2 Chronicles 20:1-37, When you trust in God, there is no need to fear

"After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat.  2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, "A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea.  It is already in Hazazon Tamar" (that is, En Gedi).  3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.  4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.  5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard  6 and said: "O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven?  You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.  Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.  7 O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?  8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying,  9 `If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.'. . .  14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.  15 He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem!  This is what the LORD says to you: `Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God's . . . 22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.  23 The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them.  After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another . . . 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side," (2 Chron. 20:1-9, 14-15, 22-23, 30)

When you trust in God, there is no need to fear.

Introduction

Life can be difficult.  Being a Christian in a non-chrisitan world poses all kinds of problems.  The world does not know Jesus.  The world does not love Him.  The world does not understand why He came.  You, on the other hand, do know Jesus.  You do love Him.  And, you do understand why He came.  He came to save you from your sins and to give you new life.  He came to bring you peace and joy in the Spirit. He came so you might have fellowship with God.

These things you already know.  And you also know that though you are saved from sin and filled with the Spirit of God, life in this world still is not perfect.  It is still difficult.

The Christian is, in a sense, in a battle with the world.  And the world is at war with the Christian--with you.  The world offers vices, self-fulfillment, and greed.  The world wants to convert you to its paganism, to its ungodly devotion to the unholy.  And if you don't conform, if you don't bend the knee to its idols and sacrifices, you will be ridiculed, mocked, and attacked.

So the world is against you.  The evil one is at war with you.  And in the battle there are all sorts of struggles.  On the inside, you struggle against sin: pride, lust, greed, boasting, and various wantings.  On the outside, you struggle against illness, poverty, marriage problems, job difficulties, an unsure future, and more. Maybe right now you are facing a serious struggle. Or maybe you've recently had to deal with a difficult situation.  Maybe you fear that one is coming.

As a Christian, what do you do when life is coming down on you hard or when there seems to be no way out or when your relationship with God is being affected?  When you are worried or afraid?  When you are in distress?

What do you do when you are facing such monumental obstacles?  How do your resist temptation, flee from evil, or believe beyond your ability to understand how your problems can be solved?

The answer lies in the Word of God.

Context: Israel and Judah were divided.

  • Jehoshaphat was the 4th king of the separated kingdom of Judah around 850 to 875 B.C.  He was a zealous follower of the commandments of God.  In his 3rd year he sent out certain princes, priests, and Levites, to go through all the cities of Judah, teaching the people out of the Book of the Law.  Because he sought the Lord, riches and honors increased around him.  "Jehoshophat sought the Lord with all his heart" (2 Chr. 22:9).
  • Moab, Ammon, and the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat.
  • Jehoshaphat was afraid; and rightly so, for the army approaching him was indeed a mighty one, beyond what he would be able to handle. He was in trouble.

Read 2 Chronicles 20, verses 1-9, 14-15, 22-23, 30

 

