A few observations can be quickly drawn:
- Amasiah willingly offered himself unto the LORD. These captains were men who gave themselves -- not for personal fame and fortune, but to the LORD. No wonder they were men of valor!
- Such an army must have been formidable. In v10 it says, “the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat” (2 Chr. 17:10). The army of the LORD is invincible against its enemies, because the LORD fights for Israel (Joshua 10:14,42).
- These men served the LORD and their king, Jehoshaphat, and so served Judah, the LORD’s people.
- Christ is our Captain (Heb. 2:10). There is but one Captain in the Lord’s army! It is Christ! It pleased God to make Him a perfect Captain through sufferings. He offered Himself willingly to the LORD (Isa. 53:12)! He won the victory over our enemies (Col. 2:14-15; Heb. 1:3; Ps. 45:3-6). Because He is mighty to save, because He defeated every enemy, God the Father divided to Him the spoil of the enemy (Isa. 53:12). He brought the Lord’s captives back from their captivity, the elect sons of God, who were held by their sin (Gal. 3:22; Matt. 1:21; Rom. 11:27), their unbelief (Rom. 11:27), satan (2 Tim. 2:26; Eph. 2:3; Acts 26:18), the condemnation of God’s law (Gal. 3:13; Rom. 8:1-4; Eph. 2:3), bondage to God’s law (Gal. 4:4-6; Rom. 8:1-4; Gal. 2:21; 3:21), the fear of death (Heb. 2:14).
- We have no power against our sin. These men were men of war and men of valor. Yet, there is no man saved by the strength of a man or by an entire army of mighty men of valor (1 Sam. 2:9)! There is not one sin over which we, in ourselves, have any power! The entire million-strong, mighty men of war and valor in Jehoshaphat's army could not deliver any of God's elect from even on sin! God required His Son to die to put away every sin, to put away all sins. He left no sin for us, because we could not put away one sin! Against our sins and unbelief, we have no power apart from the redemption that is in Christ (Rom. 5:6). Before God and in our conscience, our sins are unconquerable and invincible. Only our Captain, the Lord Jesus Christ, has power to put away our sins, to redeem us from the hand of all that hate us (Luke 1:68-79; Micah 7:18-20; Ps. 65:3)! How great must the power of sin over us be that none but Christ could defeat and subdue it! How evil must our sin be that God required His own Son to die in our nature to satisfy for it (Isa. 53:11), to subdue it (Micah 7:18-19), to deliver us from it (Ps. 49:7-8; Rom. 6:14; Psa. 119:34-37) “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (Ps. 119:133).
- When we serve Christ, we serve the God of glory (1 Cor. 2:8). Jesus said, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1). When we see Christ, we see God (Matt. 11:25-27; John 1:17-18). When we know Christ, we know God (John 14:6-9). When we believe Christ, we believe God (Acts 3:16; 20:21; John 5:24-25). When we serve Christ, we serve God. Over a million mighty men of valor served the LORD and king Jehoshaphat. And Jehoshaphat was honored to have it so. Yet it is every believer who receives honor by serving our great Captain, the Lord Jesus Christ!