The Review and Herald



January 1, 1914

Jehoshaphat—No. 3


Toward the close of his reign, Jehoshaphat's kingdom was invaded by an army before whose approach the inhabitants of the land had reason to tremble. “The children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.” Tidings of this invasion reached the king through a messenger, who appeared with the startling word, “There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazon-tamer, which is En-gedi.” RH January 1, 1914, par. 1

Jehoshaphat was a man of courage and valor. For years he had been strengthening his armies and his fortified cities. He was well prepared to meet almost any foe; yet in this crisis he did not put his trust in the arm of flesh. Not by disciplined armies and fenced cities, but by a living faith in the God of Israel could he hope to gain the victory over these heathen who boasted of their power to humble Judah in the eyes of the nations. RH January 1, 1914, par. 2

“Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 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.” RH January 1, 1914, par. 3

And Jehoshaphat, standing in the temple court before his people, poured out his soul in prayer, pleading God's promises, with confession of Israel's helplessness. RH January 1, 1914, par. 4

“O Lord God of our fathers,” he said, “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 thee? 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? And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, 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. RH January 1, 1914, par. 5

“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; behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. 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.” RH January 1, 1914, par. 6

With confidence Jehoshaphat could say to the Lord, “Our eyes are upon thee.” For years he had taught the people that their strength was in the God of Israel, the One who in past ages had so often interposed to save his chosen ones from utter destruction; and now, when the kingdom was in peril, Jehoshaphat did not stand alone; “all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.” Unitedly they fasted and prayed. Unitedly they besought the Lord to put their enemies to confusion, that the name of Jehovah might be glorified. RH January 1, 1914, par. 7

“Keep not thou silence, O God:
Hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult:
And they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
They have taken crafty counsel against thy people,
And consulted against thy hidden ones.
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation:
That the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
For they have consulted together with one consent:
They are confederate against thee:
The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites;
Of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; ...
Do unto them as unto the Midianites;
As to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
Which perished at En-dor: ...
Fill their faces with shame;
That they may seek thy name, O Lord.
Let them be confounded and troubled forever;
Yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah,
Art the Most High over all the earth.”
RH January 1, 1914, par. 8

As the people joined with their king in humbling themselves before God and asking him for help, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, “a Levite of the sons of Asaph,” and he said: RH January 1, 1914, par. 9

“Harken 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. 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. 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. RH January 1, 1914, par. 10

“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. 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. RH January 1, 1914, par. 11

“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. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness.” These singers went before the army, lifting their voices in praise to God, praising him for the victory promised. RH January 1, 1914, par. 12

And “the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. RH January 1, 1914, par. 13

“And when Judah came toward the watchtower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.” RH January 1, 1914, par. 14

God was the strength of Judah in this battle, and he is the strength of his people today. We are not to trust in princes, nor set men in the place of God. We are to remember that human beings are fallible and erring, and that he who has all power is their strong tower of defense. In every emergency they are to feel that the battle is his. His resources are limitless, and apparent impossibilities will make the victory all the greater. RH January 1, 1914, par. 15

“Save us, O God of our salvation,
And gather us together,
And deliver us from the heathen,
That we may give thanks to thy holy name,
And glory in thy praise.”
RH January 1, 1914, par. 16

Laden with spoil, the armies of Judah, with Jehoshaphat “in the forefront,” returned home “with joy; for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies. And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the Lord.” They had come for rejoicing. In obedience to the command, “Stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord: .... fear not, nor be dismayed,” they had put their trust wholly in God; and he had proved their fortress and their deliverer. Now they could sing with understanding the inspired hymns of David: RH January 1, 1914, par. 17

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble....
He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;
He burneth the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.”
RH January 1, 1914, par. 18

“O clap your hands, all ye people;
Shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
For the Lord most high is terrible;
He is a great King over all the earth.
He shall subdue the people under us,
And the nations under our feet.
He shall choose our inheritance for us,
The excellency of Jacob whom he loved....
RH January 1, 1914, par. 19

“Sing praises to God, sing praises:
Sing praises unto our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth:
Sing ye praises with understanding.
God reigneth over the heathen:
God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
The princes of the people are gathered together,
Even the people of the God of Abraham:
For the shields of the earth belong unto God:
He is greatly exalted.”
RH January 1, 1914, par. 20

“According to thy name, O God,
So is thy praise unto the ends of the earth:
Thy right hand is full of righteousness.
Let mount Zion rejoice,
Let the daughters of Judah be glad,
Because of thy judgments....
RH January 1, 1914, par. 21

“This God is our God forever and ever:
He will be our guide even unto death.”
RH January 1, 1914, par. 22

Through the faith of Judah's ruler and of his armies, “the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest.” RH January 1, 1914, par. 23