2 Chronicles 20:30
Then Jehoshaphat's kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
A Victory Without a BlowT. Whitelaw 2 Chronicles 20:20-30
At and After the Battle: LessonsW. Clarkson 2 Chronicles 20:23-37
The Character of JehoshaphatE. Monro.2 Chronicles 20:30-34

Armed with a holy trust in God, the king and his people advanced to meet their multitudinous enemies with bounding heart and tuneful lip. Nor were they unwarranted in so doing; the event completely justified their hopes. We learn - I, THAT OUR ENEMIES SOMETIMES DISPOSE OF ONE ANOTHER. (Ver. 23.) We sometimes find that the enemy is best "left well alone." Let Shimei "cast stones" at us; even though they be words of false accusation, they will do him much more harm than they will do us. Let the enemy blaspheme; his profanities will be a dead weight in his own balances. Let men make virulent attacks on our holy religion; they will answer one another; we can better spend our time (as a rule) in positive endeavours to build up the kingdom of God.

II. That, under God's hand, THE EVIL WE FEAR IS MORE THAN BALANCED BY THE GOOD WE GAIN. When the Jewish army returned from the wilderness of Tekoa, richly laden with spoil (ver. 25), they would doubtless have said that it was much better for them to have had their agitation followed by their success than not to have had any invasion of the enemy. They certainly congratulated themselves upon the entire incident, and, in their hearts, blessed those Moabites and Ammonites for giving them such an opportunity of enrichment. When God is on our side we may expect that our dangers will disappear, and that from the things that threaten us we shall ultimately derive blessing. Such is now and ever "the end of the Lord" (John 5:11; Job 42:10). Only we must make quite sure that God is on our side; and this we can only do by making a full surrender of ourselves to him and to his service, and by seeing to it that we choose the side of righteousness and of humanity, and not that of selfishness and of guilty pride.

III. THAT GOODNESS OF HEART SHOULD FIRST TAKE THE FORM OF GRATITUDE. Whither but to "the house of the Lord" should that jubilant procession move? (ver. 28). Gladness finds its best utterance in sacred song, its best home in the sanctuary of God. Thus and there it will be chastened; it will be pure, it will be moderated, it will leave no sting of guilty memories behind. Moreover, if we are not first grateful to God for our mercies, but rather gratulatory of ourselves, we shall nurse a spirit of complacency that is likely to lead us astray from the humility which is our rectitude and our wisdom.

IV. THAT IT IS WELL WHEN OUR TRIUMPH IS LOST IN THE FURTHERANCE OF THE CAUSE OF GOD. It was much that Jerusalem was safe; but it was more that "the fear of God was on all the kingdoms" (ver. 29). We may heartily rejoice that our own person, our own family, our own country, has been preserved; we may much more rejoice when the cause and kingdom of Christ has been greatly advanced. This should be the object of our solicitude and of our rejoicing.

V. THAT REST IS THE RIGHTFUL PURCHASE OF LABOUR AND OF STRIFE. (Ver. 30.) The country that has won its religious liberty by heroic suffering and strife (as with Holland) may well settle down to a long period of rest and peace. The man who has gone through several decades of anxious and laborious activity may well enjoy a long evening of life when the burden is laid down and the sword is sheathed. The quieter service of the later years of life seems a fitting prelude to the peaceful and untiring activities which constitute the rest of immortality.

VI. THAT THE WORTHIEST HUMAN LIVES DO NOT CORRESPOND TO OUR IDEAL. If we were to construct an ideal human life, we should not introduce another unwise combination (ver. 37)add a disastrous expedition to cast a shadow on its closing years. Yet this was the case with Jehoshaphat. Our lives, even at their best, do not answer to our conceptions of what is perfectly beautiful and complete. We must not look for this, for we shall very seldom find even the appearance of it. We must take the good man as God gives him to us, with a true soul, with a brave spirit, with a kind and faithful heart, with a character that is very fair and perhaps very fine, but that leaves something to be desired; with a ]ire that is very useful and perhaps very noble, but that bears marks of blemish even to the end. - C.

So the reign of Jehoshaphat was quiet.



IV. THE RELIGION OF MOST PERSONS OF GREAT POWER AND POSITION — such as those possessed by Jehoshaphat — IS USUALLY RESERVED, AND ANYTHING BUT CHILDLIKE. Conclusion: The practical bearing of this study is that there are many in whom the possession and exercise of great powers, which are usually called worldly, are not by any means inconsistent with the most humble and sincere piety.

(E. Monro.)

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