Day 88 of 240 Days Bible Reading Group 3947 2 Chronicles 18 to 23
SOARING WITH PRAISE
➡ Jehoshaphat’s heart was lifted up in the ways of Jehovah. [2 Ch 17:6] 🔅 [ Lifted up = gâbahh = to soar… as in Job 39:37 – the eagle soars]
➡ Jehoshaphat’s heart soared with joy as he walked with the Lord, doing His Will, being led by His Word.
➡ Such a contrast to me… I know I it’s easier for me to rejoice when GOD does good things for me…
➡ Do I soar with joy when I have to say, Lord, not my will?
➡ Jehoshaphat’s delight in the Lord led him to tear down high places & Asherim. [2 Ch 17:6]
Asa had removed the Asherah. [2 Ch 15:16]
But they had made a come back…
🔅Wrong thinking patterns always try to rebuild themselves & reclaim our minds.
🔅 Am I vigilant in recognising their comeback?
🔅 Do I delight to tear down wrong thinking patterns/wrong habits because they keep me from “soaring with the Lord”?
➡ Jehoshaphat’s name means “Jehovah had judged”. He recognised that he was King on behalf of God. So when he appointed judges, he instructed them:
👉 " Consider (think about) what you do,
👉 for you judge (& work) not for man but for the LORD.
👉 He is with you in giving judgment/ whatever you do.
👉 Let the fear of the LORD be upon you…" [2Ch 19:6-7]
The Apostle Paul echoed that when he said,
🔑“Work with a sincere heart because of your reverence for the Lord. [Col 3:22]
🔑 Remember you are not serving men. You are servants of Christ. Take joy in doing the PLEASURE/WILL OF GOD from the heart. [Rf Eph 6:6]
‼ Just imagine how the world would change if Christians all over the world began to work with sincere hearts as if we were serving the Lord, doing HIS PLEASURE… if we soared with delight in doing our everyday work sincerely for GOD…
➡ Christians make up roughly 30% of the world population… a pinch of salt maybe, but sufficient isn’t it?
➡ What would happen if Christian engineers, techies, bankers, teachers, parents etc. conformed to Christ rather than the world…
➡ if we courageously lived counter-culturally marching to the beat of God’s heart rather than the piping of the world?
➡ When faced with a mighty army, Jehoshaphat prayed, left it in God’s hands, believed God’s promise, then made a choice to look at God & not the enemy.
🔑 Pride looks INWARD & downward. Praise looks outward & UPWARD.
❤Tough times come to everybody. Satan tempts us to feel weak, look at our problems & lack of resources… to look INWARD at self.
❤ But the Holy Spirit enables us to look outside ourselves, above our circumstances and focus on the LOVE of God.
❤ When we accept & believe that God LOVES us, (because we are His children through the blood of Jesus) then we have the confidence to stand in the midst of the fiercest storm. [Rf 1 Jn 4:16-18, Rom 8:31-39]
🙌💥Praise is our expression of faith in the character of God. We lift up the shield of faith each time we magnify God in song.
🙌💥Praise focuses our attention on God, breaking the power of fear & helplessness.
🙌💥Praise enables us to truly surrender control to God. When we let go into HIS hands, God does things for us we could not have imagined to be possible.
🚩 Jehoshaphat did so many wonderful things… BUT he sowed the seeds of Judah’s ultimate destruction by marrying his son Jehoram to Ahab & Jezebel’s daughter Athaliah… and then by persisting in building ties with ungodly Israel/Samaria.
Abba Father it is scary to think that one action done in my own wisdom & understanding can undo all the good that YOU do in me and through me. I need You to nudge me sharply when I am going off after my own heart. I want to learn to soar with joy in doing YOUR will. May YOU be magnified in me and through me. In Jesus Name. Amen.
I AM THE HOLY ONE
⏳ Micaiah Warns Ahab
To honor Jehoshaphat and those with him, Ahab had a large number of sheep and cattle slaughtered for a feast.
