Sunday, November 6, 2016

2 Chronicles 20

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Chronicles 20. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • King Jehoshaphat hears frightening news of armies coming to war against his nation (verses 1-2). His automatic response is to turn to and seek help from God. In fact, he seeks to get his entire nation to turn to and seek help from God by declaring a fast (verse 3) and leading them in prayer (verses 6-14) and worship of God (verses 18-21).
  • God's response to their fasting, prayer and worship is to take responsibility for the battle on Himself? Verse 15: Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. The battle is not yours, but God's.
  • Jehoshaphat ultimately met with disaster because he partnered with a wicked king. He didn't learn a lesson from his previous alliance with another evil king (Ahab, see 2 Chronicles 18:28-34), or from his father's alliance with another evil king (2 Chronicles 16:2-9).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We see the people face a difficult situation so they fast. Fasting is when a person goes without food for a certain amount of time so they can use the time they would have used preparing or eating food for praying, and using the hunger pangs to remind them to continue praying. Fasting is a spiritual discipline we can still practice today when we have something important we need to pray for.
  • Jehoshaphat's prayer is a good model for us to follow. Read again through it again (verses 6-14) and take note of it's "ingredients". Notice, for instance, how Jehoshaphat acknowledges God and His sovereignty over their situation and their dependance on God.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How do you respond when things go wrong or when you're afraid? Do you stress out? Or do you turn to friends or family for their support? Or do you rely on yourself, seeking to figure things out and muster up the will power to overcome? When you're in a bad situation you have a God who wants to enter the battle for you, and who can give you victory. To have God do that, you need to invite Him. You can invite Him, as we see in this chapter, by fasting, praying, and worshipping, giving the situation to Him.