Why This Battle Not Ours
TEXT: 2 Chronicles 20.1-4; 13-17 20 After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites,[a] came against Jehoshaphat for battle. 2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom,[b] from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). 3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 13 Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 14 And the Spirit of the Lord came[d] upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” INTRODUCTION: Harry Truman once said, the buck stops at the leader. Our story is a story of a leadership tested. A test that we might all face the same options: to give up, back up or stand up. In times of national crisis. Subject: King Jehoshaphat Background of Chapter 20: King Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah under the divided monarchy, the son of Asa. We are first introduced to him in 1 Kings 15:24 but are told nothing more than that he succeeded Asa. Later, 1 Kings 22:42 tells us that he was 35 years old when he began his reign and that he reigned 25 years (from 873 to 848 BC). First Kings 22 gives a brief account of his reign with 2 Chronicles 17–22 giving a more comprehensive account. Spiritually, Jehoshaphat began his reign in a positive way. Second Chronicles 17:3–6 gives this commendation: “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. The Lord established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.” In addition, Jehoshaphat sent men throughout the kingdom to teach the people the Law of God (2 Chronicles 17:7–9). Militarily, Jehoshaphat fortified his defenses, primarily against the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Chronicles 17:1–3). The surrounding nations feared Judah and brought tribute (2 Chronicles 17:10–19). After making peace with Israel, Jehoshaphat apparently tried to reach out to Ahab, the king of Israel. Ahab was one of the wickedest kings of Israel, and Jehoshaphat could not have been ignorant of his character. First Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 18 relate the following account: Ahab asks Jehoshaphat to help him attack Syria. Jehoshaphat wisely requests that they consult the LORD on the matter. Ahab gathers 400 of his prophets who encourage the attack. Jehoshaphat recognizes that these are not genuine prophets of the LORD, and the exchange that follows between Jehoshaphat and Ahab is almost comical: “But Jehoshaphat asked, ‘Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?’ The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, ‘There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.’” So, Micaiah is summoned, and the question is posed. Micaiah responds with high irony: “Attack and be victorious, . . . for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” This answer exasperates King Ahab: “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” Micaiah then tells Ahab the hard truth: “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master’” (1 Kings 22:15–18). In spite of what seems to be an acknowledgement that Micaiah speaks for the LORD, Jehoshaphat joins Ahab in the attack. Ahab is killed, and Jehoshaphat narrowly escapes. When Jehoshaphat returns home, he is reprimanded by a prophet of the Lord for his collaboration with Ahab: “Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God’” (2 Chronicles 19:2–3). Jehoshaphat continues to make reforms, appointing judges throughout the land to handle disputes and charging them to make righteous judgments and to fear the Lord (2 Chronicles 19:4–11). MAIN POINTS: In 2 Chronicles 20, an alliance of nations decides to march against Judah. Judah is sieged by a confederation of armies. • Unexpected National Crisis • Already at your doorstep, through the backdoor The May-Day: 2 Ilang katao ang dumating at nagsabi kay Jehoshafat, “Napakaraming tao ang dumarating laban sa iyo mula sa Edom,[b] mula sa kabila ng dagat; sila'y naroon na sa Hazazon-tamar” (na siya ring En-gedi). The enemies were already at En-Gedi.(Make a simple mapping of this area) En Gedi is a little south of halfway down the coast of the Dead Sea on the Israeli side, obviously. It is a little establishment that survives because of a fresh water spring that come out of the mountains right in that area. This spring has always been there and has always supported a community in that area. This also is the start of a route into the hill country from the south-eastern side. En Gedi has two major Nahals (deep cutting canyons) that empty into the Dead Sea. They are Called the Nahal Arugot and the Nahal David. In between these two canyons is the trail/path that goes up the Hill Country and eventually Jerusalem. This is called the Ascent of Ziz. This Ascent is mentioned in the bible in 2 Chronicles 20 when King Jehoshaphat learns that the Edomites are attacking and coming up though En Gedi/ the Ascent of Ziz. I. Jehoshaphat's and the people's Reaction to the Crisis He fought his fear. Psychoanalyst was terrified but He didn't let it paralyze him. He stayed calm enough enough to think. 