June 16, 2006
His God Gave Him Rest
In church the other night, the Lord brought some Scriptures to my mind, as I turned to read them, I began to see them in
a new light, that I had not previously seen. I am so grateful when he shows me how his precious Word applies to my life. I'd
like to dig in more this morning to what I was reading and write it down so it's never forgotten. Let's go back in time to
around 890 BC. Jehosophat is ruling the Northern kingdom of Judah and has for a while. This man's life has fascinated me lately.
He had a father, Asa, who started out right with God but ended up badly. Jehosophat was a righteous king, who loved God, believe,
because he did right. He made a mistake and made an alliance with the wicked king Ahab of Israel, that nearly got him killed,
and was rebuked by a prophet sent by God not long before what I am going to read about this morning. He was written about
in Scripture, he loved God, he loved God's ways, but he made mistakes, too. Sometimes, when we are under pressure, and things
are moving against us, we do that. How blessed we are that God does not turn from us in disgust and throw up his hands. How
much I want that holy, steadfast love of God in my heart in more abundance.
2Ch 20:1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them
other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
Moab and Ammon were born back in Genesis, after Lot, whom Scripture says was a righteous man, (2 Pet 2:8) was taken out
of Sodom and Gomorrah by the angel of God. Lot had erred so badly, he had not passed on the heritage of righteousness to his
children, he had not taught his daughters about God, or how to believe and trust him. He had not taught them to worship or
sacrifice to God. They were polluted by the corrupt environment they were growing up in. When they were removed from it, they
never looked to God. They tried to figure things out themselves, and turned to the corrupt resource of flesh, rather than
seeking God for direction and help. Thinking there were no other men alive, they got their father drunk (and consider the
implications of THAT-among the few possessions they were able to carry out of a city marked for destruction they brought WINE-what
were their priorities?) and they took turns with him until they got pregnant, to "raise up seed to their father."
So Ammon and Moab are the result of children with no faith who turned to flesh rather than Spirit. They are types of the
flesh and the world. Every one who is born again by the Spirit and Word of God fights these two. I wonder if the only thing
that will change that is the intensity of the battle, because I believe they will pull at you until the day you die, or the
day you finally are so crucified with Christ, that the Lord is ever before your eyes so nothing else moves you, and your heart
is ever increasingly aware of eternity rather than time. Now, remember folks, I've only been saved five years, and I don't
pretend to know it all-no, I have MUCH to learn. But that is where I want to be.
But here is this righteous king Jehosophat, and Ammon and Moab are coming against him. He's just been rebuked by the prophet
Jehu, for joining Ahab in battle. Godly people don't need to be fighting the battles of the wicked. But because Jehosophat
had prepared his heart to seek God, and tried to do right, God had mercy on this man. But when you go with flesh, you open
the door for your enemy to come against you. And it did. Jehosophat gets word "a great multitude are coming against you from
Syria. The news brought fear to his heart and he moved in the right direction.
2Ch 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
2Ch 20:4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they
came to seek the LORD.
Even as he calls on God, you can hear the fear in his prayer, the lack of confidence. His prayer reads like he's trying
to remind himself of what he knows about God, because God knows who He is. There have been times I have been stressed, under
pressure, fighting battles, and not always understanding what is happening, and I catch myself praying Psalms 46:1 this way-and
I have to ask God to forgive me, and have mercy on me because I know the Word says "God is an ever present help in the time
of trouble." so I have no business crying out like a frightened unbeliever saying "God help me!" That sounds like a prayer
of unbelief, doesn't it? Ouch, he's been dealing with me about that some lately.
2Ch 20:5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new
2Ch 20:6 And 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
2Ch 20:7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel,
and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?
He's standing before these people, and surely he's aware of their fear, too, and he's trying to encourage them by reminding
them in his prayer who God is, as well as himself. But this is not a powerful prayer of faith, at least it doesn't sound that
way to my heart as I read it.
2Ch 20:8 And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,
2Ch 20:9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before
this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt
hear and help.
When our children don't listen to us, and they get in trouble, and cry out to us, we hear them, don't we? We move to help
them, even if they are hurt because of their disobedience, we still move to help them. God does, too. What a merciful Father
2Ch 20:10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when
they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;
2Ch 20:11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou
hast given us to inherit.
Now I want to pause here a minute and draw your attention to one word: Seir. In the original Hebrew that word means "hairy,
goat, demon, rough tempest." So here are three things coming against the children of God: their enemies were powerful, demonically
inspired, and trusting in their own ability to conquer God's people. In our battles, we fight these three. Some of God's children
right now are being moved against by the very principalities of darkness, the powers of the wicked one, as well as the spirit
of the world, and their flesh is reacting badly and fighting them hard as well.
I thought it interesting, Jehosophat prayed, " you would not let us destroy these people in Mount Seir, and look how they
reward us, they come to cast us out of what you have given us to inherit!" This is our promised land, you gave it to us, and
they are trying to put us out!!" Saints of God, our heavenly Father made some EXPENSIVE AND PRECIOUS PROMISES TO US. CHRIST
is OUR PROMISED LAND.
