Give Me Understanding – Bonus Resources

Article: Why Are So Many Christians Bored with the Bible?

Referenced in Day 1

Psalm 119 A-Stanza Paraphrase

Referenced in Day 3

Sermon: Thy Word Have I Treasured in My Heart

Referenced in Day 4

Article: Turn My Eyes from Worthless Things

Referenced in Day 7

Article: Luther, Bunyan, Bible and Pain

Referenced in Day 12

Article: Five Ways Affliction Helps

Referenced in Day 13

Article: The Synonyms for the Word of God

Referenced in Day 14

Article: When Others Don’t Keep God’s Law

Referenced in Day 21

Article: Suffering and Psalm 119

Referenced in Day 22

Article: The Nearness of God in His Word

Referenced in Day 23

Article: Living in the Tension

Referenced in Day 26

Article: How To Delight in God’s Word

Referenced in Day 27

Article: What Does the Inspiration of Scripture Mean?

Referenced in Day 28

Article: Three Lessons about Scripture from 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Referenced in Day 29

Article: The Word of God: Living, Active, Sharp

Referenced in Day 30

Psalm 91 Bonus Resources

Article: Hand Copying Scripture

Referenced in Day 7

Article: How to Memorize Scripture

Referenced in Day 8

Article: Ten Biblical Reasons to Memorize Scripture

Referenced in Day 8

Article: Parallelism

Referenced in Day 9

Article: Why You Don’t Have to Fear Terror

Referenced in Day 20

Article: Slain in the Shadow of the Almighty

Referenced in Day 24

Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on Psalm 91:15

Referenced in Day 29

Ideas for Further Study related to Psalm 91

Referenced in Day 31

Bonus Resources for Drawing Our Way through Psalm 19

Article: General and Special Revelation

Referenced in Day 9

Article: The Joy of God's Law

Referenced in Day 14

Article: 10 Things 'Yahweh' Means

Referenced in Day 18

Article: God Wrote a Book

Referenced in Day 20

C. H. Spurgeon's sermon, "Presumptuous Sins"

Referenced in Day 25

Article: Fighting Presumptuous Sins

Referenced in Day 26

Sermon "The Heart You Know and the Heart You Don’t Know"

Referenced in Day 27

Article: May the Words

Referenced in Day 27

Bonus Resources: Brother and Sister Offended Study

Article: Matthew 7:1 from Tabletalk Magazine

Referenced in Day 4

Devotional: Without Excuse

Referenced in Day 6

Article: Give God Your Revenge

Referenced in Day 8

Article: Draw Near to the Throne of Grace with Confidence

Referenced in Day 11

Article: The Major Obstacle in Forgiving Others

Referenced in Day 17

Article: A Recipe for Repentance

Referenced in Day 25

The Magnificat Bonus Resources

Sermon: How Not To Talk to an Angel

Sermon by John Piper, referenced in Day 1

Article: My Soul Magnifies the Lord

Referenced in Day 3

Sermon: My Spirit Rejoices

Sermon by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, referenced in Day 4

Article: Mary’s Grammar

Referenced in Day 4

Article: Incarnation as Alarum: Benjamin Britten’s ‘This Little Babe'

Referenced in Day 9

Article: Two Women -- Two Stories -- Two Songs

Referenced in Day 10

Praying the Psalms – Bonus Resources

Back to: Praying the Psalms

Article: Psalm 1: When Delights Overcomes Distraction

Referenced in Day 1

Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on Psalm 131

Referenced in Day 3

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Psalm 130

Referenced in Day 4

Article: Talk To God, Not Just About Him

Referenced in Day 5

Matthew Henry’s commentary on Psalm 144

Referenced in Day 6

Article: Awake and At War

Referenced in Day 6

Article: May She Be Beautiful and Strong

Referenced in Day 6

Article: A God Worth Repeating in Worship

Referenced in Day 7

Article: Don’t Eat the Bread of Anxious Toil

Referenced in Day 8

Article: Parenting a Full Quiver with a Barren Heart

Referenced in Day 8

Article: Glorifying God with Infertility

Referenced in Day 8

Article: Kept Safe through Death

Referenced in Day 9

Article: Goodness and Me

Referenced in Day 9

Article: God’s Lovely Dwelling Place

Referenced in Day 10

Article: The Joy of Unity

Referenced in Day 11

Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on Psalm 61

Referenced in Day 12

Article: Joy to the World: A Christmas Hymn Reconsidered

Referenced in Day 13

Article: World, Get With the Program: Joy! Joy! Joy!

Referenced in Day 13

Sermon: Everlasting Truth for the Joy of All Peoples

Referenced in Day 14

Music: Seedbed's Psalm 86

Referenced in Day 15

Article: Teach Us to Pray

Referenced in Day 16

Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on Psalm 52

Referenced in Day 16

Article: Do I Not Hate Those Who Hate You, Lord?