He asked, Will you go with me to attack Ramoth? Jehoshaphat replied, I am ready when you are, and so is my army. We will join you.
Then he added , But first let's consult the LORD.
So Ahab called in the prophets, about four hundred of them, and asked them, Should I go and attack Ramoth, or not? Attack it, they answered. God will give you victory.
But Jehoshaphat asked , Isn't there another prophet through whom we can consult the LORD?
Ahab answered , There is one more, Micaiah son of Imlah. But I hate him because he never prophesies anything good for me; it's always something bad. You shouldn't say that! Jehoshaphat replied.
All the other prophets said the same thing . March against Ramoth and you will win, they said . The LORD will give you victory.
But Micaiah answered , By the living LORD I will say what my God tells me to!
Micaiah answered, *I can see the army of Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the LORD said, ' These men have no leader; let them go home in peace.' *
Ahab said to Jehoshaphat , I told you that he never prophesies anything good for me; it's always something bad!
Micaiah went on: *Now listen to what the LORD says! I saw the LORD sitting on his throne in heaven, with all his angels standing beside him.
The LORD asked, 'Who will deceive Ahab so that he will go and get killed at Ramoth?' Some of the angels said one thing, and others said something else,
until a spirit stepped forward, approached the LORD, and said, 'I will deceive him.' 'How?' the LORD asked.
The spirit replied, 'I will go and make all of Ahab's prophets tell lies.' The LORD said, 'Go and deceive him. You will succeed.' *
And Micaiah concluded : This is what has happened. The LORD has made these prophets of yours lie to you. But he himself has decreed that you will meet with disaster!
Then the prophet Zedekiah went up to Micaiah, slapped his face, and asked , Since when did the LORD's spirit leave me and speak to you?
Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers, *Arrest Micaiah and take him to Amon,
Tell them to throw him in prison and to put him on bread and water until I return safely.*
If you return safely, Micaiah exclaimed, then the LORD has not spoken through me! And he added, Listen, everyone, to what I have said!
⏳ Ahab Dies in Battle
By chance, however, a Syrian soldier shot an arrow which struck King Ahab between the joints of his armor . I'm wounded! he cried out to his chariot driver. Turn around and pull out of the battle!
While the battle raged on, At sunset he died.
⏳ The Reforms of Jehoshaphat
He appointed judges in each of the fortified cities of Judah
and instructed them: *Be careful in pronouncing judgment; you are not acting on human authority, but on the authority of the LORD, and he is with you when you pass sentence.
Honor the LORD and act carefully, because the LORD our God does not tolerate fraud or partiality or the taking of bribes.*
He gave them the following instructions: *You must perform your duties in reverence for the LORD, faithfully obeying him in everything you do.
Be courageous and carry out these instructions, and may the LORD be on the side of the right!*
⏳ Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir Defeated
Jehoshaphat was frightened and prayed to the LORD for guidance. Then he gave orders for a fast to be observed throughout the country.
The spirit of the LORD came upon a Levite who was present in the crowd. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah;
Jahaziel said, *Your Majesty and all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this large army. The battle depends on God, not on you.
Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low, with his face touching the ground, and all the people bowed with him and worshiped the LORD.
After consulting with the people, the king ordered some musicians to put on the robes they wore on sacred occasions and to march ahead of the army, singing : Praise the LORD! His love is eternal!
When they began to sing, the LORD threw the invading armies into a panic.
The Ammonites and the Moabites attacked the Edomite army and completely destroyed it, and then they turned on each other in savage fighting.
When the Judean army reached a tower that was in the desert, they looked toward the enemy and saw that they were all lying on the ground dead. Not one had escaped.
Every nation that heard how the LORD had defeated Israel's enemies was terrified,
💫 CAN ANYTHING IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME.......
