This is the second lesson from the reign of King Jehoshaphat. It teaches an incredible lesson that when faced with overwhelming odds, God fights for His children who cry out to Him and seek His help. This lesson will help students learn that they can be used by God in times of great difficulty. God can use them to point others to Jesus so they can see His mighty power and ability to help in difficult times.
This lesson is only a guide to help you to prepare for your class. It was created for older students but can be adapted for your individual needs. Click here to see all the Bible lessons in this series.
Bible Story Title: God defeats Jehoshaphat’s enemies
Bible Passage: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, map, hymnal, CD/CD player, materials to make a Bible verse/phrase,
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God uses believers to point others to Jesus in times of great difficulty.
Learning Indicator: Students will demonstrate their comprehension by participating in learning activities and by answering review questions.
Learning Activity #1: Choose hymns, praise songs or choruses that would help students to praise and worship God in difficult times. As the songs are sung with the class, remind students that when we choose to sing songs of praise to God our hearts are focused on Him. If we focus on the words we are singing to God we find peace, strength and encouragement because we are worshiping Him.
Learning Activity #2: Have students create a magnet or other object with Daniel 12:3 written on it to help remind them to choose to point others to God when they are facing difficulties.
Learning Activity #3: A writing option for students as they wait for the others to arrive: Have paper available for the students to write or draw their response. Instruct the students to write or draw a picture of a time when they were in a difficult situation or someone they knew was in a difficult situation. In our story today we will see how King Jehoshaphat’s response to difficulty was to seek God’s help and he pointed the people to God as well. (Discuss with the students what they decide to share in this activity. Ask them how they responded to the difficulty and did their response help others see God’s power? Remind them if they feel like they didn’t respond in a way that showed that they trusted God that the more they grow in their faith in God they will respond with greater faith in each difficulty they face.)
A suggested take-home idea would be to have students keep a journal of difficult situations they faced and how God helped them when they prayed and asked for His help. If they are willing they can share with the others the following week how they saw God help them when they or someone they knew was in a difficult situation.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Daniel 12:3: “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
Bible Lesson: God defeats Jehoshaphat’s enemies
Begin lesson with prayer.
Ask students to share some things they experienced personally, heard on the news or read about that was a very difficult situation. If students are quiet be prepared to share a difficult situation (something that happened that the students may be aware of locally or globally).
Sometimes situations seem overwhelming and it may appear that there is no way for good to come from it. Every difficult situation gives people a choice. Who will they turn to for help in his/her difficulty? As believers who should we to turn to for help in every situation? (God) Can you give some examples of other people/things that we can turn to for help? (Allow students to respond) When we turn to other people/things without looking to God first to help us in our difficulty we miss the opportunity to see God’s great power to use that difficult situation and turn it into a blessing.
Today’s Bible lesson is a perfect illustration of how God shows His mighty power when His people turn to Him when faced with a very difficult situation. Let’s turn in our Bibles to 2 Chronicles 20.
2 Chronicles 20:1-4 Choose volunteer to read 20:1-2. Have a map to show the students where the enemies were coming from.
King Jehoshaphat has been told some very serious news. He was facing a very difficult situation that alarmed him. As the leader of God’s people he had many people looking to him to make the right choice. What are some choices he could have made when he heard the news of this army coming to fight him? (Allow responses)
Jehoshaphat was a leader whose heart was devoted to the Lord. (2 Chronicles 17:3-6) What does devote mean? The definition of devote is to give up or appropriate to or concentrate on a particular pursuit, occupation, purpose, cause, etc. A follower of Jesus should have a heart that is devoted to the Lord and is concentrated on Him and doing what pleases Him. (Titus 3:8)
Read 2 Chronicles 20:3. Although Jehoshaphat was alarmed by the news he showed his devotion to the Lord by resolving to seek God’s help. Not only did He personally turn to God for wisdom he led the people in his kingdom to fast and look to God for help. (20:4)
If you are a believer (have put your faith in Jesus) you and I have the privilege to talk to God and seek His help when we face different situations. We also have opportunity to point others to Jesus and seek help from God.