Referenced in Day 18

Article: 8 Steps for Real Repentance from Psalm 51

Referenced in Day 19

Article: Living Coram Deo

Referenced in Day 19

Article: The Blessedness of Forgiveness

Referenced in Day 20

Article: The Joy of Forgiveness

Referenced in Day 20

Article: The World and the Word

Referenced in Day 21

Article: Eat the Law and Live

Referenced in Day 21

Article: God’s Promises Are Sure, Whether You Feel Like It or Not

Referenced in Day 22

Article: God Wants You to Complain

Referenced in Day 22

Article: 'Be Still and Know That I Am God’ Is Bad News

Referenced in Day 23

Article: Divine Providence

Referenced in Day 23

Article: God Is Great, God Is Good, Let Us Thank Him

Referenced in Day 24

Article: Education for Exaltation

Referenced in Day 24.

Video: Finding God

Sermon by Tim Keller, referenced in Day 25.

Article: Spiritual Depression

Referenced in Day 25.

Article: Talk, Don’t Listen, to Yourself

Referenced in Day 25.

Article: Are you Listening to Yourself — or Talking?

Referenced in Day 25.

Article: Darkness Is My Closest Friend

Referenced in Day 26.

Article: How I Gleaned Hope from the Darkest Psalm

Referenced in Day 26.

Sermon: How To Deal with Dark Times

A video of a sermon by Timothy Keller, referenced in Day 26.

Article: Great Faith in God

Referenced in Day 27.

Article: Why Do Christians Die?

Referenced in Day 27.

Article: Delighting in the Works of God

Referenced in Day 28.

Playlist: Psalm-Based Songs

This is a YouTube playlist of all the various Psalm-based songs referenced throughout this study. 

Praying the Psalms Scavenger Hunt

Children's activity for Day 29.

2 Chronicles 20: Level 5 Instructions

Back to: 2 Chronicles 20: Jehosaphat’s Prayer

The notes on this page walk you through the process of planning out your own study of a narrative passage. Use these same steps to study any story in the Bible!

Day 1: Background

Welcome to the Level 5 additions to our study of 2 Chronicles 20! This is a new part of our Mama’s Refill study path – working toward being able to take what we learn as we study and begin to share that with others. In these additional lessons, we’ll be looking at why we study the way we do, and how to apply those methods to other passages of Scripture.

Leading someone in studying the Bible is a serious responsibility. We want to be faithful to the text and help people find out what the passage really says, and not just what they feel like it says, or what they already think they know it says. We need to help them do some careful study, observation, and interpretation.

We began our study today with a video overview of 1 and 2 Chronicles. It’s always good to have a big picture of a chapter’s context before we dive into the details. I’ve found Bible Project’s videos to be helpful with their appealing visual element. They give a good summary and overview of a book and how it fits into the whole of Scripture, and they hold our attention with the pictures and narration.

  • If you haven’t explored thebibleproject.com and all they have to offer, you should take some time to look around on their site. They’re doing a good work!
  • Think about this today: Why do we need to know something about an entire book of the Bible before we study just one chapter of it? List some ideas.
  • Do some of your own research on the subject, using the internet or any Bible study books you have. Search on words like “historical context of Scripture” to locate articles, and pay attention to your sources. Not everything on the internet is helpful or accurate.
  • Then see if you can find at least one other trustworthy overview of 1 and 2 Chronicles that you would be able to use with your children or recommend to other women studying the books.
  • Share your ideas and your resources in the comments below or on the Facebook group page.

Day 2: More Historical Background

As eager as we might be to dive into Chapter 20, we still need some background about the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles. The challenge is to not bog down so much in historical details that we discourage and lose busy people who are just as eager as we are to start reading and marking in chapter 20.

So we look for summaries that are clear and concise. We can look at the introductions in the commentaries on Blue Letter Bible, and we can look at online for reliable sources. I have found the introductions to books at ESV.org (search on “Introduction to [name of book] ESV.org” to find these) and the “Insights on the Bible” section of Insight.org to be very helpful.

I chose the ESV.org introduction for today’s lesson because of its easily-read sections, but felt like we needed another source that gave better information about the authorship of the Chronicles. The ESV introduction presents it author information as facts, but we have no real conclusive information about the books’ authorship in Scripture — just theories.

We could simply give the background information in the lesson (authorship, dates, themes, etc.), but our goal is to train faithful students of the Word. That means helping them do some of their own research. It also means having them read some of that history directly from Scripture as we are doing today in 2 Chronicles 36.

I had to do quite a bit of my own research, being a bit fuzzy on my history of the kings of Israel and Judah. This meant hunting down charts of the kings, with dates and an evaluation of their rule. It also meant getting the chronology of some of the Old Testament history books straight in my own mind so that I don’t make mistakes.

How are you on your history of the kings of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms?

  • Can you explain how the the Northern and Southern kingdoms came into being?
  • Can you divide this list of kings of Judah into two lists, one of good kings and one of bad?
  • Can you list at least two bad kings and two good kings of Israel (the Northern kingdom)?
  • If you are unable to answer these questions, find a chart in a book or online that lists the kings in order with references, dates of reign, and whether they were good or bad kings. Then go back and answer the questions above.
  • Why do you think this information is important to our study?
  • Share your thoughts, insights and questions in the comments below or on the Facebook group page.

