|Horne, Charles, and Julius Bewer.|
The Bible and Its Story: History–Poetry, II Chronicles to Psalms. Vol. 5.
New York, NY: Francis R. Niglutsch, 1909. Print.
(via Logos Bible software, print listed as being in public domain)
A large army made up from the countries descended from Lot and Esau was coming against King Jehoshaphat and Judah so Jehoshaphat led his outnumbered people to do just what they needed to do to defend themselves: fast and pray!
Does God issue any commands?
- God told the prophet Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah to tell Jehoshaphat that the shipping enterprise he had entered into with Ahaziah king of Israel would fail. This was because Jehoshaphat had once again aligned himself with a wicked king of Israel.
Does God make any promises?
- In his prayer Jehoshaphat described the promises of God made to Solomon when the Temple was built. Specifically he tells of God's promise to hear and help when the people repent of their sins and cry unto Him.
- Through Jahaziel came the Holy Spirit and he told Jehoshaphat God's answer to his prayer. The battle was to be set in array near the Cliff of Ziz but the army of Jehoshaphat would not need to fight. They only needed to stand and watch as God fought the battle for them.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- At the time prior to the Millennial reign of Christ the armies of Satan gather to war against Jesus and His army. The opposing army was killed with the sword that proceeded out of the mouth of Jesus. (This would be the Word of God which is quick, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.)
- The chapter does not tell us how God ambushed the opposing armies so that they slaughtered each other but it does say that when Jehoshaphat's troops began to sing and praise the LORD the fighting among the other armies began. In Revelation the enemy armies that surround the army of Jesus at Jerusalem are destroyed by God. In that case He sends fire out of heaven to devour them. At that time the last enemy, death, is completely and finally conquered and there is much singing and rejoicing among the righteous.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- Even before the battle Jehoshaphat sang praises of victory to the LORD believing that He would triumph against His and their enemies. We do the same thing now. We believe that our God will triumph against His and our enemies and we praise Him even though the final battle has not taken place yet. We do this because we believe His Word just as Jehoshaphat did!
- Following the battle (in which the different factions turned on each other) God's people took possession of all the spoils. Following the final battle here on earth when all of God's enemies have been destroyed His people will inherit the earth which will be made new.
- It is possible that the valley where the armies turned on each other is also the valley where future judgment takes place as described in Joel 3:2. Perhaps this valley is what became known as the Valley of Jehoshaphat.