2 Chronicles 20:5-13 Jehoshaphat publicly prays and calls upon God for His help. Let’s read verse 12. As Jehoshaphat looked at his situation he knew that without God’s help they would lose this battle against this large army.
You may be facing or know someone who is facing something that is so difficult you can’t see how anything good can come out of it. You can trust God and believe that He has the answer to help you. (Romans 8:28)
2 Chronicles 20:14-17 God heard Jehoshaphat’s prayer and He sent Jahaziel to give him His answer. Let’s read 15-17. What encouragement did Jahaziel give to Jehoshaphat and the people in Judah? (Not to be afraid or discouraged because God was going to fight this battle) What did God ask the people to do? (Take up positions-go down to the battlefield, stand firm-believe God’s promise, watch God rescue)
2 Chronicles 20:18-19 Jehoshaphat and Judah respond to God’s answer by worshiping and praising Him. How do you respond when God clearly answers your prayer for wisdom? Let’s not forget to thank God when He responds to our cry for help.
2 Chronicles 20:20-21 Let’s look at how King Jehoshaphat leads his people trust God. From verse 20 what does Jehoshaphat encourage the people to do? (Have faith in God and they will be successful) Who did King Jehoshaphat send to lead the army to their position on the battlefield? (Men appointed to sing praises to God)
Let’s look at this from the perspective of people who do not know the One True God. How would this situation look to these people who are watching how God’s people respond to a difficult situation? The people who do not have a relationship with God would see a large army coming up against God’s people. The leader of God’s people is choosing to trust God. God has told His people that they will not have to fight, only stand and watch. The leader chooses to send his army into their positions with a group of men singing praises to God. How often do you think that happens on the battlefield? When we choose to completely trust God and follow Him the way God rescues us may look very strange to those watching us. Those following Jesus are only responsible to trust and obey God and not be concerned about how they look to others.
Let’s read 2 Chronicles 20:22-23. We don’t know what happened to cause Jehoshaphat’s enemies to turn on each other. God has all authority over all of His creation and we don’t know if He caused the enemies to be confused and they fought against each other. Is it possible that someone started an argument and it ended up in a big fight between each other and they completely forgot about Jehoshaphat? We don’t know but we can trust that God knew how to rescue His people from their enemies.
2 Chronicles 20:24-29 As Jehoshaphat’s men look down on the place where their enemies were waiting what did they see? (Verse 24) If you were there what would you have felt when you saw all of the enemies already defeated before your eyes? God is amazing and every time He shows His power we should be in awe.
Not only did God rescue Jehoshaphat from this large army, He also gave them a large amount of treasure left behind. There was so much treasure it took three days to collect. (Verse 25)
God showed His mighty power to His people by rescuing them from a large army. Jehoshaphat and all his soldiers responded by praising God. We will close our lesson by reading 2 Chronicles 20:27-28.
When we choose to seek God’s help in our difficulties we can trust that He will help us. Not only will we see His mighty power but each person that is watching our lives will see how great and awesome He is. Your faith in the Lord will be richly rewarded and your response will be one of joy and praise to the One who rescued you. We will never know how many people may turn from their sin and believe in Jesus simply because they saw God help us as we trusted Him in all of our circumstances.
Close in prayer.
- What difficulty was Jehoshaphat facing? (A large army was coming against him)
- How did Jehoshaphat respond when he heard the alarming news? (He resolved to seek the Lord, proclaimed a fast for all the people)
- How were the soldiers to fight this battle? (Stand still and watch the Lord fight for them)
- Who went before the soldiers as they went to the battlefield? (Men appointed to sing praises to God)
- How did God rescue Jehoshaphat from his enemies? (They fought each other and everyone died)
- How much treasure did Jehoshaphat and his soldiers find? (So much that it took three days to collect)
- What was Jehoshaphat and the soldiers’ response to God’s help? (They praised Him)