The final of four chapters on the reign of Jehoshaphat begins with the account of a military crisis. A league of neighboring nations sent an overwhelming force against Judah. Jehoshaphat was afraid, but he behaved in an exemplary way. He turned to the Lord in prayer and then received a good message from the Lord in faith.
In his prayer the king of Judah acknowledged the greatness of God and called upon the Lord to be true to His promises. The Lord had promised to give this land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God had enabled Solomon to build a sanctuary for the Name of God and had sworn that He would hear them when they called upon Him in situations just like this. The king concluded his prayer with these great words: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
The message from the Lord assured the king and the people of Judah that God Himself would bring them victory. They responded with faith and worship. The next morning they went off to battle singing psalms. The Lord brought victory by causing the adversaries of Judah to turn against one another. All that was left for God’s people was to take away the spoil. They returned to the temple of the Lord praising God.
Jehoshaphat was a great king. His thirty-five year reign was good for the people of the Lord. His only problems came in His partnerships with the wicked kings of Samaria to the north. A shipping misadventure done in league with one of these evil men completes the account of Jehoshaphat’s reign.
The lessons for the Chronicler’s generation were obvious, and they continue to be important for us who are led by the King of kings. In the face of overwhelming enemies we need to call upon the Name of the Lord, remembering His promises and believing His Word. He will not abandon us. Only remember that we are called to be faithful to God. We must not imagine that every project that might be undertaken in partnership with the world will be safe for the Lord’s people.
In the days of the return of exiles from Babylon, this meant that they needed to see the danger that came from the inhabitants of the land who claimed to want to help in the reconstruction of the Lord’s temple. They also needed to be careful not to get entangled with the women of the land who were not following the Lord.
We are involved in a great work of building up God’s kingdom throughout the earth. Jesus will surely lead us into victory. Our help is not in the power of the kings of this world but in the Name of the One who died and rose again.