After This, Opposition

“Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem. He went out again among the people, from Beersheba to… Ephraim, and brought them back to the God of their fathers. He appointed judges in the land and all the fortified cities of Judah, and said to the judges, ‘Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord. He is with you in giving judgment. Let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes… Deal courageously, and may the Lord be with the upright!’”

“After this the Moabites and Ammonites and some of the Meunites came against Jehoshaphat for battle. Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, ‘A great multitude is coming against you from Edom...’ Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout Judah.  Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came…

“Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord,.. and said, ‘O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you… O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.’” 2 Chronicles 19:4-7,11b; 20:1-6,12

Consider all he’d done right! Jehoshaphat, following in the footsteps of his father Asa, had sought the Lord from the inception of his reign. God had blessed him with and because of his obedience and courageous heart. He led Judah with order and uprightness, holding prominent God’s word as their underpinning and standard. He was not perfect, but repented of his errors in judgment and reformed his ways and leadership. And after all this, formidable enemies threatened. Was this his reward? (2 Chronicles 14:2; 17:3-9)

The Lord never lets up in sanctifying His children. We may think we’ve arrived, done it all right, but we will not be like Him until we see Him face to face. In this life where we see in a mirror dimly, He relentlessly pursues us to make us holy, and keeps at it in the most effective ways- often through the jolt of battle. (1 Corinthians 13:12; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 John 3:3)

Where have we grown soft and lazy and prone to spiritual naps on the outskirts of success? Do we mock the grace of God by a self-righteous sense of desert, and complain about undeserved difficulty? Does our boasted list of self-efforts overshadow the power of God’s faithfulness and promises? Have our ears grown dull to the truth that every success is not by my might nor power but His Spirit? Are we wasting the tests of His appointed, proving trials? (Zechariah 4:6; James 1:2-4)

We must repeatedly remind ourselves of God’s grace, His mighty acts on our behalf and merciful help in time of need. We fortify ourselves for battle by recounting His promises and past faithfulness, and trusting His ways. Would we stay vigilant, no matter what comes? (2 Chronicles 20:7-11; Hebrews 4:12)

Holy Lord, keep me bowed before You in worship, gratitude for Your salvation, and complete dependence for Your full deliverances. (2 Chronicles 20:15-22,25-26)

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