Living Abundantly 
According to God's Word Series

Read Time: 11 Minutes

When we keep the Word of God before our eyes, and on our lips we are confident in His ability and in the strength He gives us. All of the influences of the world are designed to make us afraid, distrustful, and even paranoid. The battle is spiritual! How to combat the forces that are tearing countries, communities, and families apart is with the Word of God which is spiritual. Satan wants you afraid because when you are afraid you are not believing that God can take care of you and the situation; you are not trusting God. We must remember that we have the authority over Satan and ALL of his host. All of the accounts in the Old Testament are for our learning. What can we learn? God's people were in life threatening situations and when they turned to Him they were delivered. They were rescued.

Jehoshaphat and Fear

Jehoshaphat was king over Judah and the 5th generation after David.  He walked with God as David did and removed the idols and high places (where idols were worshipped) out of Judah. He also had to fortify Judah against the wickedness and evil that had taken over Israel. He also sent Levites to all the cities in Judah to teach them about their All Mighty God. More about Jehoshaphat can be learned at the links are below, there are four parts,

Jehoshaphat King of Judah is confronted with a huge army of three nations that have risen up against Judah. Let us examine his response to this impossible situation.

II Chronicles 20
:1 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.
:2 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 Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.
:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD,
    and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
:4 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.

Jehoshaphat was genuinely afraid. Judah was not very big, it was only part of Israel. Most of Israel had been conquered and carried away by the King of Assyria because they didn't trust God (II Kings 18:11, 12). Physically Judah didn't have the resources to battle the armies of three nations. What did Jehoshaphat do? He didn't let his fear paralyze him, and he didn't try to figure it out himself.

:5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem,
    in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
:6 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?
:7 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?
:8 And they dwelt therein,
    and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,
:9 If, when evil cometh upon us,
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.
:10 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;
:11 Behold, I say, how they reward us,
    to come to cast us out of thy possession,
    which thou hast given us to inherit.
:12 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.

Jehoshaphat praised God and declared God's promises in his prayer, then he brought before God his concern and sought God for an answer to this dire situation.

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

All Judah came to God and asked for help. The Levites had taught the people that God is All Mighty and able and willing to help His people.

:14 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;
:15 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.
:16 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.
:17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle:
    set yourselves, stand ye still,
    and see the salvation of the LORD with you,
    O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed;
    to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
:18 And Jehosaphat bowed his head
    with his face to the ground:
    and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem
    fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.
:19 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.

They didn't need to fight, God provided the salvation. Jehosaphat humbled himself before God bowing his head with his face to the ground. Oh yes, praise God with a loud voice.

:20 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.

Remember what God said? Believe God, He will perform His promise.

:21 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.
:22 And when they began to sing and to praise,
    the LORD set ambushments against
    the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir,
    which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
:23 For the children of Ammon and Moab
    stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir,
    utterly to slay and destroy them:
    and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir,
    every one helped to destroy another.
:24 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.

Jehoshaphat and Judah did not have to do anything. God took care of them because they came to Him and asked for deliverance and believed what He told them. They did not have to set up the singers. But the people believed God and came with joy singing praises to God, speaking His promises, and confirming His Word.

And as a bonus:

:25 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.
:26 And on the fourth day
    they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah;
    for there they blessed the LORD:
    therefore the name of the same place was called,
    The valley of Berachah, unto this day.

The Body of Christ and Fear

We are God's chosen people, the Body of Christ. We are faced with evil in this world that is not conquerable by our own strength. We are threatened by evil daily as our freedom to worship and the standards of God's Word are stripped from our cultures. We need to come before God as the Body of Christ, a redeemed people, the called out ones, and  speak God's promises and ask for His deliverance.

II Thessalonians 3
:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us,
    that the word of the Lord may have free course,
    and be glorified, even as it is with you:
:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men:
    for all men have not faith.

Our greatest threat today is the deluge of evil reports that we are bombarded with. We can be so connected to the world that it drowns out the Word of God in our minds and hearts. We must stay grounded on His Word and His promises otherwise the evil will cause us to fear.

Here is a situation like ours today. Remember God has not changed.

Hezekiah and Fear

In II Kings 18 and II Chronicles 32 we learn of Hezekiah King of Judah who reigned about 180 years after Jehoshaphat. Judah had let idols back into their lives and Hezekiah cleaned them all out again. Now King Sennecharib of Assyria was after Judah. Hezekiah took preventative measures and stopped the waters that flowed by Jerusalem so there was no water for the Assyrians when they came. Hezekiah strengthened the cities and armies but his trust was still in God.

II Chronicles 32
:7 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria,
    nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:
:8 With him is an arm of flesh;
    but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles.
    And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

With the enemy is an arm of flesh, with us is the Lord our God to fight our battles. Israel (much larger than Judah) was carried away by Assyria because they no longer believed God and worshipped Him. Judah, this small nation, will stand against the mighty forces of Assyria because they have the one true God. The people put their trust in God. Greater is God than any army on earth.

Sennacherib's first action was to send high-ranking officials in to spread propaganda. If he could dissuade the people from their trust in God and Hezekiah he could take Jerusalem. The message that Rabshakeh (a title meaning chief of the captains) delivered to Jerusalem is recorded in II Kings 18:17-35, II Chronicles 32:10-19 and Isaiah 36 follows. I will use the record in Isaiah because it is expanded, giving us more information.

