2 Chronicles 16
1 In the 36th year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to let no one go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king’s house, and sent to Ben-hadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus saying, 3 There is a treaty between me and you, as there was between my father and your father: behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so he will go away from me.
- Baasha built this city into a fortification with soldiers and weapons.
- By doing this he put Asa under siege.
- These treasures were gifts that had been given to God by the people.
4 And Ben-hadad listened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they struck Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali. 5 When Baasha heard it, he stopped building Ramah, and let his work stop. 6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and its timber with which Baasha was building; and with it he built Geba and Mizpah.
- The stones and lumber used was enough to build two cities.
God wants us to trust Him only
7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped out of your hand. 8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD run here and there throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. In this you have done foolishly: therefore from now on you will have wars.
- Only God is fully trustworthy.
- He loved us enough to send His Son to die for our sins that we might be with Him forever.
- This judgment on Asa was for good.
- These wars from would cause them to trust God continually.
- God is not negligent or sloppy in dealing with His people.
- That would not be just. God is holy.
- The stakes are too high.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
10 Then Asa was filled with wrath at the seer, and put him in prison: he was in a rage with him because of this thing. Asa oppressed/crushed some of the people at the same time. 11 And behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 And in the 39th year of his reign Asa, was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceedingly great: yet in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians.
- Asa’s walk was not perfect before God and his disease was in his feet.
- Illness often reflects the greater problems of the heart.
- God wants us to seek Him in our troubles.
- God is the Great Physician who heals our heart.
- He also is sovereign over physical illness.
- Exodus 15:26 And said, If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do what is right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases on you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you.
- Proverbs3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the 41st year of his reign. 14 And they buried him in his own tomb that he had dug for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odors and various kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.
- It was a big funeral service.
- Asa belonged to God.
- Like most of us, he made some huge mistakes and reaped what he sowed.
- Psalm 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you will glorify me.
- Psalm 34:6 This man cried, the LORD heard him, and saved him from all his troubles.
2 Chronicles 17
1 And his son Jehoshaphat reigned in his place, and strengthened himself against Israel. 2 He placed troops in all the fenced cities of Judah, set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim which his father Asa had taken. 3 And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the first ways of his father and of David, and did not seek Baalim; 4 but sought the LORD God of his father and walked in his commandments, not after the doings of Israel.
- The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in His ways.
- There is only one true God, Maker of heaven and earth.
- All the rest are imposters and lead to eternal death.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Luke 11:21 When a strong man armed guards his palace, his goods are in peace:
God’s ways lift up hearts
5 Therefore the LORD established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat; he had riches and honor in abundance. 6 And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah. 7 Also, in the third year of his reign, he sent to his princes, to Ben-hail, to Obadiah, to Zechariah, to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. 8 And with them he sent the Levites: Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah, Levites; and with them the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught the people.
- He removed the places of false worship and taught the people of God and His ways.
- Romans 10:17 faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
10 And the fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, 7,700 rams, and 7,700 he goats.
- When they taught the law of God and fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms.
- What does our nation need to do to regain respect in the world? Teach our people the Word of God.
- Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
12 Jehoshaphat grew exceedingly great; he built castles in Judah, and storage cities. 13 He had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valor, were in Jerusalem. 14 These are the numbers of them according to the house of their fathers: From Judah, the captains of thousands; Adnah the chief, and with him 300,000 mighty men of valor. 15 And next to him was Jehohanan the captain, and 280,000 with him. 16 And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the LORD; and with him 200,000 mighty men of valor. 17 From Benjamin: Eliada a mighty man of valor, and with him 200,000 men armed with bow and shield. 18 And next him was Jehozabad, and with him 180,000 ready, prepared for the war. 19 These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah.
- God comes first.
- Then from God comes strength and prosperity.
- This chapter shows us that you do not dismantle the military; you simply put God first.
- Sometimes evil must be fought on a physical level as well as a spiritual level.
- Matthew 6:33 But you seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added to you.
- Ephesians 6:12 we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
2 Chronicles 18
1 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and allied himself by marriage with Ahab. 2 And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth-gilead. 3 And Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, I am as you are, and my people as your people; and we will be with you in the war. 4 And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, inquire, I ask you, at the word of the LORD today. 5 So the king of Israel gathered together from the prophets 400 men and said to them, Shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or not? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.
- Jehoshaphat was the godly king of the Southern kingdom of Israel who led his people to the one true God.
- Ahab was the ungodly ruler of the Northern kingdom of Israel who led his people to idol worship and eternal death.
- Ahab talked Jehoshaphat into joining him in battle against Ramoth-gilead.
- God has made Himself clear about separating from idolatry and ungodly people.
- It’s easy to say we are serving God, but do our action go against what God has said?
- Matthew 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
6 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not a prophet of the LORD here besides these, that we might inquire of him? 7 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is still one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; he never prophesied good to me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Don’t say such things. 8 And the king of Israel called for one of his officers and said, Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imla. 9 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they sat in the threshing floor at the entrance to the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.
- Prophets were supposed to speak God’s words only.
- These 400 were speaking words of evil and trying to pass them off as God’s words.