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set [c]himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. • Feared, alarmed, shocked but determined to seek the LORD's guidance. Shocked but should not be shaken. • He used to say, “It doesn’t really matter how great the pressure is; it only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord—then, the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to His breast” He sought the Lord(v.3b). Before he did anything else, he set himself to seek the Lord.It’s not the crisis that destroys men; it’s what we do or don’t do when the crisis hits. No one can avoid a moment like this. He brought the synergy. He didn't act alone but gathered the people to inform them of the issue. The people's response 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord. II. Jehoshaphat and the people go to the right place 5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court.. • In every crisis, problem or unexpected enemies, bring the people to the House of the LORD. • ..and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.(v. 4b) III. Points From Jehoshaphat's Prayer: The pattern: 1. Who God Is. “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? References: "For you, LORD, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods" (Psalm 97:9). "The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever" (Psalm 29:10). "Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all" (1 Chronicles 29:11-12). "Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit" (Psalm 147:5). “'I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?'" (Jeremiah 32:27). “'I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted'" (Job 42:2). "The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths" (Psalm 135:6). "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible' (Matthew 19:26). 5 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only [e]Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.(1 Tim. 6.15-16) "All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: What have You done?" Daniel 4:35 • God, the Supreme, the Sovereign, the Only Omnipotent/Potentate God's sovereignty is not the sovereignty of a tyrannical Despot, but the exercised pleasure of One who is infinitely wise and good! Because God is infinitely wise, He cannot err. Because He is infinitely righteous, He will not do wrong. 2. What God Did and Can Do. 7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ • It was God who drove the inhabitants of the land.. • The land was a promise to a friend of God, Abraham 3. Present The Problem Specifically. 10 And now, look, the people[g] of Moab and Ammon and Mount Seir whom you did not allow Israel to come against when they came from Egypt, from whom they turned aside and did not destroy, 11 now behold, they are rewarding us by coming to dispossess us from your possession which you gave us as an inheritance. 4. Then, The Utter Dependence on God. The Childlike Trust. 12 O our God, will you not judge them, for there is no power in us before this great multitude that is coming against us. Now we do not know what we shall do, for our eyes are upon you. THE ANSWER: A Word from The Spirit of the LORD: Take Note: From whom? 14 Then the Spirit of Yahweh came upon Jahaziel, the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite from the descendants[h] of Asaph.. • In that overnight worship and prayer, a message came from Jahaziel. Somebody from a clan of song writers or poets, singers. There were a number of Levites that King David assigned as worship leaders in the tabernacle choir, according to 1 Chronicles 6:31–32. Asaph was one of these men (1 Chronicles 6:39). Asaph’s duties are described in detail in 1 Chronicles 16. It is recognized that Asaph was David's music director, and probably wrote much of the original, now lost, music for David's Psalms, but much more importantly, he wrote twelve Psalms. According to 2 Chronicles 29:30, both Asaph and David were skilled singers and poets. Asaph is also mentioned as a “seer” or prophet. The “sons of Asaph” are mentioned in 1 Chronicles 25:1, 2 Chronicles 20:14, and Ezra 2:41. The sons of Asaph were likely a guild of skilled poets and singers, modeling themselves musically after Asaph, their master. The church musicians of our day can be considered spiritual “children of Asaph.” Twelve psalms (50, 73-83) are introduced with the phrase le’asaf in the superscription. This phrase, most often translated in English “of Asaph,” can indicate authorship: that it was Asaph himself or one of his descendants who wrote these psalms. It can also indicate a group of psalms associated with Asaph and his family, or psalms that are sung in the style associated with Asaph’s guild