Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Vision (8/19/10): Jehoshaphat's Challenge

In my recent devotional reading, I was struck by King Jehoshaphat’s challenge to the nation of Judah in 2 Chronicles 20:20:

Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe in his prophets and you shall prosper.

Note the two aspects of this challenge and their spiritual significance:

First, Jehoshaphat urges the Israelites to believe in the one true God. They are to place their fundamental trust in the Lord. If they do this, they will be established or grounded in the faith.

Second, they are also challenged to believe or trust in the prophets. The prophets were God’s inspired messengers who spoke to them the Word of the Lord. If they believe the prophets, not only will they be established in the faith, but they will also prosper. God will bless them with growth and strength.

This same challenge is extended to us today.

First, we are called to believe in the one true God of the Bible who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ. When we do this we receive eternal life, and no one will ever be able to snatch us out of the Father’s hand (see John 10:28). We are established.

Second, we are to believe in the inspired writings of the prophets and apostles of old. These men were moved along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Just as trusting in God is essential for salvation, trusting in the Bible is essential for prospering and growing in the faith.

Will we heed Jehoshaphat’s challenge? Will we both believe in God and believe in the authority of the Scriptures? If we do, we will both be established and prosper in the Lord.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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