Day 3: Start Reading

As I prepare to write or teach a study on a particular passage, I read it over and over. I listen to it. I work at memorizing it. I listen to sermons on it (from SermonAudio.com and also from Tim Keller/Gospelinlife.com because he always seems to help me see a passage from a different viewpoint).

I’ve found Biblegateway.com to be a good place to copy text, which can then be pasted into a word document, formatted with wide margins and double-spaced between lines. If we only print on one side of the page, there’s lots of room on the back for notes, in addition to the ones added next to specific verses.

As you read, listen, study, and memorize, keep a list of possible lesson ideas — repeated words to mark, words to study, topics and history to consider, etc. Jot down any ideas for future reference.

In today’s lesson, we are simply reading the story. I’ve recommended listening to it because these accounts were originally heard more than read, and it’s good to get more than just our eyes involved as we interact with God and His Word.

Choosing key verses during a second reading will help us start to think about the main themes and application points in the text.

Memorizing always helps us learn more about the passage and will anchor some of its main points in our minds where the Holy Spirit can keep using them. Several verses in this chapter need to be memorized!

  • After choosing three key verses in 2 Chronicles 20 today, write down why you chose those verses. What are your reasons for choosing them as key verses?
  • Then think of six different ways to help memorize a passage that you could recommend to someone studying with you.
  • Make a list of ideas.
  • Look for suggestions online if you need help.
  • Then try out a couple of your ideas as you memorize at least one of the verses in 2 Chronicles 20.
  • Post your ideas in the comments or on the Facebook group page.

Day 4: Who

We’re working with historical narrative in 2 Chronicles 20. We approach narratives differently than we do poetry or epistles or prophecy. We’re looking at facts, characters, a timeline. In biblical narrative, we’re also working with lessons about covenant blessings and cursings, and about God’s loyal, faithful, loving, redemptive acts on behalf of His people.

I had a hard time deciding which approach to take as we dive into this story. I started out thinking we would look at the story arc as the narrative opens with the introduction of characters and setting, and then moves to conflict, climax, solution, and resolution.

But then, after writing half of the lesson, I felt like that approach was premature, and that it would be simpler (and encourage more independent, learn-how-to-study-it-yourself habits) to switch to “reporter mode” with its who-what-where, just-the-facts type questions. Later, after we have the main facts of the story down, we’ll look at the structure or story arc.

Then, rather than marking our way through my list of characters from the story, I decided to have everyone make their own list of characters first, identify good and bad guys, and then start marking specific characters in the text. Again, this was to help us do our own observation, instead of relying on someone else (i.e., me) to do that thinking for us.

  • We’re going to get a bit more background on Jehoshaphat before we move on to other characters in the story. Write up your own plan for how to do this. What would you do to find out more about Jehoshaphat? What would you encourage women in a Bible study group to do? How would you direct them in a way that will encourage them to grow in their own independent Bible study habits?

Day 5: Jehoshaphat

Little words matter in Scripture. That’s one of the reasons we do so much marking. Otherwise we might miss a lot of the details in a passage.

The words “after this” in 2 Chronicles 20:1 point us back to previous information about Jehoshaphat and give us the opportunity to learn more about him in earlier chapters of the book. I started out thinking we would do a concordance search on Blue Letter Bible, searching on the word “Jehoshaphat,” and then reading everything that is listed. But that produced a lot of material to read, since much of his story is also recorded in Kings.

So I decided to just work with what was told in 2 Chronicles, since that is actually what the writer of Chronicles is referring back to with his “after this.”

If we had more time, I would have had us do some marking in those chapters, but I managed to restrain myself and try to keep the lesson as short as I could, while still reading three chapters.

Assignment:

  • If we had more time to spend in Chapters 17-19, how would you direct someone to look more closely at Jehoshaphat in those chapters? Would you have them mark words, and if so, which words? Would you make lists? What lists would you make? How about picking key verses, finding the main themes, or watching for repeated thoughts or phrases? What ideas do you have?
  • Read the chapters one more time, and write a plan that would use two lessons, rather than just one, to learn more about Jehoshaphat.
  • Share your plan on the Facebook group page, adding the hashtag #Level5 to your comment.

Day 6: Optional lesson

An optional lesson needs to relate to the study without being essential to the study. It can add to it, but if someone doesn’t do the lesson, it shouldn’t impact their understanding of what we’re doing in the other daily lessons.

Assignment:

  • Think of at least three other optional, catch-up-day type lessons that relate to the content of 2 Chronicles 20. (I may borrow some of your ideas! 🙂 )
  • Describe each lesson briefly.
  • Share your ideas on the Facebook group page, adding #Level5 to your comment.

Day 7: The Enemy

I really bogged down trying to write this lesson. I had a hard time finding a resource with a description of the Ammonites and Moabites that was clear and concise, that didn’t give so much detail that it would discourage people from reading, or that wasn’t so brief that it was unhelpful. And then I flip-flopped back and forth on how important it was to know more about the Ammonites and Moabites.