⏳ BE FAIR WITH INNOCENT AS I AM ⚖
I AM COMING SOON
"ALL GLORY AND HONOUR BELONGS TO GOD ALONE"
🍇Simple thoughts for
2 Chronicles: 20:21 "..... Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy endures for ever"
When messengers told King Jehoshaphat, " A vast army is coming against you from Edom", he was terrified. But instead of turning to typical military tatics, Jehoshaphat turned to God. He acknowledged God's supremacy and admitted his own fear and
confusion. He prayed," We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you" ( V: 2 )
⚡ Then the King chose singers to lead the army into the battle. Instead of a war cry, they sang of God's love. The result was startling. Their enemies turned on each other. In the end "The Kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side" ( V.30 )
⚡ An almost similar incident has taken place after long years, in the Philippian prison. Paul and Silas were cast into the inner prison duly thrashed with bleeding bodies. Their feet were locked in a stock and hands were bound with chains.
⚡ And in the midnight in the midst of excruciating pain Paul and Silas sang praises to God and the prisoners heard them. We do not know the verses they have sung. But the songs were so strong to bring an earthquake. In the end, the entire household of the Jailor believed in the Lord and were saved.(Acts: 16 )
⚡ It is only an ordinary thing if we praise God and sing songs about His mercy when everything go well for us. God is looking for our
reaction in a most challenging situation in our life.
🔥 Whether we are facing a battle or feeling trapped, we can glorify God in our hearts. David says: " I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm:34:l)
Dr. Thomas David.🎯
📖📖 240 📖📖📖 240 📖📖
👑 The Kings of Judah 👑 Micaiah the true Prophet
Jehoshaphat through marriage allied himself with Ahab. When he visited Ahab some years later he asked him to attack Ramoth Gilead along with him. Jehoshaphat agreed but first he wanted to seek the counsel of the Lord. Ahab brought all his prophets for counsel. All of them said that surely they would win the war.
But Jehoshaphat asked for a prophet of the Lord and Mìcaiah was brought. Micaiah said that a lying spirit has made all the prophets say that the king would be victorious. Micaiah said that he saw all Israel scattered on the hills like a sheep without a shepherd. The king was angry and said that Micaiah should be put in prison and given only bread and water.
In the war against Ramoth Gilead Jehoshaphat was hurt but Ahab was killed. The wrath of God was on Jehoshaphat but because he set his heart to seek God and rid the land of Asherah poles he was spared.
📝 Jehoshaphat's Rule
He set up judges and told them to judge without any injustice and partiality. He told the priests and Levites to serve God faithfully and whole heartedly. He asked them to act with courage.
Jehoshaphat defeats Moab and Ammon - A very large army was coming against Judah. The people of Judah sought the Lord for help. The Lord sent his prophet and encouraged them saying The battle is the Lord's. Face the enemy boldly, don't be discouraged, I am with you.
At the head of the army men were set to sing and praise God saying Give thanks unto the Lord for His love (mercy) endures forever. As they sang the Lord set ambushes against the enemies. They destroyed one another. The fear of the Lord came upon them and they were at peace. After the death of Jehoshaphat his son Jehoram became king.
The next two kings Jehoram and his son Ahaziah were also wicked and did evil in the sight of the Lord. Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah was also wicked. She killed the whole royal family. At that time the nurse of Joash son of Ahaziah carried him and hid in the temple for six years.
In the 7th year Joash was brought into the temple and anointed as king and all the people shouted with joy and said Long live the king. Athaliah was stunned to see Joash crowned. The commander's took her out of the temple and killed her. The priest and the people made a covenant that they would be the Lord's people.
🅿 The Power of Praise 🅿
When Jehoshaphat was attacked by the Ammonites and Moabites he stood in the assembly and prayed. Some of the Levites stood up and praised God with a loud voice. Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing unto the Lord and praise Him for the splendor of His holiness.
They went out at the army praising Give thanks unto the Lord for His love(mercy) endureth forever. The Lord fought the battle for them. The only weapon they used was The weapon of Praise.The enemy was totally defeated.
