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Turn to God (2 Chronicles 20)

Sermon on 4 July 2021 by Ps Justin


Introduction


King Jehoshaphat was the sixth king in the line of David. He was a king who obeyed God’s commandments and delighted in the ways of Lord (2 Chronicles 17:3-6). He came to a situation where he was in a tight spot and faced serious challenges. Let us learn from him how we can respond amidst difficulties.


Message


“...Moab, Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat…A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). - 2 Chronicles 20:1-2


En Gedi was a place where King David hid during the time of Saul. It was only about 50 miles away from Jerusalem. King Jehoshaphat, terrified of the incoming invasion, turned to God.


And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. - 2 Chronicles 20:3-4


If someone in your family is facing difficulties, let the whole family come together to pray. To pray is to let go, and let God take over. Do not let fear stay on your mind, otherwise it will grow. God did not give us a spirit of fear; He gave us a spirit of self-control, love, and power. With the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, confront the enemy by seeking the Lord.


What can we learn from King Jehoshaphat?


1. He resolved to seek the Lord (v3)

2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us that the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.


2. He called for a fast (v3)

Matthew 6:16-18 tells us about fasting. It is to seek Him in secret. It is not about showing everyone how holy you are. Let our fasting be seen only by God. Let your good work not be caught. Fasting is to go deeper with God. It is to go into a deeper reliance on God. It keeps focus on God. When you fast, you pray. Fasting and praying go hand in hand.


3. He gathered the people to pray (v5-12)

It is natural to have fear when we encounter difficulties. But we can choose our thoughts and actions. Prayer starts from the family. When we pray, it is not only to surrender your problems. It is also to worship the Lord. When we pray, we praise. And when you praise, you will rise up.


I don’t know what to do. But my eyes are upon you. – 2 Chronicles 20:12

This is a powerful prayer. Memorise this. With all your heart, seek Him and focus on Him.


Do not be afraid nor dismayed …for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. - 2 Chronicles 20:15-17


You will not need to fight. You only need to position yourself. There is tremendous power when you stand still, and you will see the grace of God. Your only “fight” is a fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12, Hebrews 13:6, Romans 8:31). The devil cannot climb atop your fear if you do not allow him to. Do not let the seed of fear grow in you.


Ephesians 6:13 talks about the full armor of God. This armor is not to fight, but to stand. Remember the sword of the spirit is the word of God. Sometimes, we act too quickly based on our human mind. Be faithful. Mark 11:23-24 tells us that if we believe, even the mountains will move. Whatever we ask in prayer, believe that we will receive.


Turn to God in worship and praise. Believe …you shall be established; Believe…you shall prosper. …he appointed those who should sing to the Lord…praise the beauty of holiness…Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever. - 2 Chronicles 20:18-21


There is power in praise and worship (2 Chronicles 20:22-25, Psalms 91). Praise Him continuously. Every challenge is an opportunity to trust in God. God is available and attentive in all your situations, and prayer is more powerful than any enemy (2 Chronicles 20:22).


God moved so that King Jehoshaphat’s enemies killed one another amongst themselves. King Jehoshaphat and his men assembled in the valley of Berachah and gave praise to God. Then they returned to Jerusalem and continued to worship God. They had received blessing and prosperity (v26). All things are possible to those who believe.


Closing


In summary, when you face serious problems –

1. seek the Lord (v3)

2. fast (v3)

3. gather together to pray (v5)


Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the battle is not yours, but God’s (v15).

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