I was tempted to link to a couple internet articles, but I don’t like to center a lesson around a web source. We don’t know when the article might disappear or how reliable and well-researched some of the information is on the web. Plus, our goal is to look at Scripture for our answers.

So Nave’s Topical Bible came to the rescue! The subheadings give us some general information and allow us to click on verses that support that information. Again, because of our time limitations, I suggested skimming and choosing verses to read instead of recommending a specific list of the headings/verses to slow down and read.

Assignment:

  • First, what do you think? Is it important to know more about the enemies that are poised to attack Jehoshaphat? Why or why not? We can’t cover everything about a chapter in thirty lessons. Are the Ammonites and Moabites a good investment of our time?
  • Go back to those two links to Nave’s in today’s lesson.
  • Make a list of the specific subheadings/topics you think would be most important for students to read about the Ammonites and about the Moabites. (You can also print out the lists or take screen shots of them, and then highlight the topics and verses you think are most important.)
  • Be able to explain why you consider those verses important to read.
  • Share your ideas on the Facebook group page. Add the hashtag #Level5 to your comment.

Day 8: Where and When

We’re working our way through the “5 W’s and 1 H” as we gather facts about this account in 2 Chronicles 20. We’re doing this to help us see details. Details are there for a reason. We’re also doing it to slow us down in what is a familiar story for many. It’s easy to think we already know the story, or we already know how to apply it to our lives. But there are riches to mine in this account, and we don’t want to miss them!

Assignment:

  • Do a Google search on “5 W’s and 1 H.” You’ll get different sorts of results with the questions being applied to journalism, business communications, problem solving, project management, and more.
  • Skim some of these articles and create a list of questions you can ask, while studying a narrative (story) passage of Scripture, using each of the W’s and H. What “who” questions can you ask? What “where” questions? etc.
  • Share your list on the Facebook group page, remembering to label the comment with #Level5.

Day 9: Why

For me, one of the most challenging parts of guiding the study of a Scripture passage is deciding how to organize it – where to start, which elements to focus on first, which details to mark and then come back to later for more consideration, when to move from observing to interpreting and applying.

It seems like a narrative passage makes this even more challenging. We have the story itself, but we have all the other things going on inside the story — the strengths and weaknesses of characters, the dialogue, the connection to other historical events and passages, what we’re learning about God and ourselves as the action unfolds. When do we start looking at all those things?

I have written and deleted and rewritten hundreds of words, as I seek to help us end this study knowing, trusting, and worshipping God more fully. I’m still purposely holding back on diving into Jehoshaphat’s prayer and Jahaziel’s prophetic words with all their rich content. I want to give us all a chance to interact with the passage and the Holy Spirit without me getting in the way (too much). This will give us time to see some of those connections and applications on our own as we simply looking more carefully at what is in the text.

Assignment:

  • We’re going to spend one more lesson marking some significant repeated words. Look at the text. Make a list of 5 different words (and their synonyms) that you would choose to mark.
  • Explain why you have chosen those particular words.
  • Then reflect on these questions today:
    • What benefits do you see in observing the text before we think about what it means and how to apply it?
    • What potential pitfalls do you see in spending so much time marking, highlighting, and making lists and charts as we study a passage?
    • What can we do to help avoid those pitfalls?
  • Share your ideas on the Facebook group page, tagging your comment #Level5.

Day 10: Negatives and Repeated Words

If you write a study for others to use: Keep a master list where you summarize what you have done in each lesson.

  • This helps you know which lesson you marked the word “God,” or when you made a list of all the characters in the story, etc. so you can refer back to it in later lessons.
  • It also helps you know if you’ve already used an idea, or if you just thought of it but haven’t done it yet.
  • Make sure you take time as you write each lesson to record its activities in your “master list.” I often forget to do this, and then I’m left like I am today, going back through all the lessons, to see if I already recommended memorizing the second key verse.

Assignment:

  • Did you make any new discoveries as you marked the suggested words in today’s lesson?
  • If you had different or additional words on the list you made in our last lesson (see above), mark those words in your marking copy of 2 Chronicles 20.
  • What new insights did you gain?
  • Share your thoughts on the Facebook group page, adding #Level5 to your comment.

Day 11: Timeline

We’ve finished most of our marking. We’re ready to look at the big picture.

Assignment:

  • Why do you think I’ve chosen to have us make a timeline of the story at this point in our study? What benefit could there be in doing this?
  • Share your thoughts on the Facebook group page, adding #Level5 to your comment.

Day 12: Narrative Arc

Assignment:

  • We made our timeline. Now we’re trying to identify the different elements of the story. Why do you think we’re doing this? Do you think it’s beneficial?
  • Share your thoughts on the Facebook group page, adding #Level5 to your comment.

Day 13: Catch-Up and Fasting

We didn’t take time to talk about the fast that King Jehoshaphat proclaimed in Judah, but it’s a significant part of the story. A quick look at other verses that speak of fasting is an appropriate optional lesson for those who have the time for it.

