WHEN WE PUT GOD FIRST, THE VICTORY IS ALREADY WON.
Lesson Plan for Lower Grade Children’s church
Prepared by Ms. Kristen
OVERVIEW & PURPOSE
You will teach the kids how to put Jesus first.
2 Chronicles 20:1-24: The story of Jehoshaphat and Judah’s victory over their enemies.
MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY: 2 Chronicles 20:1-24
Write out the verse word by word and have the child put it in order. Once in order, have them try to recite it with little to no help.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
- 2 Choronicles 20:15b
When Jehoshaphat and the nation of Judah were faced with a great enemy, they cried out to God. They put God first, and God gave them the victory. God will give us victory, too, when we put him first and let him fight for us.
Most sports teams, if not all, have a star player. As Christians, we don’t have a star player, but a God we can rely on to give us victory. When we are challenged to defend our faith, God has promised he will fight for us. But if we want to claim that victory we have to put God first in our lives. Today we’re going to be looking at a man and a people group who did just that. The man’s name is Jehoshaphat. He was a king of Judah, and he had a very big problem
Read passage: 2 Chronicles 20:1-13
1 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites[a] came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.
2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard 6 and said:
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
Jehoshaphat had a problem. Not one army, but several armies, or marching towards this country planning to wipe him and his people off the map. There was no way a small army could win the victory, at least not on their own. it would be like a peewee football team trying to take on the Dallas Cowboys.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:14-19
14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
Don’t you love God’s response? If we were to translate that into modern kids language, it would sound like this, “Don’t worry about a thing. I got this!”
The people of Judah put God first, and God is about to give them the victory. Do you want to know how the story ends?
(Read 2 Chronicles 20:20-24)
20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.
Jehoshaphat could have done a lot of things to prepare for the attack. He could’ve made deals with some of his neighbors to help defend him. He could’ve just sent his men into battle, crossed fingers, and hope for the best. But Jehoshaphat didn’t try to solve his problem on his own. He went straight to God, and gave him a victory he never could have predicted on his own. Did you notice too, that instead of sending his army out first, he sent a choir? Even as they marched to battle, the people put God first. They were so certain of victory they let him send an unarmed choir to go ahead of their fighting minute singing praises to God. God honored their faithfulness, and God promises that when we put him first, he will fight for us as well.
We live in a time when people are increasingly hostile towards God and his believers. We live in a time when people will leave and do whatever feels good. There’s no right and wrong except for what you think is right and wrong, and more and more, Christians are being silenced in public places. God doesn’t want us to run and hide, he wants us to pray for courage, just as Jehoshaphat did. He wants us to stand strong and defend our faith.
But before we do anything God wants us to put him first so that he can give us the victory. If we put Jesus first, God will give us the words to say. We will remember that our real enemy is sin and God can use us to show others that the good news of Jesus is for everyone, even those who don’t yet believe. If you’re already on God's team, today is a day to celebrate.
Thank God for the gift of Jesus, and tell him you want him to be first in your life if you’ve never accepted Jesus as your Savior, don’t leave here without asking someone to help you do so. The battles are hard, and the challenges are great, but we don’t need to be afraid. The battle is not ours, but God‘s.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-24
What was Jehosaphats problem?
What did Jehosaphat and his people do when they learned they would be attacked?
What did God say when the people asked for his help?
Who did Jehoshaphat send out in front of his army?
What happened to Jehoshaphat enemies?