In difficult times let us commit ourselves to God and praise and thank Him continually. Let us not give in to worry. Let us sing and praise Him. Wonderfully the Lord will lift our burdens from us when we trust Him wholeheartedly. All glory be to His name.
Mrs Caroline Chellappa 📝
King Abijah, Rehoboam's son, came to power after his father's death, and chose not to follow in the backslidden footsteps of his father. He was a fairly good king and handled the attack on Judah, by King Jeroboam of Israel, in a commendable manner showing wholehearted trust in the Lord! This led to a great victory, 2 Chronicles 13!
His son Asa too was a godly king for most part of his reign and won exploits for Judah as a result of his trust in the Lord, 2 Chronicles 14,15. However towards the end of his life, Asa backslid so badly, such that he put his trust in the King of Syria instead of the God of Israel, when the king of Israel came against him! To make matters worse, when a prophet rebuked him for the same, Asa got angry on him and put him in jail and also oppressed some of the people at that time, 2 Chronicles 16:10! Towards the end of his life he became diseased in his feet, but even during that time he trusted in the doctors instead of turning to the Lord, vs 12, which was indeed a sad and sorry ending for a king of his character and reputation! King Abijah's life story teaches us that the backsliding of our parents need not have a negative effect on us, provided we realise where they went wrong and are honest and repentant about the same, as well as, determine not to follow in their footsteps where they were wrong, no matter what loss we may have to face as a result.
Incase we decide otherwise, the punishment for their wrong deeds will be transferred to us too, Exodus 20:5,6! From King Asa's life we gauge that our wholehearted walk today with the Lord does not serve as a guarantee that we will remain that way, unless we forget the victories of the past, and seek to walk in humility and repentance before the Lord on a daily basis! We must consistently remind our selves that all the 'ministry' that we do for the Lord means nothing, if not backed by a godly lifestyle. So also, the praise of man means nothing, simply because they mostly evaluate us on the basis of our outward works and actions without really knowing anything that is in our hearts! Our true heart's condition is something that only the Lord will be able to evaluate, for man looks at our outward appearance, but God looks at our hearts!
So it is only wise and fitting for us to watch our hearts with all diligence and honesty, and ask the Holy Spirit to show us our true condition, on the basis of all our responses in thought, word and deed, to the outward provocation that people and circumstances offer us. And as we walk in repentance and faith in Christ on the basis of the Holy Spirit's revelation in this regard on a daily basis, without being flattered by the praise of man for the 'works' that we perform, then the chances that we will endure in love till the end will be more of a reality than if we do not. Further, our reaction to the rebuke of others to our misdeeds will also be a pretty good indication of our hearts true condition.
May we take heed to these examples and avoid the pitfalls that they stumbled into, as well as, give due credit and imitate their faith wherever appropriate. The grace of our Lord be with us all!
TWO WOMEN WHO INFLUENCED THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL IN TWO DIFFERENT WAYS.
👉Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel.
👉She was the grand daughter of Omri- the king of Judah, "who did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him" (1 Kings 16:25).
Athaliah personified all evil of her wicked parents and grandfather.
👉Athaliah married Jehoram , son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.
👉 One of their sons was Ahaziah who ruled Judah for just a year.
Wounded in the battle by Jehu he died and his mother Athaliah came to the throne.
👉But when she came to power she destroyed the whole royal family of Judah.
👉This merciless, cruel hearted woman exterminated the last remnant of the house of David through which the promised Messiah was to come.
Behind this we can see the evil intention of the devil.
But God had sworn that there would never be lacking a man to sit on David's throne(2 Samuel. 7:16 ).
Thus Joash escaped from being killed miraculously
While much of Israel 's sorrow resulted from the evil woman Athaliah' s evil intention, how much do we owe to
another godly woman.!
She was Jehosheba.