Normally I like to show us how to get to the information, rather than giving links. Our goal is to teach people how to study on their own, so they need to know how to use the different study tools. But this is a Level 2 study. We’re using simpler study methods and are not going into the details of using Blue Letter Bible. So I’ve provided a link to the section on “fasting” in Nave’s Topical Bible.

Assignment:

  • Complete the optional study on fasting.
  • Then write at least four different application questions that would help students think about how to apply what they’ve learned to their own lives.

Day 14: The Response

We’ve made our observations.

Then we took the time to make a timeline to help us see time frames. It took one day to receive the news of the impending invasion and prepare for it. It took three days to gather up the spoil!

Timelines also help us see how one choice or event leads to the next – the causes and effects of the story.

They can also help us make other connections as we write down details. The more we read and look and write, the more opportunities we have to discover connections, relationships, patterns, lessons that the Holy Spirit wants to teach us.

The timeline also set us up for analyzing the story arc and trying to identify each portion of the story. The story arc can help us zero in on the turning point of the story. What was the crucial factor in this story that led to its outcome? Again, we’re going to wrestle with this individually, rather than me just telling everyone what I think.

Lead, don’t tell, is the goal. But this doesn’t mean we’re taking a “this-is-what-it-means-to-me” approach to Scripture. We’ll pull everything together before we’re all done, to avoid getting into the weeds with any misinterpretations.

We’ve already been considering the meaning of much of what we’ve seen, but we’re ready to more purposefully interpret and apply what we’ve been reading.

Assignment:

  • Read about the three basic elements of inductive Bible study, https://www.precept.org/know-gods-word/ as described by Precept Ministries.
  • Then list the main points given for accurately interpreting or finding out what a passage means. These are important points. They help us avoid mistakes and unbiblical conclusions.
  • Share any questions or comments on the Facebook group page, along with the hashtag #Level5.

Day 15: The Prayer

Jehoshaphat appeals to God on the basis of His covenant relationship with His people. He’s the God of their fathers. He gave this land to Abraham and to his descendants forever. He promised to hear and save when His people call on Him from His house. Jehoshaphat is simply reviewing God of His promises.

Assignment:

  • Summarize the covenants made with Abraham, Moses, and David. Use a Bible dictionary or research online.
  • How do those covenants relate to Jehoshaphat’s prayer and the deliverance of God’s people from the Ammonites, Moabites, and Meunites?
  • Share what you learn on the Facebook group page, using the hashtag #Level5.
  • (The book shown in the photo for Day 15 is a helpful little book called, How the Bible Works, by Bill Foster. It offers a big-picture view of Scripture, including a summary of the covenants God made and how those each point to Jesus.)

Day 16: History

Jehoshaphat knows his history and acknowledges that it was God who drove out the inhabitants of the land and that He gave that land to the Israelites forever. These were real historical events which can be confirmed in other accounts in Scripture.

We turn to cross-references again to get that historical background. Cross-references point to Scripture as its own commentary, the most reliable commentary we can read.

I could have listed two or three specific verses to read in the lesson, but reading through the list of cross-references gives us a chance to do some of our own discovering instead of just reading the verses I choose.

Another way to gain more historical background would be to do concordance searches on selected words from 2 Chronicles 20:7-9. Searching on “Abraham friend” would lead to verses that have both the words “Abraham” and “friend” in them and would expand on the reference to “Abraham your friend.” A search on “name house” would also lead to more verses about the temple as a house for God’s name (along with many other unrelated verses).

Assignment:

  • Use Blue Letter Bible to do a concordance search on the phrase “drive out.”
  • Read these verses, remembering to click on verse references when you want/need to read the verse in its context.
  • What new insights do you gain as you read these?
  • Imagine leading a group of women who have just done the same concordance search and reading. Write at least two questions that would generate discussion over what is found in those verses and their relationship to what we read in 2 Chronicles 20:7-9.
  • Share your ideas on the Facebook group page, with the hashtag #Level5.

Day 17: The Grievance

We needed some background for this lesson, and again, the best place to find it is in Scripture. Cross-references are the first place I look to find accounts that relate to the passage we are studying. The cross-references for verse 10 led us straight to the account of God’s instructions regarding the lands and people of Ammon, Moab, and Mt. Seir.

I still had to do additional studying to remember what was happening in Deuteronomy 2. I read Chapters 1 and 2 of Deuteronomy, watched the Bible Project’s overview video on Deuteronomy and then read Matthew Henry’s introduction to the book of Deuteronomy, as well as his commentary on verses 10 and 11 of 2 Chronicles 20.

Then I had to decide how much information to include in the lesson, how much was not essential to our study, and how much to let people find out on their own. One of the hardest decisions when writing a study is what to not study.

Rather than looking at this historical account with the children, we used today’s lesson to do something active and something that would help them anchor down the basic chronology of the story. The chronology helps us see things like Jehoshaphat proclaiming a fast in response to the news of pending invasion, and worshipping God as a mighty and powerful ruler of all nations before he asked God to save them.

