×

Be thankful and bring praise

And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. II Chronicles 20:29

The text we are looking at has that interesting little word “when” in it. This small word of contrast tells us something happened before, and something else is about to happen; kind of like cause and effect. All the kingdoms of those countries were overcome by fear, when (or after) they heard the news of how the God of the Hebrews had worked on behalf of the Jews and given them victory.

The people of Judah began to worship the Lord after they received the word that God was going to fight for them. They began to sing and praise because they accepted His word by faith. When they came and saw that all the enemy had been killed, they gathered the spoil for three days and still didn’t get it all. On the fourth day they gathered in the valley of Berachah to bless the Lord. Then they returned to Jerusalem, rejoicing with stringed instruments, and harps and trumpets, to the house of the Lord.

Now here comes my first question; are we rejoicing in the goodness of God like the Jewish people did under Jehoshaphat? If we fail to see His goodness and take His mercy and grace for granted, we may soon feel God’s judgment come down on us. This was a big part of God’s message to His people in the book of Malachi.

In the days of Malachi, many of the people took God’s goodness as an entitlement and just expected more. They gave polluted offerings and did not appreciate His provision for them. Neither did they honor Him, but trampled His love and provision under foot. Was God really concerned about the sacrifices that were sick, lame, and blind? Yes He was; because the outward behavior of His people revealed what was in their heart. Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

God’s desire was that His people would be satisfied, rejoice, and glorify Him. Malachi 2:2 says, “If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart to give glory to My name says the Lord of Host, I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already because you do not take it to heart.”

The Jewish people under Jehoshaphat did rejoice and give God the honor, glory, and praise. The result was that God blessed the people of Judah because their heart, mind, and affections were in the right place and focused on Him. And He continued to pour out His blessings on them. Verse 30 says, “Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for His God gave him rest all around.”

This verse seems to imply that it was because of the God-pleasing heart, mind, and life of Jehoshaphat, that God gave them rest from turmoil and strife. Proverbs 16:7 says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

So what can we learn from this brief look at Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah? I want to suggest two points for us to remember and consider.

1-When God’s people live righteous lives by faith, and bear testimony to His goodness, He is glorified. He is pleased when we rejoice and praise Him because we are satisfied in Him!

2-When we are like spoiled little children that are not satisfied with Godás provision, He threatens to put a curse on us and our blessings, Malachi 2:2

Are we satisfied and content with what God has done for us? We had better be thankful and bring the sacrifice of praise to our God. “Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing,” Psalm 107:22. If we want Godás blessing tomorrow, we need to glorify Him today.

Comments or questions, contact me at: thoughtsonword@gmail.com

•••

Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017 and “Common Thoughts on The Word II” in 2019. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *
   

COMMENTS

Starting at $3.92/week.

Subscribe Today