The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), July 5
Jehoshaphat had allied himself with Israel to help them defeat the Arameans. God rebuked him through a prophet, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD?” (2 Chron. 19:2). Jehoshaphat returned to the LORD and appointed the Levites to judge the people throughout the land based on God’s law, commands, decrees, and ordinances (2 Chron.19:10).
As Jehoshaphat faced the vast opposing army, he cried out to the Great King. He prayed according to the prayer that his great grandfather Solomon prayed at the temple dedication, “If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to you in our affliction, and You will hear and save” (2 Chron. 20:9). He confessed his utter dependence upon the LORD to protect Judah, “O our God will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (20:12). God sent Benaiah to encourage Jehoshaphat, “The battle is not yours, but God’s” (20:15).
Based on the prophet’s promise, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and He “set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir” (20:22). God defeated the enemy. It took Judah three days to plunder their equipment, clothing, and valuables. On the fourth day they praised the LORD. They returned joyfully to Jerusalem and praised the LORD in the temple that bore His Name.
- “For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth” (Ps. 47:2)
- “God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne” (47:8)
- “Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (48:2)
Jehoshaphat’s submission to the Lord, as a king to the King, prepares him to face the vast army of Moabites and Ammonites, along with some from other countries, as they oppose Judah. Those kings see God in midst of His people; “For behold, the kings assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marveled; they were troubled, they hastened away. Fear took hold of them there, and pain, as of a woman in birth pangs, as when You break the ships of Tarshish with an east winds” (48:4-7). Psalm 48 also captures the essence of Hezekiah’s revival by connecting it to the Lord’s presence in the temple of the city where His Name dwelt.
The world has hope when God’s people trust Him to defend them. God doesn’t need what man may do to defend himself. Nor does the world need what God’s people may do to defend themselves. Man needs what God can do to defend those who trust in Him. As He defends His people, the world comes to know that God is the Great King.
It is always God-sized when you feel small and your battle looms large. Submit to the great King over all the earth!
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Ps. 47-49; 84; 85; 87):
What do the psalms in today’s reading reveal about who God is for those who trust in Him?
What do these psalms communicate about God’s care for Jerusalem the city and Judah the nation?