4 Lessons from the Life of Jehoshaphat
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
IF WE are talking about the calendar, it's the end of winter—and spring is a heartbeat away. Yet, everything spring stands for—like hope and sunlight seem so far away.
The news headlines are full of uncertainties—and people are on edge.
THERE WAS A TIME in Israel when people felt the same way.
Jehoshaphat had just fortified his kingdom, when his intelligence sources came running in with a piece of horrifying news.
"A huge force is on its way from beyond the Dead Sea to fight you. There is no time to waste." (2 Chronicles 20:1-2)
If you were in his shoes, what will you do?
What will be your course of action when something threatens your existence?
Realize there is a problem
JEHOSHAPHAT was scared, and the people of Judah were afraid.
He knew there was a problem, but he wasn’t sure of how to respond to it—so, he turned to God for help.
Jehoshaphat understood that the only thing fear needs to thrive is to give up hope, and he wasn’t going to allow it.
Whenever you face a dire situation, let your need drive you to God.
Let your prayer be, "I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From where will my help come from? My help will come from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)
EVERY BELIEVER will say that adversity would automatically drive you to prayer, but this doesn't happen.
Although he was afraid, he did not react that way.
He could have called his generals to come together, and they would have gone to war.
Rather than trust in his army, he trusted in God.
The instincts would have been, "God, this isn't fair. I have tried to follow you, and now, my heathen neighbour threatens me."
But Jehoshaphat showed no sign of self-entitlement.
When we face challenges, many of us go to God and talk to Him as if He owes us something; we forget that he owes us nothing.
Be Vulnerable to God
IN THOSE DAYS, kings were powerful. No leader wanted to be vulnerable. (2 Chronicles 20:12)
If Jehoshaphat lived in our day, people would have frowned at his approach. They would have said he was politically wrong.
He showed no sign of self-entitlement
But he wasn't bothered about the politics or his image.
He was only concerned about his esteem before God. (James 4:10)
Jehoshaphat went to God not only to ask for help but to seek Him. (2 Chronicles 20:4)
He was God-centred.
To seek God in your crisis is the vital thing. Even if he doesn't deliver you from it, when you have him, you can surmount any adversity. (Isaiah 43:2)
BY THE FOLLOWING MORNING, Jehoshaphat had stopped renting a space to fear.
He had tipped the balance of faith, but he had one more thing to do.
He had to ensure that the people were on the same page.
And he said to them, "Believe firmly in God, your God, and your lives will be firm! Believe in your prophets, and you'll come out on top!" (2 Chronicles 20:20)
They went to war and didn't have to lift a hand. The enemies fought and killed one another. (2 Chronicles 20:24)
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
JEHOSHAPHAT realized there was an issue. He resisted the problem and remembered God's promises.
Then, he prayed to God, and God came through for him.
Even as you pray to God, always remember that a quick prayer is only as effective as how much time you spend in long prayers.