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hand opened up toward the sky June 18 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 2Chronicles 19:4-11; 2Kings 1:1; 2Chronicles 20:1-30; Psalms 46, 47, 48; Psalm 83, 91 (more…)

Deliverance

To whom do people look for deliverance from their enemies? If they look for deliverance from their creditors, they may ask relatives for help. If they need rescued from an intruder or hostile neighbor, they may call the police. If they need liberation from a foreign enemy, they will likely look to military and political leadership to save them. Many nations in the days of the kings of Israel and Judah trusted in their man-made gods and their military might. To whom do we trust when faced with our enemies?

King Jehoshaphat trusted in God, but he had made the mistake of leading his people to fight beside the nation and king of Israel, who were under the judgment of God (June 17 Bible study). In today’s lesson we see that Jehoshaphat redeems himself. He saw what could happen if a person allows himself to be misled, so he doubled his efforts to seek the LORD. He appointed godly judges in every fortified city of Judah.

He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”
In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the LORD and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem. He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD. In every case that comes before you from your fellow countrymen who live in the cities-- whether bloodshed or other concerns of the law, commands, decrees or ordinances-- you are to warn them not to sin against the LORD; otherwise his wrath will come on you and your brothers. Do this, and you will not sin…. Act with courage, and may the LORD be with those who do well’” (2Chronicles 19:6-11, NIV).

Have you made errors in judgment? It is never too late to repent and then do things right.

When the Kings of the Ammonites, Moabites, and some of the Menuites from the region of Edom came to make war on Jehoshaphat, the hearts of the people of Judah were prepared to seek the LORD. 2Chronicles 20:4 says, “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him,” (NIV). When you are being attacked, where will you first seek help; from God or another source?

Jehoshaphat and all Judah totally relied on the LORD to help them. Because they sought the LORD whole-heartedly in faith, God did help them. He sent a prophet to them to say,

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you,” (2Chronicles 20:15-17, NIV).

The people bowed to God in worship. How did God deliver them? 2Chronicles 20 continues the historical account,

Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.”

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. 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, (20-23, NIV).

The only things left after this battle were dead bodies and a lot of plunder. In fact, it took three days to collect it all. The LORD had indeed delivered them from their enemies without the nation of Judah having to do anything. Jehoshaphat led his whole kingdom to trust in the LORD. You can do this with your “kingdom,” your realm of influence (family, church, and perhaps even your school or work place). Teach them the Word of God. Teach them to revere God. Teach them to seek God earnestly. Whom do we trust when we need deliverance from our enemies? Trust God. He is the All-Powerful, caring God. He is worthy of our trust. He brings the victory. He gives forgiveness, new life, and peace (more...).

Lessons to live by:

  • If you have made errors in judgment, it is never too late to repent and then do things right.
  • If we, like the people of Judah, seek the LORD whole-heartedly in faith, God will help us, too, when we need deliverance.
  • Lead people in your realm of influence to trust the LORD so they will look to him for deliverance.
  • When God helps us, we should be sure to give him praise, glory and worship.
  • Trust God when you need deliverance from your enemies. He is the all- powerful, caring God. He is worthy of our trust; he brings victory and he gives peace. (more...)

Today’s Bible memory verse:

Psalm 1:1-2

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

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