Col 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
God wants his people to move into the place of promise, of rest. Only as they move into their possession-CHRIST, completely
immersed in HIM, crucified with HIM, clothed in Christ, walking in him, assured of their possession-would we not be unstoppable
by the flimsy powers of hell? I say flimsy, because compared to CHRIST, the best Satan and his minions have to combat that
is as flimsy as a spider web to child. I'm not there yet, but I'm coming-Saints, we're not going down, we're not going under,
we are going through and that slimy devil knows it that is why he is warring so hard with discouragement, fear, unbelief,
distraction, despair and all his other arrows he shoots into our minds. That's why the pressure is getting turned up-and won't
the victory be so much more glorious when God parts the waters, dries the ground and says, children, come forth. The way is
ready. Didn't he say he'd make a way in the wilderness?
Isa 43:16 Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;
Isa 43:17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall
not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.
And all this is coming against this people, and look what Jehosophat wisely says:
2Ch 20:12 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.
Oh, when we give up fighting ourselves, and give it to God and just admit we are helpless and don't know what to do and
just trust God will and does know what to do, what a load off our shoulders! It's a daily fight, to deny the flesh the right
to jump up and try to handle everything-and then you battle frustration because you can't handle it and it turns out badly.
I'm struggling with this myself-don't think for one minute, just because God is showing me this in his word, doesn't mean
I've walked victoriously in this every day, though there has been victories. Oh, praise the Lord for his precious Word! How
its wonderful truths rejoice my heart and give me new hope with each new revelation! I know others have seen this, but it's
new to me. It's TIMELY. It's daily bread for MY soul today! Hallelujah to the MOST HIGH GOD who is so wonderful....oh how
did I ever make it without him in my life? To not have him in my life is both too horrifying and unthinkable to even consider.
To walk away from him is not even an option...no, I don't want to be a servant of the Most High-but a slave-chained to Christ
who will not go out free.
Here all these people stand before the Lord, with their children. Surely there was fear, fatigue, discouragement, weariness,
and uncertainty in their heart. But God hears. He sees. His promises are yea and amen. His word doesn't change. He came in
2Ch 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, 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.
2Ch 20:16 Tomorrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end
of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
I love this! He says you go down against them-how many of you know when he says go down, you have to go down from being
up to come against the enemy that plagues you. We are risen and seated in heavenly places with Christ, if we are his, and
our life is hid in him, and we have rejected the world and it's ways. You have to go down to come against them, but then oh
look what he says:
2Ch 20:17 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; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will
be with you.
Now, let's do take a moment and do what they did for there is none more worthy........
2Ch 20:18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem
fell before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.
2Ch 20:19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the
LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
Glory to God! Adore him, saints, he will never leave you in the hands of your enemy!
Psa 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
Psa 31:8 And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
He knows what we are going through, and what comes against us better than we do! He understands and sees the whole thing.
He has allowed it. It could not come were it not allowed from on High. But look, he's set us in a large room-he's given us
plenty of place, he's not let us in the hand of our enemy.
Psa 31:18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
Psa 31:19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou
hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
Psa 31:20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a
pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Who better than the Lord to shut the mouth of the lying devil which batters our minds...and speaks so presumptuously against
the saints, whether through people, or right in to your own mind...But God, our Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, has
laid up more goodness than we could comprehend for his children who fear him and trust in him openly, no matter what we see!
We have a hiding place in his presence! It's there! Be strong, and be encouraged children of the Most High God!
Psa 31:21 Blessed be the LORD: for he hath showed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city.
Psa 31:22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications
when I cried unto thee.
Psa 31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the
Psa 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
He can do it. Don't believe the devil when he whispers "you're cut off," love the Lord, he's faithful, he'll take care
of your enemies. He knows how. He's able. He's also your strength to stand! Even in the stronghold of trouble you might be
fighting against, he's still showing you wonderful kindness....
2Ch 20:20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, 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.
When they began to sing and praise the Lord before the army, what did our God do? He set ambushments! He ambushed the enemy
for his children! Who is the army that fights on our behalf but an innumerable company of angels, remember saints, Elisha
told his servant "they that be with us are more than be with them."
2Ki 6:16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
2Ki 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of
the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
They too, were surrounded by enemies, and it looked bad in the servant's eyes. Just like in 2 Chronicles 20 it looked bad
to Jehoshophat and Judah's inhabitants. But God sees molehills where we see mountains. He turned the enemy to fight each other.
And after this was over, when the children of God went to the battlefield, they found dead bodies, loaded with jewels, and
the spoil was so great they spent 3 days carrying it off. Now, let me ask you something, why would people going to war, bring
jewels with them? Because God wanted his children to have it. God can use the enemy to bring you what you need! Don't you
forget it! He can do anything! He loves us! He is taking care of us and he is bringing us in! This year is only half over-he's
made us some promises and you can straighten your back, lift up your head, look to the one who is so vast he can prop his
feet on this planet-whose word is so strong and powerful it creates things that are not out of nothing. Children of the Most
High GOD, the desperation of the enemy is showing. He's turned up the furnace of affliction because he knows the One who is
going before us, and he is trying to blind us to seeing it! He doesn't want you to see the Lord is going before you, expecting
you to follow closely, walking by faith. He's with you. He's not left you. He loves you. He paid a very high price for you.
Don't you listen to that despair or discouragement! And he will see, if you just believe him, and don't listen to his enemy,
your enemy, just trust him. He will do it. He is faithful that promised.....
2Ch 20:30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.
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