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2 Chronicles 20:20-37 – A Testament of Trust and Triumph

Enemies Destroy Themselves

In the early morning, as the sun peeked over the horizon, the people of Judah and Jerusalem embarked on their journey to the wilderness of Tekoa. Among them stood Jehoshaphat, their leader and voice of reason. With unwavering conviction, he addressed the crowd and urged them to place their trust in the Lord their God, for it is through this trust that they would find endurance and success. In the same breath, Jehoshaphat implored them to put their faith in the words of the Lord’s prophets.

Gathering the people’s consent, Jehoshaphat took a moment to appoint those with hearts full of song and praise. They adorned themselves in holy attire and marched ahead of the army, their voices echoing through the wilderness, proclaiming, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His faithfulness is everlasting.”

As the melodious hymns filled the air, a divine intervention unfolded. The Lord, in His infinite power, orchestrated a masterful plan. Ambushes were set against the enemies of Judah: the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir. The armies that came to conquer were struck down, their intentions thwarted. To everyone’s astonishment, the sons of Ammon and Moab turned against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, leading to their mutual destruction.

When the people of Judah reached the watchtower of the wilderness, a chilling sight awaited them. Lifeless bodies lay strewn on the ground, their threat vanquished. No enemy survivor remained.

With victory secured, Jehoshaphat and his people proceeded to claim their spoils. Among the spoils were riches beyond measure, including goods, garments, and valuable items. The treasures were abundant and required three days to collect and carry away.

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Triumphant Return to Jerusalem

Four days later, the triumphant army assembled in the Valley of Beracah, a place now etched in their hearts as a testament to the Lord’s blessings. With hearts overflowing with gratitude, they blessed the Lord for the victory He had granted them. And so, the valley became known as “The Valley of Beracah,” a symbol of divine favor that endures to this day.

Jehoshaphat, along with the people of Judah and Jerusalem, journeyed back to their beloved city of Jerusalem. Joy radiated from their hearts, for the Lord had helped them overcome their enemies. As they entered the city gates, the sound of melodic instruments filled the air. Harps, lyres, and trumpets accompanied their triumphant procession to the house of the Lord.

News of the Lord’s intervention spread like wildfire, striking fear into the kingdoms of the lands. The dread of God enveloped all who heard of the Lord’s might in defending His chosen people, Israel. Under Jehoshaphat’s reign, peace settled upon the kingdom, as God granted them rest from all sides.

A Reign of Righteousness

Jehoshaphat, a just and noble king, reigned over Judah for twenty-five years. Ascending to the throne at the age of thirty-five, he emulated the righteous path of his father Asa and never wavered in his devotion to the Lord. However, although he sought to lead his people in the ways of God, the high places still remained, and the hearts of the people had yet to fully turn towards the God of their fathers.

For a comprehensive account of Jehoshaphat’s reign, from the beginning to the end, one may find the detailed chronicles in the writings of Jehu, the son of Hanani. These accounts have been recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.

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Alliance Displeases God

In a moment of ill-advised decision-making, Jehoshaphat formed an alliance with Ahaziah, the king of Israel. This alliance proved to be a grave mistake, as it led Jehoshaphat down a treacherous path. In their joint endeavor, they set out to build ships to embark on a journey to Tarshish. However, divine disapproval loomed over their alliance.

Eliezer, the son of Dodavahu from Mareshah, prophesied against Jehoshaphat, declaring the Lord’s wrath upon him. The ships they had put their hopes in were soon wrecked and rendered unable to reach Tarshish.

And so, the consequences of Jehoshaphat’s ill-fated alliance served as a reminder of the Lord’s sovereignty and the importance of seeking His guidance in all endeavors.

Source: 2 Chronicles 20:20-37, New American Standard Bible

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