Week of August 14 - Day 5

Day 5--Read: 2 Chronicles 20:20-30

And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat 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.

The Lord Delivers Judah

24 When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the horde, and behold, there were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the Lord. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Beracah to this day. 27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28 They came to Jerusalem with harps and lyres and trumpets, to the house of the Lord. 29 And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.

Reflect: How did this situation end?

Consider: The ambush was a common feature of the holy war (Josh 8:2, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21; Jer 51:12; cf. 2 Chr 13:13). But here it was the Lord who “set ambushes” against the foe. These ambushes have been variously identified. We can only speculate, but supernatural agencies probably are implied, comparable with the “panic” that sometimes affected Israel’s enemies in a holy war (Exod 23:27; Josh 10:10). Confusion in battle sometimes brought armies to self-destruction (Judg 7:22; 1 Sam 14:20; 2 Kgs 3:23). Jehoshaphat’s men were not called upon to participate in the battle (cf. 13:14–18; 14:12–14). The huge quantities of spoil listed serve to emphasize the magnitude of the victory.5

Respond: Read 1 Chronicles 16:34; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 7:3; Psalm 118:1, 29; 136:1. Life your life in a way that reflects a heart or gratitude.

 

 

5  J. A. Thompson, 1, 2 Chronicles, vol. 9, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 295.