Day 30

King Jehoshaphat’s Reforms

2 Chronicles 19:1-11, 2 Chronicles 20:1-37, 2 Chronicles 21:1; Ezra 8:21-23

BY Ginny Owens

I think Jehoshaphat has a kind of eye-opening experience in 2 Chronicles 19. Prior to this chapter, he initiated a few reforms—tearing down the high places and Asherah poles (v.3)—but since then, he had witnessed the death of Israel’s king, who mocked and disobeyed God (2Chronicles 18) and heard God’s voice through Jehu, the seer’s son (2 Chronicles 19:2–3). Jehoshaphat had seen God’s mighty hand at work among those who were against Him, and he had received a personal wake-up call from this same God. For Jehoshaphat, God and His greatness were no longer nice ideas he could toy around with but realities he had experienced and must surrender to. It was not enough to make concessions to God; Jehoshaphat and Judah had to put Him at the center. His path had to be their only way forward. Jehoshaphat’s word to all of Judah was essentially, “Stop! Open your eyes and hearts to the reality of our God!”

Jehoshaphat appointed judges and leaders who discerned the Lord’s will and settled disputes according to it. He reinstated the high priest’s role as the ultimate spiritual leader. He warned all the leaders that God had a right path and that guilt and wrath were incurred for not following it (vv.5–11).

Second Chronicles 20 shows us that seeking the Lord in life’s ordinary matters prepares us for seeking Him amidst our greatest fears. When Jehoshaphat learned of a multi-enemy army coming for Judah, his firsthand experience of God’s greatness and power led him to fight his fear on his knees and to lead his people to do the same (2Chronicles 20:1–5). In his public prayer, Jehoshaphat brought to mind God’s greatness and power over all the world and His history of faithfulness to Israel—God provided this land and brought them to it, after all (vv.6–7). Jehoshaphat also remembered God’s promise to be faithful, and pleaded for this to continue, ending with a confession we all can appreciate: “We do not know what to do but we look to you” (v.12). Through Jahaziel, the Lord told Judah that it was indeed His battle and their task was to “stand still” and watch Him rescue them (v.17).

Seeking the Lord always and ultimately ends in praise! In this section of reading, nothing else is said about fear, only worship. Judah sang and praised its way to battle the next day, where singers on the front lines sang, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his faithful love endures forever” (v.21). And the Lord rescued His people as He promised. 

We know the best part of God’s rescue: The One Judah could only imagine, the One who would bring ultimate salvation and rest. He won the final battle for our lives! Our change comes as we recognize how deeply loved and forgiven we are in Him. Only by His power can we stop living half-heartedly and turn wholly to Him, praising and watching as He changes our hearts and wins our battles.

Post Comments (53)

53 thoughts on "King Jehoshaphat’s Reforms"

  1. Dorothy says:

    it should be, *surrender control, sorry

  2. Dorothy says:

    WOW!!!!! Ever feel like God is trying to get a point across to you? Well today is that day for me — God is trying to get a point through this “think German skull” of mine. While reading the Scripture from my “Thrive Devotional Bible”, I came across two devotions with regards to the Scriptures we read today, both of which spoke to me. Then I went on to read Ginny’s devotion and once again God’s “hitting me in the head with a rubber mallet” saying “pay attention.” Starting in April my way of making a living will change, I’ll be making less money but I believe I’ll be happier and I know it’s where God is leading me. I’d been worrying about it these last few days and how I was going to tell Kaylee’s family. Well once again God took care of that. Kaylee’s mom informed me today that they will be doing the hours for her differently and I won’t be needed. “Ok God, I’m listening and paying attention.” I will let YOU LEAD AND I WILL FOLLOW. Well, I pray I can do this.
    When I was reading the part of Scripture about Jehoshaphat and the Judeans going to battle and the singing I thought of Joshua and the battle of Jericho. God DELIVERS when we listen and praise Him.
    I’m taking and combining a couple of prayers from my devotional Bible:
    “Dear God, Help Your daughter to recognize when anyone is separating her heart from You. Give her the wisdom to walk with those who love You. May Your protection cover Your daughter wherever she goes. Whatever she is facing, may she run to You for refuge. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
    Be blessed and know “the battle belong to the Lord — surrend control to Him.”

  3. Gwineth52 says:

    Good Morning Shes. This may seem a little something about a little something. BUT I enjoy figuring out where certain phrases or expressions in the American lexicon come from. SO…I just had to trace: “Jumping Jehoshaphat”. You can google it yourself, but here’s the first plausible explanation I encountered. “A mild oath that first appeared in a late nineteenth century novel in which a cowboy is amazed at how far a horse (and its beautiful rider) could jump”. “Popularized ( I LOVE THIS!) by the cowboy character Yosemite Sam in the Bugs Bunny cartoon .” (oh, yeah, I’m that old). And why link jumping with the King Jehoshaphat who stood still & waited upon the Lord to battle the enemy? Because it would’ve been amazing to see the resolute & trusting King suddenly jumping in fright! But the King did send ahead of his armies singers lifting their voices in high praise…and expectantly leaping … & jumping with joy!
    NOW…Let us seek the Lord in the sacred & sublime…BUT also in silly sayings.
    Laughter is good for the soul!
    Amen & Amen!

  4. Terri Baldwin says:

    “Then Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was quiet, for his God gave him rest on every side.”

  5. Terri Baldwin says:

    Oh how amazing that must of been!

  6. Terri Baldwin says:

    Yes! If only our government was Godly!

  7. Lara-Turiya Molitschnig says:

    I loved reading todays chapter. “The battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron 20:15 What a beautiful reminder to trust God with everything in life. Every challenge that comes our way. Thank you for this beautiful devotional, highlighting the importance to constantly and continuously seek God in our daily life so we will be prepared for seeking him amidst our greatest fears and challenges. Have a blessed week everyone.

  8. Molly R says:

    GWINETH52, thank you so much for your kind words yesterday! It was really touching. I was just thinking later in the day yesterday that this all has been so exhausting and so tough at times, but the relationships that are being strengthened between siblings and the work we’re able to accomplish is all God’s doing. We have a long few months of it all, still, but knowing we are all working together and making progress is a huge testimony to what God can do when we rely on Him.

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