Turn to 2nd Chronicles 17:3
Jehoshaphat was King of Judah at this time and we read that he was a good king.
2 Chronicles 17:3-6 The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. 5 Therefore the LORD established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. 6 His heart was courageous in the ways of the LORD. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.
Jehoshaphat was a good king who chose to keep the commands and ways of God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Verse 4 is a key verse
2 Chronicles 17:4 but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. He make some good choices and this first one was he sought the God of his Father. He sought after the Lord and he did that through prayer and listening to the prophets of God.
He walked in the commandments of God. He knew what these commandments were and he chose to walk in the commandments of God and not to battle the commandments, not to try figure ways he could get around not keeping the commandments of God, but he walked in the commandments of God.
So first he sought God, and second he walk in the commandments of God. These are two things that each one of us in this room ought to be doing.
Seek after God. He sought.
Sought Darash 1875 to seek, ask, to inquire.
Hopefully we all do this on a regular basis.
In the beginning of Deuteronomy, which we will go back to sometime soon, Moses told the people there would be a time when they are scattered but there would also be a time when begin to seek the Lord again. Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Oh my friends, take the time to seek, to inquire of the Lord. We do this in prayer and we do it in reading Godâ??s word for as we get to know Godâ??s Word we then know his will. And that was the second thing Jehoshaphat did was keep the commands of God and in order to keep them you need to know them.
And then notice it says, not according to the practices of Israel. Remember after Solomon died the kingdom was divided. Judah consisted of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and Israel consisted of the other tribes, the northern kingdom. Israel, the northern kingdom never had a righteous king, but Judah had some righteous kings. Judah had 8 righteous kings, but two of them turned evil in their old age.
So Jehoshaphat was a good, righteous, God fearing King. It says his heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord. Oh that we all had hearts that were courageous in the ways of the Lord and not let things just slip by, or are casual about our walk with the Lord.
I pray that each of us in this room would develop a vibrant relationship with the Lord, and that we all would become courageous in the ways of the Lord. Not is the ways of man, not in tradition, but in the ways of the Lord. So we see that Jehoshaphat is a good, strong, righteous King.
Turn to 2nd Chronicles 20
2 Chronicles 20:1-4 After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites,1 came against Jehoshaphat for battle. 2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom,1 from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). 3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
We have a righteous King, the people as a whole are trying to live according to Torah, and a mighty enemy rises up against the kingdom. Again let’s look at what Jehoshaphat did, and the people of Judah did. 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
Again, he sought the Lord. I don’t think can emphasize this enough, the importance of seeking the Lord. He didn’t call the army up first and then seek the Lord, he sought the Lord first. He proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. We’ve talked about fasting before, and we see this happen different times in the history of Israel.
Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.
Esther 4:16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
Joel 1:14 Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD
Joel 2:15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly;
Jonah 3:5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. Fast and pray is what they did and hopefully you all read 2nd Chr. chapter 20. As Jehoshaphat prayed the people were with him.
2nd Chronicles 20:12 Meanwhile all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. This is so important, fasting and praying as one and as that was going one the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel and listen to what God said through him.
2nd Chron 20:15-17 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.”
As they fasted and prayed, the Lord spoke to them. As Ezra fasted and prayed they arrived at Jerusalem with all the money. As the people of the days of Esther fasted and prayed, she was able to see the king and her people were saved. Just God answered those times of fasting and praying he did the same thing here in Judah.
2nd Chron 20:20-22 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 22 And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.
Well my friends just as Judah was under attack so is the United States of America, and especially those who choose to hold to Judeo/Christian values, the word of God.
On April 28 the Supreme Court will hear arguments over four cases. The outcome of those cases could affirm natural marriage between a man and a woman has it has been defined for 6000 years.
But the Obama administration has moved forward to push same sex marriage in and through executive orders and federal government regulations and has argued for it before the supreme court prevailing to overturn the 1966 Defense of Marriage Act. States have passed laws saying marriage is to be between a man and a woman. In Ca voters approved that law twice but somehow it kept getting over turned. We need to pray for the Supreme Court Justices and pray that they would reaffirm natural marriage and reject any right to same sex marriage in the constitution. I remember one time on a National Day of Prayer I was asked to be one of the Pastors who would pray. We were in front of the court house that noon.
My prayer was taken out of the book Daniel.
Turn to Daniel 9:3
Jim read Daniel 9:3-19
We have sinned, and the body of Messiah has sinned.
Marriage is to be between a man and a woman.
Lev 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Lev 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.
1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
There are people in our country that are trying to force the agenda down our throats. We need to pray and fast, fast and pray for our country. A lot of Christian leaders feel that if the supreme court goes the wrong way and the biblical definition is not upheld consequences will not be far behind. Christians will begin to experience major persecution in the United States that we have not faced before. Pastors will be forced to perform same sex marriages. Every once in a while I see an ad looking for Pastors to join a directory that people can use to find someone to marry them. I was tempted to for I said maybe I could earn more money, but after prayer and thought I said no.
We see businesses who won’t cater a same sex marriage being taken to court. If the judges rule against the man woman marriage, you will start seeing Pastors taken to court who refuse to marry a same sex couple. Different church dominations are performing same sex marriages, and I hope they remember that judgment begins with the house of God.
1 Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
It is important for us to be praying on this for what kind of nation do we want our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to grow up in.
Nehemiah 4:14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
Fight for your families, and one way of fighting is fasting and praying.