of musicians. Psalms 50 and 73-83 are called the “Psalms of Asaph” because his name appears in the superscription at the head of those psalms. Regarding Asaph’s role as a prophet, of particular interest is the imprecatory Psalm 83, which deals with God’s judgment of Israel’s enemies: Edom, the Ishmaelites, Moab, the Hagarites, Gebal, Ammon, the Amalekites, Philistia, Tyre, and Assyria. If we examine the psalms written by Asaph, we can see that all of them have to do with the judgment of God, and many involve the prayers of the people at the prospect or moment of a particular event. Asaph was a gifted individual. He understood where the gift came from, and he used his music to praise the Lord and communicate His Word to a needy world. At this juncture, Read the whole message of Jahaziel. (LEB)15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat, thus says Yahweh to you: ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed before this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they are coming up the ascent of Ziz. And you will find them at the end of the valley facing the desert of Jeruel. 17 There will be no need for you to fight in this battle. Take your stand! Stand and see the deliverance of Yahweh among you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out before them and Yahweh will be with you.’” (ESV)15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” NOTE: Verse 16 - Word of Knowledge The Word of Knowledge is simply the Holy Spirit transmitting His specific knowledge to you on something that you would have no ability or means to be able to know about with your own limited intelligence and knowledge levels. It is supernatural knowledge and insight being given directly to you by the Holy Spirit Himself, not by your own mind or your own intelligence levels. Verse 17 - Word of Wisdom "The Word of Wisdom is the supernatural application of knowledge. It is knowing what to do with the natural or supernatural knowledge God has given you —— proper judgment for action." The gift of the Word of Wisdom is an instantaneous and divine revelation of the sovereign mind, will, purpose, plan, or counsel of God concerning things of the past, present, or future. • Hold your position. Stand in your position. Our God loves paradoxes. Watch the miraculous come into action for our God is awesome, tremendous. HalleluYah. He caught the vision(v. 14-17) He listened to the voice of the Lord until he knew what to do. He humbly listened to person God used though he was the king. He bought the idea.(v. (18,19) He taught the plan. He assembled the key players and gave them instructions on what each had to do. Jehoshaphat's Last Exhortation, Word of Morale. The Battle Day. The V-day. 20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphkat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another. AND SO, WHY IS THIS BATTLE NOT ISRAEL'S? 1. By Prophecy. Remember one of the Psalms of Asaph, Psalm 83. 83 O Diyos, huwag kang tumahimik; huwag kang manahimik o maging walang kibo, O Diyos! 2 Sapagkat ang mga kaaway mo'y nagkakagulo, silang napopoot sa iyo ay nagtaas ng kanilang mga ulo. 3 Sila'y naghanda ng mga tusong panukala laban sa iyong bayan, sila'y nagsanggunian laban sa iyong mga iniingatan. 4 Kanilang sinasabi, “Pumarito kayo, bilang isang bansa'y pawiin natin sila, upang ang pangalan ng Israel ay huwag nang maalala pa!” 5 Oo, sila'y nagsabwatan na may pagkakaisa, laban sa iyo ay nagtipanan sila— 6 ang mga tolda ng Edom at ng mga Ismaelita; ang Moab at ang mga Hagrita, 7 ang Gebal, ang Ammon, at ang Amalek; ang Filisteo at ang mga taga-Tiro; 8 ang Asiria ay kumampi rin sa kanila; sila ay maging bisig sa mga anak ni Lot. (Selah) 9 Gawin mo sa kanila ng gaya sa Midian; gaya ng kay Sisera at kay Jabin sa ilog ng Kison, 10 na namatay sa Endor; na naging dumi para sa lupa. 11 Gawin ang kanilang mga maharlika na gaya nina Oreb at Zeeb; lahat nilang mga pinuno na gaya nina Zeba at Zalmuna; 12 na nagsabi, “Angkinin natin para sa ating sarili ang mga pastulan ng Diyos.” 13 O Diyos ko, gawin mo silang gaya ng alabok na paikut-ikot, parang dayami sa harap ng hangin. 14 Gaya ng apoy na sumusunog ng gubat, gaya ng liyab na tumutupok ng mga bundok; 15 kaya't habulin mo sila ng iyong bagyo, at takutin mo sila ng iyong buhawi! 16 Punuin mo ang kanilang mga mukha ng kahihiyan, O Panginoon, upang hanapin nila ang iyong pangalan. 17 Mapahiya at masiraan nawa sila ng loob magpakailanman; malipol nawa sila at mapahiya. 18 Malaman nawa nila na ikaw lamang, na Panginoon ang pangalan, ang sa buong lupa ay Kataas-taasan. The Psalm or prayer tells us that the confederacy was directed actually to God through His people. 2. The Nature of the Attack. Treacherous. They go by the back door. Example: The Amalekites - Eliphaz, son of Esau (the patriarch Jacob’s brother and sworn enemy), and his concubine Timna had a child named Amalek.