In Your Darkest Moment

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Revival: Stronger Than Ever / Deliverance / 2 Chronicles 20:1–12

A preacher tells his personal story: One of my most vivid childhood memories is of an afternoon in sixth grade, when a friend and I decided to swing on a newly-installed bar hanging over the walkway on our way out of school. The bar was about 8 feet off the ground, just low enough for the two of us to reach if we jumped. 

So on the count of three we jumped. And a second later discovered that this bar wasn’t just a bar, it was actually a sprinkler pipe, under tremendous pressure. The pipe burst, we fell to the ground, and water began gushing everywhere… and it was unstoppable.

We did not know what to do, so we both ran home as fast as we could.

Today I want to introduce you to a man who did not know what to do, but his situation was a lot more serious than ours. 

He’s a man I’d like to meet some day.

He’s the son of Asa. His name is Jehoshaphat and he was the 6th king in the line of David. 

Ezra, our teacher, introduces him to us this way:

2 Chronicles 17:3–6 KJV

And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 

But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. 

Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. 

And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.

If you’ve ever been in a tight spot, if you’ve ever been in a place where you didn’t know what to do, if you’ve ever felt like you’re facing an enemy who is bigger than you and could destroy you and all you hold dear, Jehoshaphat will be your hero. Because Jehoshaphat faced all of that and humbly confessed, “I don’t know what to do.” In front of God and everybody. 

And yet, he did exactly the right thing, eight times in a row. 

Let me show you his story. It’s in 2 Chronicles 20.

Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king. And he reigned over Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, for 25 years. Jehoshaphat’s story spans two wars and a bad marriage. I’ll tell you about the bad marriage next week. It almost wrecked the kingdom, and almost scuttled God’s plans to send a Messiah through the line of David. – Don’t miss next week!

2 Chronicles 20:1–2 KJV

It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 

Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi.

The Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites all lived on the east side of the Dead Sea. Their nations had been conquered under King David, and now were rebelling. 

How would you feel if you got word that a huge army, much bigger than your own, was coming to get you? What would you do? Well…

2 Chronicles 20:3–4 KJV

And 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.

Set Yourself To Seek The Lord

 p?n?h (??????, 6437), “to turn towards, turn back, turn around, attach to, pass away, make clear.” This verb also appears in Syriac and post-biblical Hebrew and post-biblical Aramaic. Related verbs which have the same radicals with a somewhat different meaning occur in Arabic and Ethiopic. The Bible attests p?n?h about 155 times and in all periods.

W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 271.

The King’s dad was taught this lesson:

2 Chronicles 16:9 KJV

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Fast

Matthew 17:19–21 KJV

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 

Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Come Together With God’s People

2 Chronicles 20:4 KJV

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.

  • Look To God As Your Only Hope 
  • Declare His Power

2 Chronicles 20:5–6 KJV

And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 

And said, O LORD God of our fathers, 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?

  • Declare His Relationship With His People

2 Chronicles 20:7–8 KJV

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 for ever? 

And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,

  • Declare His Past Deliverance

2 Chronicles 20:9 KJV

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.

  • Declare The Present Need

2 Chronicles 20:10–11 KJV

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.

  • Declare Total Dependence Upon God.

2 Chronicles 20:12 KJV

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.

  • God’s Answer – When You Look To God, God Looks Back To You!

2 Chronicles 20:13–15 KJV

And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 

Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; 

And he said, Hearken 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.

APPLICATION

How many times have you faced something terrible and felt like you were all alone in it?

Friend, if you are committed to the Lord, if you are wholeheartedly devoted to Him, 

if you have said, “Lord, live your life through me, and I will live for you for the rest of my life,” then the eyes of the Lord are on you, to strengthen you. The battle you are facing is not yours, but God’s.”

2 Chronicles 20:16 KJV

To morrow 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.

Join In Congregational Worship

Tekoa is about 12 miles south of Jerusalem. It’s a fairly easy hike, since it’s all downhill. Just before they started the hike, the text says…

2 Chronicles 20:19–20 KJV

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. 

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.

Sing!

2 Chronicles 20:21 KJV

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Who would have thought that a major move to defeat an enemy would involve music and voices?

Now, bear in mind, Jehoshaphat and all the people don’t know what’s happened on the battlefield. They haven’t arrived yet. They’re just marching along singing. 

2 Chronicles 20:24 KJV

And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.

RECAP

Here’s the story. And it’s a true story: once upon a time, there was a big bad army coming against the people of God. The people did not know what to do, but they resolved to seek the Lord. They gathered together; they fasted; they prayed; they heard a word from God from one of His spokesmen; and they worshiped. They began to sing, and God performed a miracle: He ambushed their enemies… and the people lived happily ever after!

But wait! There’s more:

2 Chronicles 20:25 KJV

And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.

“Beracah” means, “blessing.” The place became the Valley of Blessing.

Jehoshaphat’s seventh strategic move was…

Bless The Lord

2 Chronicles 20:27–29 KJV

Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem 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. 

And 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.

This is the revival under King Jehoshaphat: A terrible disaster looks like it’s going to ruin the nation. Nobody knows what to do. But one man, the king, stands up and says, “I’m going to seek the Lord.”

He asks the nation to join him, in fasting, in gathering together to pray and ask God to deliver them. God answers through Jahaziel. “I’ve got this.” He says. “The battle is mine. I invite you to come and watch.”

The people believe. They bow down to thank God in faith for what He’s going to do, and they rise up and praise Him with singing. Early the next morning, they sing their way to the battlefield, where, instead of having to engage the enemy, they find out that the enemy has engaged themselves.

So the people help themselves to the spoils, return home and hold another worship service, and then they enjoy the eighth and final strategic move which is…

Rest!

2 Chronicles 20:30 KJV

So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.

So, when we are facing our darkest moment, what should we do?

 • Seek the Lord

 • Fast

 • Fellowship

 • Pray Boldly – look God in the eyes

 • Worship with the Congregation

 • Sing!

 • Praise God

 • Rest

We learned last week that God is waiting to show Himself strong on behalf of the heart who is perfect toward Him… this is the path to having that perfect, focused heart. This is what to do in your darkest moment.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:03 PM December 5, 2020.

Comments are closed.