Assignment:

  • Read verses 10-11 again as well as the cross-references for both verses.
  • Then think about how you could teach verses 11 and 12 to children. What would you read? What would you do? How would you apply these verses to our lives? Write down your plan.

Many of the ideas we come up with for children can be adapted to make useful, simpler lessons for adults, too.

Day 18: The Request

We are focusing primarily on what we can find in the text, rather than using other resources as we study 2 Chronicles 20. Rather than directing us to Blue Letter Bible, I’ve simply supplied links for cross-references when I felt they would add to our understanding of the chapter.

Because today’s lesson was getting long, I chose to forego the reading of cross-references for the phrase “our eyes are upon thee.” But we can do that study here!

Assignment:

  • Using Blue Letter Bible, open the cross-references for 2 Chronicles 20:12 and scroll down to the verses for “our eyes.”
  • Read and take notes on each of these verses.
  • In what ways do these verses enhance your understanding of verse 12? What new insights did you gain as you read them?
  • Are there any application points you would discuss if you were leading a group of ladies through these cross-references while studying 2 Chronicles 20:12?
  • Share your thoughts on the Facebook group page, using the hashtag #Level5.

Day 19: Personalize

Personalizing and paraphrasing is an effective way of reviewing and applying what we are learning as we study. It seems especially useful in this passage where we have the opportunity to imitate Jehoshaphat’s humble appeal to God.

In this particular application, we’re seeking to paraphrase the prayer so that it addresses our own personal concerns and crises. It was a bit of a challenge figuring out how to guide that process.

Assignment:

  • Reread Jehoshaphat’s prayer in verses 6-12.
  • Then plan another lesson that helps us take what Jehoshaphat is teaching us and apply it to our own lives. What other angle could you come from? How could you organize the elements of his prayer into something that is easy to remember and imitate?
  • Share your ideas on the Facebook group page.

Day 20: Optional Lesson

The article on 2 Chronicles 20 in today’s lesson elaborates on some points we’ve only touched on briefly, so it’s a good addition to our study.

Assignment (Choose one or both):

The author brings out the point that Jehoshaphat chose to trust in God rather than his army.

  • Use the concordance on Blue Letter Bible or an online version of Nave’s Topical Bible to find verses related to trusting in God rather than military strength. Study these verses and think about how they relate to Jehoshaphat’s story.

The author also includes a quote from John Calvin on prayer and goes on to say that Calvin cites Daniel, David, and Isaiah as examples of the submissive attitude he describes in his quote.

  • Choose one of these three men to study briefly, finding examples from his life that demonstrate the submissive attitude of prayer that Calvin describes.
  • If you were writing a study for other women, which of these two assignments do you think would be best to include in your lessons? Why?

Day 21: The Answer

The challenge when studying a historical narrative is to see what happens in the text, and then to also see how truths and principles in the passage apply to our lives now. What can we learn about God in this story? What can we learn about ourselves?

God addresses Jehoshaphat’s specific circumstances as He quickly answers him through the prophet Jahaziel. An enemy has crossed their borders. Their destruction is imminent. What should they do? Jehoshaphat has laid out his case, and God tells him exactly what to do.

Obviously not every detail of this account applies directly to us. But there is much to learn from it. The God who heard and saved then is still the same God who hears and saves today. He is just as worthy of our trust today as He was then.

By labeling and marking different phrases in the prophecy, I’ve tried to draw attention to what God said He would do, and what He tells the people to do and not do. We moved toward applying those words to our lives by personalizing God’s instructions, replacing second-person pronouns with first-person ones. I need to stand firm. I need to hold my position. The Lord will be with me.

What we did in today’s lesson— listing and marking the different phrases — is certainly not the only way we could study these verses.

Assignment:

  • Read Jahaziel’s prophecy again in verses 13-17.
  • Then choose another way to study these verses. Instead of marking the different phrases the way we did in today’s lesson, what other approach could we take?
  • Study the verses with your chosen approach, and then write instructions that would direct others to study in the same way.
  • When you have finished, share how you studied and what you learned on the Facebook group page, adding #Level5 to your comment.

Day 22: Another One of God’s Battles

The similarities are striking between the account of the Red Sea crossing and the account of Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah.

We watched today for repeated words and phrases to help us see the similarities in the two passages. This could be done with several other passages as well.

The goal in seeing this pattern in battles is to recognize and believe that God can fight our battles, too, and that He will be glorified as He does so.

Assignment:

  • Using cross-references or concordance searches on phrases like “salvation of the Lord,” “stand firm,” “stand still,” and “fear not,” can you find any other battles or other situations where God tells people to step back, trust Him, and let Him glorify Himself by fighting the battle for them? 
  • Share what you find on the Facebook group page, labeling it with #Level5.

Day 23: Praise

Peter Leithart, in his commentary on 1 and 2 Chronicles (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) is the one who drew my attention to the worship aspect of Chapter 20. He always has new insights to consider. The theme is definitely there in the text! Worship becomes Judah’s first line of defense against the Ammonites, Moabites, and Meunites.

We will revisit this theme more in our next lesson, where we will again see Jehoshaphat and the people worship God as they head into “battle.”

