Jehoshaphat stood - What an instructive sight was this! The king who proclaimed the fast was foremost to observe it, and was on this occasion the priest of the people; offering in the congregation, without form or any premeditation, one of the most sensible, pious, correct, and as to its composition one of the most elegant prayers ever offered under the Old Testament dispensation.
Jehoshaphat‘s appeal is threefold:
(1) to God omnipotent 2 Chronicles 20:6;
(2) to “our God;”
(3) the God especially “of this house” the temple.
2 Chronicles 20:7
Abraham thy friend - Historically, this is the first use of this remarkable expression, afterward repeated (marginal references). The ground of the expression is to be found principally in Genesis 18:23-33, where Abraham spoke with God as a man with his friend (compare Exodus 33:11).
2 Chronicles 20:8, 2 Chronicles 20:9
The appeal recalls Solomon‘s prayer (marginal references), which God had formally accepted by sending down fire from heaven to consume the accompanying offering.
It was with songs of praise that the armies of Israel went forth to the great deliverance under Jehoshaphat. To Jehoshaphat had come the tidings of threatened war. “There cometh a great multitude against thee,” was the message, “the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside.” “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.” And Jehoshaphat, standing in the temple court before his people, poured out his soul in prayer, pleading God's promise, with confession of Israel's helplessness. “We have no might against this great company that cometh against us,” he said: “neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.” 2 Chronicles 20:2, 1, 3, 4, 12. Ed 163.1
Then upon Jahaziel a Levite “came the Spirit of the Lord; ... and he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou King Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.... Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord.... Fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:14-17. Ed 163.2
“And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa.” 2 Chronicles 20:20. Before the army went singers, lifting their voices in praise to God—praising Him for the victory promised. Ed 163.3
On the fourth day thereafter, the army returned to Jerusalem, laden with the spoil of their enemies, singing praise for the victory won. Ed 163.4Read in context »
“Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good.” Verses 9-11. PK 198.1
In his careful safeguarding of the rights and liberties of his subjects, Jehoshaphat emphasized the consideration that every member of the human family receives from the God of justice, who rules over all. “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth among the gods.” And those who are appointed to act as judges under Him, are to “defend the poor and fatherless;” they are to “do justice to the afflicted and needy,” and “rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:1, 3, 4. PK 198.2
Toward the close of Jehoshaphat's reign the kingdom of Judah was invaded by an army before whose approach the inhabitants of the land had reason to tremble. “The children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.” Tidings of this invasion reached the king through a messenger, who appeared with the startling word, “There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria: and, behold, they be in Hazazon-tamar, which is Engedi.” 2 Chronicles 20:1, 2. PK 198.3
Jehoshaphat was a man of courage and valor. For years he had been strengthening his armies and his fortified cities. He was well prepared to meet almost any foe; yet in this crisis he put not his trust in the arm of flesh. Not by disciplined armies and fenced cities, but by a living faith in the God of Israel, could he hope to gain the victory over these heathen who boasted of their power to humble Judah in the eyes of the nations. PK 198.4Read in context »