
- We have built sanctuaries in it for you.
- If disaster comes upon us, we will cry out in repentance knowing you will hear and save us!
- We call the enemy by name – Moab and Ammon, worshippers of foreign gods!
- Our God, won’t you please execute your judgment on them? Our eyes are on you!
A godly leader turns publicly to God in perfect unity and faith!
Then an amazing thing happens: the Holy Spirit comes upon one of the holy men, who declares:
“Do not be afraid. The battle is not yours, but God’s! Hear me! You will not need to fight this battle! Just stand firm, hold your position, and see the restoration of the Lord on your behalf” (20:15-17, paraphrased for modern parallel by me).
King Jehoshaphat then bows with face to the ground, as does the whole nation. The “Justices of the Supreme Court” (see last week’s blog) then praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in perfect unity with very loud voice.
Finally, King Jehoshaphat commissions every man, woman and child among his people in perfect unity:
“Believe in the Lord your God and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed” (20:20 – perfect vision, perfect unity-style!)
Judah then goes forward to face an invincible foe, just as David did toward Goliath.
But with God, no foe is invincible!
In this case, God uses the long-standing bitter rivalries between the Ammonites and Moabites to destroy themselves. Israel finds nothing but dead bodies at the battle site.
What, then, America? Who are the prophets of our day?
“In just 10 weeks, our nation will select a man or woman who will become the 45th president of the United States of America. Whomever we elect will take the helm of a nation that has grown increasingly hostile and intolerant of the very foundation and principles upon which it was so nobly founded – the Christian faith and Biblical views.”
- Franklin Graham, Decision, September 2016.
Will we, in perfect unity, watch God destroy the enemy? Or will we, in total disunity, be destroyed under judgment?
Whom shall we elect who is capable of leading like Jehoshaphat?