Daily D – 2 Chronicles 19:1-3
2 Chronicles 19:1-3 When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.”
What is there in your heart God can amplify to bless the world?
Jehoshaphat was a man who wanted to build goodwill and better friendships with Ahab and the northern kingdom of Israel. It nearly got him killed. (See 2 Chronicles 18.)
Upon his safe return to Jerusalem (19:1), he was rebuked by Jehu the Seer, a prophet. He had a powerful question and a strong commendation.
The question was this: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you,” (verse 2).
The commendation was this: “There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God,” (verse 3).
Nobody likes a rebuke. Everyone loves a compliment. Which do you prefer to give your focus?
Jehoshaphat took to heart the rebuke. We know this in part because he did not lash out irrationally toward Jehu. He did not kill Jehu, or have him killed. He received Jehu’s words as the very words of God.
He then focused on living the kind of life God can bless. Instead of attempting to build up those God had already condemned, he turned toward helping his nation live the kinds of lives God can bless. We see this in the rest of chapter 19. The bottom line is found in the last verse of the chapter: “Act with courage, and may the LORD be with those who do well,” (verse 11).
Chapter 20 is one of the most remarkable chapters in the Bible. Three different people groups joined forces to “wage war against Jehoshaphat,” (verse 1). What would a king who chooses to live a life God can bless do in a situation like this? Verse 3 tells us:
“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.”
Not only did he declare a fast so that everyone would give focused attention to seeking help from God (verse 4), Jehoshaphat led the prayer. (See verses 6-12.)
Pay close attention to verse 12: “Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
Jehoshaphat spoke two powerful truths:
1. We have no power to face this vast army.
2. We do not know what to do.
Along with these confessions was one important declaration:
“Our eyes are on you.”
Read the rest of chapter 20 and see what happened next. Verse 30 gives us the delightful conclusion:
“And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”
Remember how this all began. Jehoshaphat received a rebuke, a strong warning. He took it to heart. He focused on what was right, just, fair, and compassionate for the whole nation. He sought God immediately and collectively when they were threatened. God intervened and delivered them without having to fight at all. Instead, they moved with praise toward the valley where their adversaries had gathered (verses 20-23).
The valley that could have become a place of grief and lament received a new name, the Valley of Berakah, which means, The Valley of Praise, or Blessing.
A word of rebuke and a word of commendation led to a lifestyle and leadership style God could bless. The Valley of Certain Death became a Valley of Blessing.
How will you live in such a manner today that God will bless you and others because of the commendable attitudes and behaviors you live?
I will listen to God’s words of rebuke and focus on what God is blessing.
Our Father, thank you for the grace of good rebukes. Thank you for reminding us what is commendable. Empower us to join you in taking the right lead measures leading to the overflow of your goodness into the lives of many. May the lives we live today bring peace to us and to others. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.