(Gen. 36.12) Amalek grew up in Esau’s household, imbibing Esau’s pathological hatred of Jacob’s descendants along the way. His offspring became the nation of Amalek, and they lived to the south of the Land of Israel, in what is now known as the Negev Desert.(Numbers 13.29) Exodus 17.16 And he said, "Because the LORD has sworn that the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation." Deuteronomy 25.17-18. 17Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. 18When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. But who are these attackers actually? Ammon and Moab are sons of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. Edom(Esau) at Mount Seir was the brother of Jacob, the sons of Abraham, but was of the flesh, and Israel was of the promise. 3. Ungratefulness of these people to Israel or to the God of Israel 10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them. Reference: (NIV)Deuteronomy 2.1-9;19 1Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea, a as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir. 2Then the Lord said to me, 3“You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. 4Give the people these orders: ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. 5Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own. 6You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’ ” 7The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything. 8So we went on past our relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. We turned from the Arabah road, which comes up from Elath and Ezion Geber, and traveled along the desert road of Moab. 9Then the Lord said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.” 19When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.” 4. The Evil Purpose of the Attackers 20:11 Behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. God's possesion was the Land of Promise AND SO, WHY IS THIS BATTLE NOT OURS, NOT YOURS? AS IT WAS WITH ISRAEL, SO IT IS WITH US. Make a parallel of the 4 points to the Church or personally. 1. It hated God first before it hated us. The battle is directed at God first. • Matthew 10.22 "and you will be hated by all for my name's sake." • Matthew 5.11 "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. • John 15.18-21 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.. 2. Treacherously. Habakkuk 1.12-17 13 Ikaw na may mga matang malinis kay sa tumingin ng kasuwailan, at hindi ka makatitingin sa kasamaan, bakit mo minamasdan ang nagsisigawa ng paglililo, at tumatahimik ka pagka sinasakmal ng masama ang tao na lalong matuwid kay sa kaniya; (ESV)You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he? 3. Showed no gratitude despite of what we do to the attackers. Luke 6.27-28. 27“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. Romans 12.17 Repay no one evil for evil. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 4. To drive us out of Your possession, which You have given us to inherit. Points: The promised Land is God's possession promised to the descendants of Abraham by promise and of faith, and those are the ones counted as the children of God(Romans 9.8). The promised Land is only promised to the children of God. The Promise Land is connected only to the children of God. Walang ibang paglalagyan ang Diyos sa kanyang mga anak kundi ang Promised Land. Application Today: • By typology, the prophet of God was the Moses of our day. And the Message is the Promised land. • Our promised Land is the promised Holy Spirit of God. The little flock of Jesus Christ is so tiny, few, despised, scoffed compared to the mega World Council of Churches. So little compared to the political-religious so-called Christianity. We are powerless people compared to these powerful conglomerate of so called Christians. But wether they believe it or not, we are the true Christianity who has the Possession of God given to us, and that is, His Holy Spirit. HalleluYah! Give it to the Lord. We can do nothing against so large a nominal Christianity except that our eyes are on God. Singers, you are the front liners of this type of battle, meaning, praise and worship. Musicians, singers, don't ever say again, why me? Or not yet. No, this Lord's battle are headed by singers, musicians, worshippers. Halleluyah. Concluding Words: So, when the battle involves treachery, ungratefulness, directed at God Himself and wants to dispossess us from our position in God's possession, His Land, His Life, His Spirit, which is our portion forever, the battle is The Lord's! So, just stand firm, hold on to our position and see the salvation of the Lord for our behalf, and Praise, Give thanks to the LORD for His steadfast love never ceases, endures forever. Amen. Respond by Fasting and praying; trusting and believing and praising and thanksgiving. HalleluYah. No one, nobody can separate us from our possession, from our portion that's given to us forever.