Listen to his argument and learn:

Isaiah 36 (ESV)
:2  And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish
    to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army.
   And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. 
:3  And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah,
   who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary,
   and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder. 
:4  And the Rabshakeh said to them,
    “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria:
     On what do you rest this trust of yours? 
:5  Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?
    In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 
:6  Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff,
    which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it.
    Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 
:7  But if you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God,”
    is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed,
    saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”? 
:8  Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria:
   I will give you two thousand horses,
    if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 
:9  How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants,
    when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 
:10  Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it?
    The LORD said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”’” 

Whoa, this is some very strong propaganda! This Rabshakeh, this chief of the captains, is putting out lies and deceptions to turn the minds of the people, even in their own language  so all could hear. He was declaring that God had sent Assyria to destroy Judah. It takes some great fortitude to stand up against this attack. The Assyrian army is a little over 30 miles away from Jerusalem and here comes this high-ranking official giving the people a way out instead of a battle. He magnifies the strength of Assyria even over that of Egypt. He makes the remark that Hezekiah had told them to trust in the Lord but Hezekiah was the one who had cut down the very gods they believed in. If the people give pledges to Assyria than Rabshakeh will give them two thousand horses. His last statement "the LORD said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it" is an attempt to persuade the people that he is doing God's will.

After this Eliakim told Rabshakeh to speak in the Assyrian language but he refuses and continues to speak to the people in theirs. He blatantly tells them that Hezekiah will not be delivered from the Assyrian army, nor will their God be able to deliver them. If the people side with Assyria there will be food and provisions in abundance. There have been no gods that have been able to stand up against Assyria, their God won't be able to either. (Isaiah 36:13-21)

Rabshakeh still speaking:

:18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying,
    “The LORD will deliver us.”
    Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land
    out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 
:19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad?
    Where are the gods of Sepharvaim?
    Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 
:20  Who among all the gods of these lands
    have delivered their lands out of my hand,
    that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’” 
:21  But they were silent and answered him not a word,
    for the king's command was, “Do not answer him.” 
:22  Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household,
    and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder,
    came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn,
    and told him the words of the Rabshakeh. 

Rabshakeh directly attacks God's ability to deliver His People. He knows that if he can get the people of Jerusalem to doubt then the overthrow is certain. But they held their peace; the people were obedient to their King. They didn't answer Rabshakeh or argue with him; they did not even consider his words.

When these words were delivered to Hezekiah he rent his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and went to the house of the Lord. He immediately sought God. He also sent priests, his scribe and his steward to Isaiah the prophet to seek God's help. He laid out his concerns before God again. Just because Hezekiah received the revelation once that God will take care of him and Judah does not mean that he can not come before God again. Rabshakeh's attack is persistent.

God's response:

Isaiah 37
:6 And Isaiah said unto them, [the priests, scribes and steward]
    Thus shall ye say unto your master, [Hezekiah]
    Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard,
    wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.
:7 Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour,
    and return to his own land;
    and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

Sure enough when Rabshakeh returns to Lachish Assyria was at war with Libnah and Ethiopia was getting ready to attack Assyria. In a last effort Rabshakeh sends messengers again to Jerusalem to deliver the same message to Hezekiah. Hezekiah's reaction:

:14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it:
    and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD,
    and spread it before the LORD.

The first thing to do when faced with trouble or adversity is to take it to God. Spread it before the Lord; lay it all out. Listen to Hezekiah's prayer. He praises God first, recognizing His supremacy, he lays out the problem, he voices his concerns and asks for deliverance.

:15 And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying,
:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims,
    thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth:
    thou hast made heaven and earth.
:17 Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see:
    and hear all the words of Sennacherib,
    which hath sent to reproach the living God.
:18 Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations,
    and their countries,
:19 And have cast their gods into the fire:
    for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands wood and stone:
    therefore they have destroyed them.
:20 Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand,
    that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD,
    even thou only.

Hezekiah is not trusting in his own army or knowledge to deliver Judah. He trusts in God. The people did not believe Rabshakeh either, they stayed steadfast on what Hezekiah told them. They believed God could deliver them. Even when the pressure was on the most they didn't waiver. They were convinced and persuaded of God's promises.

II Kings 19
:35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out,
    and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand:
    and when they arose early in the morning,
    behold, they were all dead corpses.
:36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed,
    and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.
:37 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god,
    that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword:
    and they escaped into the land of Armenia.
    And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.

God fought Hezekiah's battle for him. The armies of Judah never raised a weapon.

We are faced with similar situations. There are facts presenting themselves to us frequently that try to dissuade us from the truth of God's Word. God says we are more than conquerors and so we are. God says He shall supply all of our need and so He does (not just in the future but right now; hold out your hands).

God has not changed. Yes we are in a different time but God still takes care of His people.

Actions from God to Combat Fear:

  • Keep God's Word before you always. Keep His promises in the front of your mind and on your lips.
  • Be still and know that God is, enter into his throne room of grace,
    Psalm 46:10, Hebrews 4:16
  • Pray for
    • all saints, Ephesians 6:18, 19
    • knowledge and wisdom for you and others, Colossians 1:9-12
    • laborers, Matthew 9:37, 38
    • watch and pray so you are not enticed into temptations, Mark 14:38
    • all men, kings and those in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, I Timothy 2:1-4
    • for all the spiritual leaders that the Word of God can move without restriction and be glorified, II Thessalonians 3:1
    • that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men for all have not faith. II Thessalonians 3:2
    • for boldness to speak God's Word, Acts 4:29
  • Sanctify, set apart, the Word in your heart and be always ready to answer every man that asks you about the hope of your faith. I Peter 3:15



Four Parts of Jehoshaphat:

Four Parts of Hezekiah: