December 22, 2016

Jehoshaphat kept his residence in Jerusalem but made a regular round of visits among the people...urging them to return to God, the God of their ancestors.  And he was diligent about appointing judges in the land...In Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat also appointed Levites, priests and family heads to decide on matters that had to do with worship and mediating local differences.  He charged them , “Do your work in the fear of God; be dependable and honest in your duties...Be bold and diligent.  And God be with you as you do your best.”

Some time later, the Moabites and Ammonites, accompanied by the Meunites, joined forces to make war on Jehoshaphat....Shaken, Jehoshaphat prayed.  He went to God for help and ordered a nationwide fast.  The country of Judah united in seeking God’s help--they came from all the cities of Judah to pray to God.  Then Jehoshaphat took a position before the assembled people of Judah and Jerusalem at the Temple of God in front of the new courtyard and prayed,...”O dear God, won’t you take care of your people?  We’re helpless before this vandal horde ready to attack us.  We don’t know what to do; we’re looking to you.  Everyone in Judah was there--little children, wives, sons --all present and attentive to God.  

Then Jahaziel was moved by the Spirit of God to speak from the midst of the congregation...”God’s word: Don’t be afraid: don’t pay any mind to this vandal horde.  This is God’s war, not yours...You won’t have to lift a hand in this battle; just stand firm and watch God’s saving work for you take shape.  Don’t be afraid, don’t waver...”.  Then Jehoshaphat knelt down, bowing with his face to the ground.  All Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshipping God.  The Levites stood to their feet to praise God; they praised at the top of their lungs!  

Early the next morning, Jehoshaphat said, “Believe firmly in God, your God and your lives will be firm!  Believe in your prophets and you’ll come out on top!”  After talking it over with the people, Jehoshaphat appointed a choir for God; dressed in holy robes, they were to march ahead of the troops singing, “Give thanks to God, His love never quits.  As soon as they started shouting and praising, God set ambushes against the enemy...As Judah came up over the rise, looking into the wilderness for the horde of barbarians, they looked on a killing field of dead bodies - not a living soul among them...It took three days to cart it away!  On the 4th day they came together at the Valley of Blessing (Beracah) and blessed God.  

Jehoshaphat continued the kind of life characteristic of his father Asa--no detours, no dead ends--pleasing God with his life.  But he failed to get rid of the neighborhood sex-and-religion shrines--people continued to pray and worship at these idolatrous god shops.

Revelations 16 -  
I heard a shout of command from the Temple to the seven Angels: “ Begin!  Pour out the 7 bowls of God’s wrath on the earth!”  
The first angel stepped up and poured his bowl out on Earth...
The second angel poured his bowl on the sea....
The third angel poured his bowl on the rivers and springs....
The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun...
The fifth angel poured his bowl on the throne of the Beast...
The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great Euphrates River --

From the mouths of the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet I saw three foul demons crawl out--they looked like frogs...the frog demons gathered the kings together at the place called in Hebrew Armageddon... 

The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air.  
From the Throne in the Temple came a shout, Done!