(Preached at Newtownabbey FPC.)
Just two corrections to some comments I made at the beginning of this message.
I mention the start of the witness in the Newtownabbey area and I refer to Carnmoney Orange Hall and also the year 1968-9 when the date was really 1967 and the hall was Mossley Orange Hall.
These matters were gently pointed out to me afterwards by one who was restored to the Lord in that first Mossley meeting. That's what the passing years do for your memory!! - IF.
I am sure that one of the reasons why such passages as this are recorded is to show us that great and good men may sin and that most foolishly!
Sadly, not all good men who act foolishly and sin against the Lord, go on to act as did Jehoshaphat when they are rebuked, 2 Chron 19:1-4. Solomon was an example of such.
Jehoshaphat repented and humbly submitted to the words of the prophet. He would have others share in the repentance which he enjoyed, V 4.
Please learn from chapter 20.
I. HOW WE FACE TROUBLE IS INDICATIVE OF OUR SPIRITUAL CHARACTER.
There is no escaping trouble in this world. Job 14: "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble." But it can be victoriously faced!
1. The king's first resort was to prayer. Verse 3. See Proverbs 18:10. No calling of 'Cabinet meeting, or army chiefs.' He went straight to the Lord. Consider his actions in 18:31. Learn from Hannah, 1 Sam 1:10, , 1 Sam 30:6, Psalm 55:22. Heed the Lord, Luke 12:22-31. Php 4:6.
2. He heeded and believed God's Word. Having prayed, he embraced God's answer, verses 14-18, 20. What is needed in days of trouble are men to preach God's Word for the hour. I feel that is largely missing today, as is the spirit of submission when it is preached!
3. Anxiety and fear give way to singing. Verse 3, 21-22. Such was Paul and Silas' response to trouble, Acts 16:25.