Jehoshaphat models better than his predecessor, Asa, seeking God in times of need. In the face of foes and disease, Asa relied on men, not on God (2 Chronicles 16). Contrary to this, Jehoshaphat assembles all of Israel in prayer and fasting before God at his temple (20:3-5). He prays for deliverance from the horde, harking back to Solomon’s prayer in 6:28-31.
The Chronicler provided the words of Solomon’s prayer in 6:28-31 for the post-exile Israelites, to tell them that they should together seek God at his temple for help in times of distress. In chapter 20 the Chronicler provides them with a demonstration of that God is faithful in fulfilling that promise, if they would seek him at his temple, wholly relying on him. In Israel’s post-exile state, fallen from the power and grandeur of former days, God would protect them and maintain them, if only they would look to him and keep his laws.
I’m thankful that we don’t have to look to the temple for God’s loving kindness and protection. We have the fulfillment of the temple in every way in Jesus: the very presence and glory of God, the perfect sacrificial lamb of God, a priestly intercessor to God. And Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:12 that Judah’s eyes would be on God, we should look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).