  1. You should trust God and not fear because of who He is.  Please look with me at v. 6.
    "and he [Jehoshaphat] said, 'O Lord, the God of our fathers, art Thou not God in the heavens?  And art Thou not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations?  Power and might are in Thy hand so that no one can stand against Thee.
    1. '"Jehovah is:
      1. " . . . the God of our Fathers"
        1. of Adam and Eve, of Noah, of Abraham, of Moses
        2. Therefore, He is the God of History.
      2. He also lives in heaven;
        1. Therefore, He is the God of Holiness.  Heaven is the holy dwelling place of God.
        2. Therefore, He is above all things.  He is pure, righteous, and incapable of sin.
      3. He is also the ruler of all the nations;
        1. Therefore, He is the God of Sovereignty.  All kings and peoples are His.  And, as such, He has the right to rule them as He pleases.
      4. He is all-powerful;
        1. Therefore, He is the God of power.
          1. He can do as He wishes.  He can create or destroy.  Raise up or tear down.
    2. Who is God to you?
      1. Is He big or small?
      2. Is He all-powerful, or is He a wimp?
      3. Does He love you, or does He just put up with you?
    3. How you perceive God affects how you respond to Him.
      1. The people of Judah knew who God was and that is why they looked to Him and trusted Him.
      2. IIn other words, you should trust God because He is holy, He is a King, He is all-powerful, and because He loves you very much.
  2. You should trust God and not fear not only because of who He is but also because of what He has already done.
    Please look with me at verse 7, "Did Thou not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and give it to the descendants of Abraham Thy friend forever?"
    1. God has already accomplished great things:
      1. He gave the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham.
        1. God chose Abraham and promised him he would be a great nation.
        2. God raised up Moses; and, through many miracles, delivered His people from the bondage of the Egyptians.  He parted the Red Sea; He destroyed the Egyptians.
        3. God raised up Joshua and the Hebrew armies to take the land of Canaan.  And there, God planted them in the land that they might bear fruit as His chosen people, so they could worship Him, honor Him, serve Him, and prepare the way of the Messiah.
        4. The Hebrew could reach down, grab a hand full of dirt, touch the promise, and feel the reality of God's accomplishments.  He could touch the promise!
        5. *** Because the Hebrews knew God and what He had already done for them, they sought Him again.
          Then look at what they did . . .
          1. They sought God, v. 12, "O our God, wilt thou not judge them?  For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on Thee."
          2. They praised God, v. 19, "And the Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice."
          3. They put their trust in God, v. 20, " . . . Jehoshaphat stood and said, 'Listen to Me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God, and you will be upheld . . . '"
          4. They gave thanks to God, v. 21, "And he said, 'Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting."
      2. What do you do when you face trials and tribulations?  Do you praise God?  Do you put your trust in Him?  Do you give thanks to God?
        1. Did you know that a Christian's true character is often revealed when he faces a real problem?  How do you handle your problems?  Do you panic?  Do you complain?  Do you raise your fist in the air and shout at God?  Do you begin to doubt and then run for a quick fix (run to a sin, the television, or "not talk about it")?, or do you go the Lord in prayer, humility, praise, and trust, and refuse to give fear and worry any place?
      3. As you can see, God had already done great things for the Hebrew people.  He has already done great things for you as well . . . and more.
        1. He has delivered you from the enemy called sin by redeeming you through His Son.
        2. He has brought you out of the land of the Valley of the Shadows of Death and given you a place to rest and caused you to lie down on green pastures.
        3. He has taken your heart, at one time the home of evil, and delivered it into the hands of His Son, Jesus.
          1. The cross is the only reason you have for any hope of deliverance from any conflict, problem, battle, or worry.
          2. The cross is the absolute guarantee of God's commitment to you.  You will never be forsaken.  You cannot be forsaken; you cannot be forgotten by God.
      4. They were delivered from the mere threat of mortal death.  You have been delivered from the threat of eternal death.
        1. They were delivered from an enemy that sought to kill them.
        2. You have been delivered from an enemy that has sought to have you damned.
        3. The cross, the blood, the pain, the humiliation of Jesus 2000 years ago has bought you peace, safety, and security in the land of promise: eternal life with God.
      5. This battle so long ago was not only an attempt by Satan to destroy God's people then, but it was also an attempt to destroy you now. No messianic line, no Messiah, no salvation. Then you are lost, too.
      6. God has given you salvation.
        1. Will He do any less for you when you face difficulties in your life?
        2. Will He let you be destroyed? No!
          1. How do you handle sin, sickness, heartbreak, pain, uncertainty, etc. . . .
          2. Do you trust God, or do you doubt? Hasn't He fed you, clothed you, warmed you?
        3. Hasn't He freed you from your sin?
          1. God has called you not that He might forsake you but that He might sanctify you and make you holy and that you might enjoy Him forever.
          2. Because He loves you . . . very much.
  3. You should trust in the Lord and not fear not only because of who He is and what He has already done but also because of what He will do.
    1. The people of Judah did not know what would happen.  But they trusted in the Lord.
      Please look with me at:
      1. v. 15--Do not fear or be dismayed . . . for the battle is not yours but God's.
      2. v. 17--Stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf (v. 17).
      3. These were statements in the future tense.  These were God's words of Promise!!
    2. So they people rested; they feared not.
    3. v. 30--So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides.

Conclusion

Is God any different now?  Are His words of Promise any less true?

Jesus said,

  • "Come to Me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28).
  • "I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth" (Matt. 28:20).
  • He said that His words will not pass away (Mark 13:31).
  • He said that He would raise you up on the last day (John 6:40).
  • He said that whatever you asked in His name would be give to you. (John 14:14).
  • He said that He would disclose Himself to you (John 14:21).
  • He said that He would reveal the Father to you (Matt. 11:27)
  • And He said He would return in the clouds and that every eye will see Him (Mark 13:27).

Because of who God is and what He has already done for you, you can trust Him even more for the future and have no fear that He will continue to uphold you, love you, and continue His wonderful loving plan in your life.

Will you trust Him?  How much will you trust Him?  How much will you rest in Him?  It's up to you.

 

 

 

 
 
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