10 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron and said, The LORD says this, With these you will push Syria until they are consumed. 11 And all the prophets prophesied so saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper: for the LORD will deliver it into the hand of the king. 12 And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spoke to him saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; I beg you, let your word therefore, be like one of theirs, and speak good.
- They were supposed to be asking God advice about the battle. But this messenger was telling Micaiah what to say.
13 And Micaiah said, As the LORD lives, even what my God says, that is what I will speak. 14 And when he came to the king, the king said to him, Micaiah, should we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or not? And he said, Go up, and prosper, and they will be delivered into your hand. 15 And the king said to him, How many times must I order you that you say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD? 16 Then he said, I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.
- The king knew that Micaiah wasn’t telling him the truth.
- The king had the power to put Micaiah in the dungeon and torture him or even kill him.
- God sent the true answer.
The LORD sits on the throne of heaven ruling over all
17 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good to me, but evil? 18 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. 19 And the LORD said, Who will entice Ahab, king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said this while another said that. 20 Then a spirit came out and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said to him, How? 21 And he said, I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, You will entice him, and you will prevail: go out, and do so. 22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets, and the LORD has spoken evil against you.
- God asked for a volunteer to entice Ahab to his death.
- Ezekiel 1 describes the Lord of all on His eternal throne.
- The LORD put a lying spirit in the mouth of the false prophets.
- God decreed evil against evil Ahab.
- Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, appearing like a sapphire stone: and on throne was the likeness of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins upward, and from the appearance of his loins downward, I saw the appearance of fire, and it had brightness around it. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain was the appearance of the brightness around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
23 Then Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, Which way did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you? 24 And Micaiah said, Behold, you will see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself. 25 Then the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; 26 And say, the king says this, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace.
- God’s true prophet revealed to all that this man was a coward and would hide himself when the trouble came.
- ‘Bread of affliction and water of affliction’ is torture.
27 And Micaiah said, If you return in peace, then the LORD has not spoken by me. And he said, Listen, all you people. 28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 29 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put you on your robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle. 30 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Do not fight with small or great, only with the king of Israel.
- How naïve was Jehoshaphat? Ahab looked like a common
soldier but Jehoshaphat looked like the king. The whole army of the enemy would be after him.
God helped Jehoshaphat when he cried to Him
31 And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they surrounded him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. 32 For when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from chasing him. 33 And a certain man drew a bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn your hand, that you may carry me out of the fight; for I am wounded. 34 And the battle increased that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the evening: and about the time of the sun going down he died.
- Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from me, says the LORD.
- Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law he meditates day and night. 3 And he will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf will not wither; and whatsoever he does will prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly will not stand in the judgment, or sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly will perish.
2 Chronicles 19
God will have no part in unrighteousness
1 And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. 2 And Jehu, the son of Hanani the seer, went out to meet him and said to king Jehoshaphat, Should you help the ungodly, and love those that hate the LORD? For this reason wrath is on you from the LORD.
- In 2 Chronicles 19 Jehoshaphat had allied himself with evil king Ahab.
- Only God’s protection saved him.
- He returned home in peace.
- Ahab was dead.
- God’s wrath is on those who help the ungodly.
- If we do not stand against people who are following evil we are standing against God.
3 Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have taken away the groves out of the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God. 4 And Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beer-sheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back to the LORD God of their fathers.
- In Revelation chapters 2, 3 the churches were evaluated in the same way. The bad is shown, the good is shown, and a promise is given for correcting the bad.
- 1Corinthians 11:31i f we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, 6 And said to the judges, Consider what you are doing: for you do not judge for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the matter of judgment.
- Judges judge for the LORD
- God is with them in judgment.
- His word clearly shows all things.
- Ecclesiastes 12 warns against other books.
- 2Timothy 2:15 Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
- Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails — given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
- Proverbs 3:5Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean unto your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
God will have nothing to do with unrighteousness
7 Therefore now let the fear of the LORD be on you; be very careful to do it: For the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of bribes. 8 Moreover when they returned to Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat appointed from the Levites in Jerusalem, from the priests, and of the heads of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for lawsuits, 9 And he charged them saying, You will do this in the fear/reverence of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. 10 And whatever dispute comes to you from your brothers that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, you are to warn them so that they do not trespass against the LORD, and bring wrath on yourselves, and on your brothers: Do this and you will not trespass.
- Jehoshaphat put a stop to corruption in the courts.
- He appointed judges who knew God’s word best.
- God’s laws are for all people and all nations.
- Ezekiel 5:6 And she has changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
God is with the obedient/upright
11 And behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah, the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king’s matters: also the Levites will be officers before you. Deal courageously, and the LORD will be with the upright.
- It takes courage, it takes God’s strength to go against people and stand for God.
- If we do it we are being upright and God will be with us.
- Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?
SUMMARY: 2 Chronicles 16-19
- Our Maker wants us to trust Him only
- His ways lift up our hearts
- The LORD sits on the throne of heaven ruling over all
- He helped Jehoshaphat when he cried out to Him
- He will have no part in unrighteousness
- He is with the upright/those willing to listen to Him