2 Chronicles 20 … Consider His Protection Over His Possession

“see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance,” (20:11).

After finishing this, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, a question sprung up in my mind… Could I think of even one Bible character, commended for their faith, who did not encounter a trial that depended solely upon God’s ability to overcome?

Names immediately raced through my thoughts: Job, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Sampson, David, Elijah, Elisha, Ruth, Esther, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, Peter, John, Stephen and Paul, to name just a few; and of course, Jesus.

Not one who walks with God is exempt from warfare. The enemy is relentless, but God has already overcome every adversary; and Jehoshaphat fully believed this to be truth. And it was with this conviction that Jehoshaphat called on God in heaven, ruler over all kingdoms, powerful and mighty against all enemies, before turning God’s attention to their imminent danger of the enemies’ intention, “…coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance,” (20:11).

One of my most treasured prayers from Scripture is Jehoshaphat’s prayer couched within the details of today’s story. And at the close of his profound and comprehensive appeal, Jehoshaphat states the bottom-line reality, short and to the point; and yet his words encapsulate everything prayed.

“nor do we know what to do,
but our eyes are on You,”
(20:12).

And in our English translation, it actually reads like a poem… an English translation gift; as poetry is a tremendous tool in facilitating the practice of committing Scripture to memory.

Jehoshaphat’s eyes were on the Lord because he knew; he knew, and he believed that what God had promised He would fulfill. And he based his assurance, that God would answer his urgent appeal, on what God had said: the land, and His people, were His Possession.

For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth, (Deuteronomy 14:2).

“…coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance,” (20:11).

And Jehoshaphat was convinced that God would do what only God could do, Protect His Possession.

“Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us,’” (20:7-9).

Consider His Protection Over His Possession

  • His Protection Over His Possession takes on our battles.
    • “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s,’” (20:15).
  • His Protection Over His Possession discloses the end before it begins.
    • “Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel,” (20:16).
  • His Protection Over His Possession provides His strategy.
    • “You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem…” (20:17).
  • His Protection Over His Possession directs us with His Presence.
    • “Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you,” (20:17).
  • His Protection Over His Possession humbles us to exalt and worship Him in faith.
    • Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord, (20:18).
  • His Protection Over His Possession moves us to unashamedly put on garments of holiness and praise.
    • The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel, with a very loud voice21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” 22 When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed, (20:19, 21-22).
  • His Protection Over His Possession enlarges our trust in Him.
    • They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed,” (20:20).

And He doesn’t stop with His Protection, but goes on to Provide His Bountiful Blessings of Power, Peace and Prosperity; for what will He not do for His Possession?

When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found much among them, including goods, garments and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry. And they were three days taking the spoil because there was so much. 26 Then on the fourth day they assembled in the valley of Beracah [Blessing], for there they blessed the Lord. Therefore they have named that place “The Valley of Beracah [Blessing]” until today, (20:24-26).

How do we respond to His Protection Over His Possession?

Let’s begin with an important lesson from this battle: Faith does not preclude being frightened.

Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the Lord; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the Lord, (20:3-4).

Being frightened is a human reaction. But fear did not master Jehoshaphat, and it is not to master us.

As he proclaimed a fast, he led his nation to humble themselves in repentance and to seek the Lord. Their only hope and dependence was to be in the God Who has provided all that is needed to conquer fear.

“Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s,” (20:15).

  • As His Possession, we can confidently depend on His Protection as He takes on our battles.
    • What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31).
  • As His Possession, we can courageously move forward under His Protection as He discloses the end before it begins.
    • The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet, (Romans 16:20).
  • As His Possession, we can fearlessly stand under His Protection as He provides His strategy.
    • Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil, (Ephesians 6:10-11).
  • As His Possession, we can willingly bring others to His Protection as He directs us with His Presence.
    • Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:19-20).
  • As His Possession, we can boldly invite His Protection through our faith expressed in humility and worship.
    • Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you, (1 Peter 5:6-7).
  • As His Possession, we can unashamedly proclaim His Protection through our lives lived out in holiness and praise.
    • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy, (1 Peter 1:9-10).

And because we are His Possession in Jesus Christ, we have all we need to conquer fear.

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline,(2 Timothy 1:7). 

One final note for self-examination. Although, Jehoshaphat is commended for doing right in the sight of the Lord, there were still issues left unresolved.

 “He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not depart from it, doing right in the sight of the Lord. 33 The high places, however, were not removed; the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their fathers,” (20:32-33).

Perhaps it was the influence of divided hearts, or the high places left standing, but Jehoshaphat had this propensity toward forming alliances with unhealthy attachments. And while his intentions may have been to form some kind of truce in hopes the northern kingdom would return to their God, and while he enjoyed success and prosperity in his role as king, these relationships proved detrimental.

Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab, (2 Chronicles 18:1).

“Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord? But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God,” (2 Chronicles 19:2).

After twenty-five years as king, as a good king who did much to reinstate true worship, the last commentary given about him in Chronicles is a negative review.

Now Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years… 35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. He acted wickedly in so doing. 36 So he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.” So the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish, (20:31, 35-37).

It is important for us to recognize; while Jehoshaphat’s works were destroyed, he was not. The Lord’s Protection Over His Possession is enduring and everlasting.

We too will face a review at the end of our lives, when we stand before the Judgment [Bema] Seat of Christ. When we belong to Him through faith in His finished work on the cross, as His Possession we will be Protected from eternal damnation. It is not our eternity, but our works that will be judged at His Bema Seat.

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire, (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

And the sad, but true note, is that we too have invested in works that will be destroyed. Let us spend some time asking Him to examine our hearts. Through His Word, He has provided His Protection Over His Possession to reveal the potential fire risks in our lives through unhealthy attachments to relationships, attitudes and habits.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do, (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Wouldn’t it be better to be laid open before Him here, so that we would tear down any high places competing for His rightful place on the throne of our hearts, than to stand before His Bema Seat and see our stuff go up in smoke? Let us make it our life’s ambition to live as His Possession Under His Protection, that we may please Him in all that we do.

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad, (1 Corinthians 3:9-10).

Trials will come for every believer. Trials that will require total dependence on God alone to overcome. And when we have questions and we’re not exactly sure how to handle the situation in a way that would please Him, we know what to do. We must turn our eyes on Him, alone, fully trusting and believing His Protection Over His Possession.

“nor do we know what to do,
but our eyes are on You,”
(20:12).

Let’s Grow Together!

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