👉She was the daughter of King Jehoram and brother of Ahaziah
👉She became the wife of high priest Jehoiada.
👉She was a courageous woman with a compassionate heart
👉She bravely defiled the order of Queen Athaliah and
👉 cared for little Joash for six years completely out witted by Athaliah.
Thus to Jehosheba goes credit of preserving the seed of Judah.
If Joash also had perished the line of Judah would have become extinct.
Dear friends, we learn two important things from this.
1. We reap what we sow.
Athaliah had the guts to murder many lives mercilessly. In turn she herself was killed in a pathetic manner.
2. No one can thwart God's plan, His purposes and His promises.
God has absolute sovereignty. He is infinite in wisdom.
So neither persecutions nor or oppositions can destroy the true worship of God and His imperishable Word. Amen.
2 CHRONICLES 21:12-15 in short...
Think about this...
What's a Prophet's job? And how about a priest?
We read here both positive and negative messages of hope and judgement pronounced by the prophets. The letter written by Prophet Elijah to King Jehoram highlights the principal role of the Hebrew prophet: to be God's voice, the one who speaks for God.👤
Although many early figures mentioned in the Old Testament we read till now were called prophets, including Moses and the female prophet Deborah, the classical title of a prophet as NABI in Hebrew appeared later in Israelite history.
What used to be the primary function of a prophet? It was not to merely foretell the Israelites about their future, but to announce God's judgement; to confront those who violated God's law; to console those who suffered. In short, prophets were the CONSCIENCE of the Israelite nation. ✨
Ref. 1 Peter 2:9b you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.
We are all leaders, we are all chosen, we belong to His Royal Priesthood Class. Each of us have to bear a clear conscience. No escape from that. 💪
Though not a Roman Catholic, I hold the current Pope (Francis) in high value, because, unlike many earlier ones, he touches upon a common man's conscience and stand for what's right with God. I wish and pray that all our Christian leaders, including bishops, priests, pastors and all those who preach Christ, to maintain a clear conscience that's one with Christ's standards. A good leader is a good teacher. A good teacher walks that extra mile to create the best for a nation and its people. A real Christian ought to really live like one, irrespective of what happens around.
Let's pray that our leaders are always blessed with that special grace of God to carry to us only God's voice, instead of finding time to rebel, think evil, and do things that are not Biblical. A godly mother leads to godly children. A godly leader leads us to the arms of Christ's grace and mercy.
Who is on the Lord’s side?
Who will serve the King?
We are... just sojourners here.
Chosen to be soldiers,
in an alien land,
for our Captain’s band;
In the service royal,
let us not grow cold,
Let us be right loyal,
noble, true and bold.
Master, wilt Thou keep us,
by Thy grace divine,
Always on the Lord’s side
—Saviour, always Thine!
Be blessed, to lead.
- Bob, Bangalore. 😃
¹ ᵐⁱⁿ ⁴¹ ˢᵉᶜ
Legacy - It's Intent & Content 2 Chronicles 20
Jehoshaphat who started well as a King, set up a system for administering justice in Judah by appointing judges in each fortified city to judge the people with fairness and equity, was a good king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (v32).
Jehoshaphat was a King who literally sang his way to victory over his enemies (v22), the vast army of Moab and Ammon by sending singers ahead of his army, with the help of the Lord.
Despite the above great deeds he did not finish well because of his unhealthy alliance with King Ahab of Israel and later with his son King Ahaziah, who were guilty of wickedness.
The Lord himself destroyed the fleet of trading ships built by him because of his bad alliance (v37).Had he not aligned with evil Ahaziah his ships would have sailed and trading would have flourished. Thus his legacy was a mixed legacy of some good and some bad things.
Do we have a legacy to leave behind ?
Legacy is something a person leaves behind to be remembered for.
Any unique/good thing done beneficial to people during our life time with the help of God and good alliance will be our legacy which will stand the test of time to glorify God and make people remember us for the good work done.