Assignment:

  • Use Blue Letter Bible and StudyLight.org to do some commentary research on verses 18-19.
  • If you use Study Light, click on “Bible Study Tools” in the upper menu bar.
  • Then click “by-Verse” under “Commentaries.”
  • Click through to 2 Chronicles 20:18, and skim the different commentaries offered.
  • Do the same thing with verse 19.
  • Share what you find, if anything, on the Facebook group page, labeling it with #Level5.

Day 24: Believe

Imagining ourselves in this story of 2 Chronicles can help bring its message home to us. It’s good to remember that these were real people with little kids and elderly parents, homes that were at risk of being destroyed, and normal human emotions. Their story can have a profound impact on our stories.

When I looked at the Hebrew word for stood as it is used in verse 20, I discovered that the same word is used seven times in Chapter 20!

Assignment:

  • Jehoshaphat’s words to the people are important. Use Blue Letter Bible’s interlinear tool to study the word “stood” in verse 20.
  • As you study the word, be sure to look at the “Concordance Results Using KJV,” where you will see that the same Hebrew word for stand is used seven times in Chapter 20.
  • Read each of the verses that include this word. It is sometimes translated in other ways. Do you think there is a reason the Chronicler chose to include this word so many times in this account?
  • Now study the word believe, using the interlinear for verse 20 again. (Definition C in the “Outline of Biblical Usage” applies to the word’s usage in verse 20.)
  • Do you notice any relationship between the two Hebrew words — the one for stand and the one for believe?
  • Share your insights on the Facebook group page, adding #Level5 to your comment.

Day 25: Sing!

I decided to spend time reading and listening to Psalm 136 in today’s lesson (even though we’re grinding down to just a few more days in the study, with a lot of verses left to cover), because it was such a great psalm for the choir to be singing as they marched toward their already-won victory!

But I was disappointed to not find more good, march-like musical versions of the psalm. I’m sure I didn’t exhaust all the possibilities. Now it’s your turn. 🙂

Assignment:

  • Read Psalm 136. What other questions or comments could you add to a lesson that would help tie it in with the study of 2 Chronicles 20? Write them down.
  • Then do some digging online, using a search engine, Youtube, and other resources to track down at least two more musical versions of Psalm 136 that match the mood of 2 Chronicles 20:20-22.
  • Share what you find on the Facebook group page so we can all enjoy them!

Day 26: Watch

We spent some time today reading verses that speak of singing. God has called us to praise Him — for His glory, for the unbelievers who hear, for our brothers and sisters who sing with us, and for the strengthening of our own faith. When we sing God’s praises, He moves.

Another dramatic demonstration of God’s response to the singing of his children can be found in the book of Acts.

Assignment:

  • Read Acts 16:16-40. What do you learn about the power of praising God with song in this account?
  • Write up a plan for studying this passage with your children or with some other women. Then try it out with them.

Day 27: Catch-Up Day and Optional Lesson

Charles Spurgeon’s sermon on 2 Chronicles 20 is the recommended optional lesson today. If you don’t know much about Spurgeon, spend some time researching him online.

When we’re studying the Psalms, I make a point of reading and referring to his rich commentary, The Treasury of David, as well as the additional comments from other pastors and Bible scholars that he includes.

His comments on Psalm 136, which the Levites sang on the way to face Judah’s enemies, would be a helpful inclusion in our study, if we had more time.

Assignment:

  • Open Psalm 136 in Blue Letter Bible.
  • Then open “Commentaries” in the “Tools” list for verse 1.
  • Scroll down to “C.H. Spurgeon” and click “Psalm 136.”
  • Read some of Spurgeon’s comments on the psalm, focusing especially on verses 11-24 and how they could be incorporated into our study of 2 Chronicles 20. Jot down some notes.
  • Share your ideas and insights on the Facebook group page, labeling the comment with the hashtag #Level5.

Day 28: Blessing

As we approach the end of our study of 2 Chronicles 20, we need to review what we’ve learned and consider how that learning will influence our thoughts and actions.

The chapter has touched on several topics — prayer,  corporate worship, the role of singing in spiritual warfare, the nature of God, God fighting our battles, trusting God, and more. Listing the actions of Jehoshaphat and the people as we review the chapter will help us look again at all these themes. Asking ourselves if and how we can imitate their actions will help us consider how to conform our lives to the truths of the chapter.

Assignment:

  • Look again at the list you made as you studied today. What other questions or comparisons can you make that will help you and others apply the principles and truths of this passage?
  • Write two to three discussion/application questions along with your own thoughts about those questions.
  • Share your ideas on the Facebook group page.

Day 29: The Hero

We’re not going to spend much time on the last verses of 2 Chronicles 20 since our focus has been on Jehoshaphat’s prayer and God’s answer. Verses 26-37 describe the story’s resolution, and then offer a summary of Jehoshaphat’s reign, including the description of another foolish alliance with a wicked king of Israel. This little addendum is actually reassuring. God used Jehoshaphat, glorified Himself through him, and describes him as doing “what was right in the sight of the Lord,” in spite of his apparent weaknesses. He will do the same with us.

