God wants us to trust him and not be afraid. Trust: full confidence and reliance on; believe and have faith, be sure about.
Acts 16:30-32 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition ) And he brought them out [of the dungeon] and said, Men, what is it necessary for me to do that I may be saved? And they answered, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [a]give yourself up to Him, [b] take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and this applies both to] you and your household as well. And they declared the Word of the Lord [the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] to him and to all who were in his house.
Paul told Timothy perilous times would come and men would be lovers of their own selves (II Timothy 3:1-2). People had thoughts of their heart on evil continually in Noah’s day. We live in the last days today and God is grieved in his heart.
Genesis 6:5-6 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great…and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Noah didn’t fear but kept preaching. The enemy is all around us, but we don’t have to be afraid because God is in control.
Revelation 20:7-10 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they…compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever…
Only those with their name written in the book of life will escape being cast into the lake of fire. False prophets and false ministers will end up in the lake of fire. We get our name in the book of life by repenting and trusting God to be saved, and continuing to faithfully obey him. We have to keep our eyes on God and trust him completely.
Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it…I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works…And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Our name won’t be written in the book of life if we hang onto our way or thoughts and opinions. We have to completely surrender our will to God’s way. (Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.) God will judge us by the way we live. We have to learn how to recognize the voice of God and the voice of the enemy. Condemnation will say you’re all wrong. Conviction will show how to make things right.
- God’s voice: stills you, leads you, reassures you, enlightens you, encourages you, comforts you, calms you, convicts you
- Satan’s voice: rushes and pushes you, frightens you, confuses you, discourages you, worries you, obsesses you, condemns you
A great multitude of the enemy was 25 miles south of Judah (Judah was 2000 square miles, the size of Oregon). Jehoshaphat feared but then he sought the Lord and proclaimed a fast for all Judah. He wanted God to help and know he was serious. Often fear is our first reaction, then we seek God’s help. All the cities of Judah and their families came to seek the Lord.
II Chronicles 20:1-9 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and…Ammon, and…the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee…And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even…all the cities of Judah…Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation…said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land…and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein…saying, If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand…in thy presence…and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.
Jehoshaphat told how great God was and was earnest to pray and fast. He said they had no might against the enemy. He knew they would be wiped out if God didn’t help them. When we don’t know what to do, we need to seek God and wait for his directions – not lean on our own understanding.
II Chronicles 20:10-13 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir…how they reward us, to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
The first thing God said was to not be afraid of the multitude. He said the battle wasn’t theirs, but it was God’s. Then he told them where the enemy was located. He said not to fight but to stand still and the Lord would be with them.
II Chronicles 20:14-17 Then upon Jahaziel…came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation; And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah…and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz…Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
They started praising God and singing when they heard what to do. They believed what God through the prophet said to do.
II Chronicles 20:18-19 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah…fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. And…the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
God doesn’t want us losing our rejoicing in trials. We defeat the enemy when we give thanks and praise in hard trials. There isn’t any record of a choir going before an army in battle. God set ambushments against the enemy and they killed each other. God fought the battle and all the people did was to sing and praise God.
II Chronicles 20:20-23…Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And…appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments…and they were smitten…Ammon and Moab stood up against…Seir, utterly to…destroy them… every one helped to destroy another.
God wants a people who trust him with all their heart. There was so much spoil with precious jewels that it took three days to collect. They came back after the hard trial richer than they were before. It’s in the real hard trials that we grow up. We learn to pray, and trust, and have more compassion for others. God will never leave us or fail us when we trust him.
II Chronicles 20:24-30 And when Judah…looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the Lord: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies. And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the Lord. And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)