When we leave a legacy that impacts many generations, the intent and content originate from God
Unlike Jehoshaphat let us leave a lasting legacy which is beneficial to people and God honouring by making sure that it is done the right way with the right intent and the right content
King Asa's son Jehoshaphat who succeeded him was generally a very good king. The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed in his ancestor David’s footsteps at the beginning of his reign and did not seek the Baals, 2 Chronicles 17:3.
So God blessed and prospered him richly! When a huge army came against him from the other side of the dead sea, Jehoshaphat acted wisely and cried out to the Lord for help instead of doing what he thought best, 2 Chronicles 20. He praised God for His strength, power and authority over all the inhabitants of the earth, vs 6, and for how God provided a land flowing with milk and honey for His people to live in according to His promise to Abraham, vs 7.
He reminded God of His promise to answer when His people were in trouble and sought Him with a whole heart, vs 9. He reminded God how their enemies were repaying them evil for good, and confessed their own lack of wisdom, strength, and ability to handle the matter, but looked to God in faith for justice against their opponents, vs10-12. This prayer of King Jehoshaphat, pleased God and brought a favorable answer from the Lord, assuring them of victory in the battle. However, the actual victory came, and the Lord fought for them, only when they began to shout and praise and thank God for His majestic splendor and loyal love, vs 21,22! This is one of the famous prayers recorded in Scripture and gives us understanding into how we can win various battles that we face by being still, worshipping God and looking to God in faith, while praising and thanking him and allowing Him to fight for us.
There was, however, one grave mistake that K.Jehoshaphat committed during his reign, and that being that he made an alliance by marriage with King Ahab on marrying his son to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, 2 Chronicles 18:1! Further, he even supported Ahab in a battle against the King of Syria, (inspite of prophet Micaiah giving them a prophetic word that they would be defeated) and almost lost his life as a result! Although God was very displeased with K. Jehoshaphat for these actions of his, yet God spared his life, and subsequently, rebuked him through a prophet, 2 Chronicles 19:2. Nevertheless, the damage was done and his son Jehoram who replaced him as king, and who was married to Ahab's daughter was infected by the evil spirit that controlled Ahab and Jezebel! For, as soon as he became powerful, he murdered all his brothers, 2 Chronicles 21:4, and also encouraged the people Judah to be unfaithful to the Lord, vs 14. Even when rebuked by the Prophet Elijah, he did not repent and finally died a painful death by means of an incurable intestinal disease, vs 12-15.
Instead of repenting of his father's evil ways, his son Ahaziah followed in the footsteps of Ahab’s dynasty, for his mother gave him evil advice, 2 Chronicles 22:3! Once again history repeats itself and Ahaziah joins forces with Ahab’s son King Joram of Israel in a battle against King Hazael of Syria at Ramoth Gilead in which the Syrians defeated Joram, vs 5. Eventually Ahaziah is killed by Jehu when he went to visit Joram who was recovering from his wounds, vs 7-9! After his death, his mother Athaliah took over the reigns of the Kingdom and killed all his brothers except the one named Joash, whom his sister hid. He remained in hiding in God’s temple for six years, while Athaliah was ruling over the land, vs 10-12, until the time that Jehoiada the priest, tactfully got Joash crowned as king after having Queen Athaliah executed, 2 Chronicles 23: 15, 20!
Like K.Jehoshaphat, one can be good and do many wonderful works for the Lord, yet one small mistake can cause the generations after that to completely deviate from the right path, which can be corrected only if the persons concerned realise the mistake/s made by their forefathers and radically repents of the same. If not, the subsequent generations will have to be far more enlightened, honest and radical in order to correct this apostasy! Let us consider the way we are going and wholeheartedly seek to leave behind us a legacy that does not stumble those that come after us, but rather causes them to be blessed and encouraged to follow in the footsteps of Jesus to a higher level that we ourselves have attained!