Assignment:

If we had more time, we would look briefly at the victory march back to the temple in verses 27-28.

  • How would you approach the study of these two verses? How would you go about finding accounts of other similar marches?
  • Find what you can. What other victory marches are described? How do they relate to Jehoshaphat’s victory/deliverance march back into Jerusalem.
  • What lessons can we learn from these comparisons?
  • Share your thoughts on the Facebook group page.

Day 30: The Bigger Story

The story of Jehoshaphat is in the Bible for our instruction and example. It’s also there as yet another picture of our great Deliverance from sin and death through Christ’s victory on the cross. All Scripture points to Christ in some way. It’s our job to identify that way.

As we finish up our study, let’s talk about commentaries for a moment.

As I studied and wrote lessons for 2 Chronicles 20, I consulted three commentaries, in addition to those on Blue Letter Bible. I always look at the recommended commentary listings at Ligonier.org and challies.com and chose two or three that are at a layman’s study level and in my budget. 🙂

For this study I used Martin Selman’s commentary and Andrew Hill’s NIV Application Commentary from those lists. I also appreciated Peter Leithart’s insights in his commentary from the Brazos Theological Commentary of the Bible series.

StudyLight.org is a good online source for older commentaries on every verse of the Bible, and of course, Blueletterbible.org gives us several different commentaries to consult as we study. (I’ve mostly used Matthew Henry, Jamieson Fausett & Brown, and C. H. Spurgeon, because I know they are tried-and-true, while I’m not familiar with many of the other names.)

I consult commentaries for puzzling portions of a passage, for historical background, for new insights, and to make sure I don’t lead us somewhere that is not accurate or consistent with the rest of Scripture.

I do my own study first, then look at commentaries.

Assignment:

  • Take some time to explore the commentary listings on both Ligonier.org and challies.com. Pick a book of the Bible, and then choose two commentaries you would purchase to use while studying a chapter from that book.

I hope this additional study material has been helpful. In future Level 5 studies we will actually work together on writing your own lessons for your children and designing your own study of a passage.

 

2 Chronicles 20 Bonus Resources

Video: What Are the Books of 1 and 2 Chronicles All About?

Referenced in Day 1

Article: Why Study the Books of 1-2 Chronicles?

Referenced in Day 2

Article: Why Memorize Scripture?

Referenced in Day 3

Article: Chart of Israel’s and Judah’s Kings and Prophets

Referenced in Day 5

Map: Judah and Israel During the Reign of Jehoshaphat

Referenced in Day 8

Article: Remember to say, "But God.."

Referenced in Day 9

Article: When You’re Scared Senseless

Referenced in Day 10

Article: What Is a Narrative Arc?

Referenced in Day 12

Article: Do Not Be Afraid

Referenced in Day 14

Article: 7 Meanings of Yahweh and Why It’s Such an Important Name for God

Referenced in Day 15

Article: LORD and Lord: What’s the Difference?

Referenced in Day 15

Article: Your Church Needs You to Sing

Referenced in Day 24

Article: Worship and Warfare.

Referenced in Day 25

Article: Ambushing Satan with Song

Referenced in Day 25. A shorter, 3-minute summary version can be found here.

Musical Versions of Psalm 136: Karl Kohlhase

Psalm 136, For His Love Is Everlasting

Referenced in Day 25.

Musical Versions of Psalm 136: Paul Thompson

Psalm 136 Give Thanks to the Lord - Congregation and Orchestra

Referenced in Day 25.

Article: Seven Biblical Reasons Why Singing Matters

Referenced in Day 26

Article: God’s Mercy in Making Us Face the Impossible

Referenced in Day 30

"Where's the Spoil" Game

Children's activity for Day 30

Additional Study Ideas Related to 2 Chronicles 20

James 4 Bonus Resources

Commentary: Introduction to James

Additional background on the book of James, from Jamieson, Fausset & Brown. Referenced in day 1.

Article: Finding Jesus in the Book of James

Referenced in day 2.

Article: The Gospel of James: An Open Letter to Martin Luther

Referenced in Day 3

Article: Earthly Wisdom

Referenced in Day 8

Article: Heavenly Wisdom

Referenced in Day 8

Article: Where does Child Killing Come From?

Referenced in Day 9

Article: "God’s Like That" — What My Kids from Learned from Studying Hosea

Referenced in Day 11

Commentary: James 4:5 Commentary

Referenced in Day 12

Article: The Perfect Illustration for God’s Outrageous Grace

Referenced in Day 13

Sermon: Resist the Devil

by John Piper. Referenced in Day 19

Article: Draw Near to God

Referenced in Day 21

Article: If the Lord Wills

Referenced in Day 26

Article: The Posture of Deo Volente

Referenced in Day 27

Article: Some Ideas for Studying the Bible

Referenced in Day 29

Article: Memorizing Scripture — An Interview with Ryan Ferguson

Referenced in Day 30

Article: Why Memorize Scripture?

Referenced in Day 30

Additional study ideas for James 4

For when you're done with this study!