There are three interesting passages, each one having to do with the end of the world and Judgment Day-and each one describing a strange and unusual thing happening to the enemies of God and His kingdom-the strange thing is-they are fighting themselves and destroying themselves. Here's the first passage:
2 Chronicles 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, ...
In the above verses we read that originally the three enemy nations were allies in league together to come against Judah and king Jehoshaphat. Spiritually, this battle is describing the battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan at the time of the end of the world.
Right away, someone is saying, "How far fetched that is. You're just making that up." Well, no, the idea that the battle in 2 Chronicles 20 pictures the end of the world isn't coming from my imagination-it's actually coming from the mind of God as He relates the two in the book of Joel:
Joel 3:12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
God sits to judge all the heathen (nations) in the valley of Jehoshaphat. The rest of the passage in Joel 3 confirms that the final judgment of mankind is indeed in view:
Joel 3:13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
Once again, then, it is strange isn't it-that in a battle God Himself describes as the battle at the end of the world at the time of mankind's final judgment-we read of armies originally allied together against Judah (kingdom of God) and against Jehoshaphat (the Lord Jesus Christ)-lose their focus en route to do battle against their long standing natural enemies (God and His kingdom) and turn against each other. First, Ammon and Moab fight and utterly destroy mount Seir (Edom); and then, after their done destroying mount Seir, they begin to fight with each other and destroy one another-until every single one of them is dead. Normally, there's many wounded among the casualties in any major battle. But not in this battle. It's astounding to think of a battle of tens of thousands of soldiers wherein every single soldier winds up dead-with no exceptions. Yes, it would be astonishing for an earthly battle. But its not astonishing once we understand that the battle in view, spiritually, is the battle of God against His enemies (Satan and unsaved mankind) at the time of the end of the world. We do know, that at the battle of Judgment Day-it is a fact that all of the enemy army (all unsaved mankind) are killed and destroyed in totality. None are left alive. And we also know that none of the army of God's elect will be lost. Which is exactly what we find with king Jehoshaphat and his army from Judah. They did not lose a single man. None died because none of God's elect will perish in the Day of Judgment.
God is the One who did battle against the enemy in 2 Chronicles 20. And, if we had to describe the Lord's tactics or methods of doing battle-what would we say?
We would say, that God fought in the battle against His enemies-by having them fight themselves. That is, somehow, God caused division to arise in their ranks. The two closest to each other (Ammon and Moab) joined forces to destroy the men of mount Seir. But, after destroying them, they could not stop their fighting so they fought one another to the death as well. It seems obvious that God did not hold back their natural tendency to do violence and evil toward one another. As we read the chapter we do not see God on the battlefield. We do not read of Him performing any mighty acts at all. Any observer of the battle would only have seen the three enemy armies fighting with one another and destroying one another. No witness to the battle itself would think God was involved. And yet, God says that He was:
2 Chronicles 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
God declared that it was His battle. Which can only mean that He would fight in it against the enemy. But did He fight? The answer must be yes, He fought. None could see Him fighting because He fought in an invisible way. He orchestrated their destruction by dividing them against themselves. The God who controls the hearts of men, even wicked men, and who has had control upon deceitful and desperate hearts of men throughout the history of the world, holding back the evil that had always resided there, restraining man’s natural tendency towards sin. This same God fought against His enemies in the day of battle by simply lifting that hand of restraint which was upon man’s sinful heart-and thus causing man to do what comes natural to him-which is to destroy. To hate. To be unforgiving. To be unmerciful. To be cruel and harsh. To have no consideration or genuine care for his fellow man. Once God lifted His hand of restraint, then, perhaps, as a man from mount Seir accidentally stepped on the foot of a man from Moab, the melee started and could not be stopped until every single one of them was dead. No force on earth could make peace and stop the fighting.
Isaiah 48:20 Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob. 21 And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out.
22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.
No peace to the wicked. The battle in 2 Chronicles 20 explains a great deal about the world's present condition and the constant division we're seeing in so many places all around us today. It is the outworking of God’s doing battle in the spiritual realm against His enemies in the Day of Judgment.
Lord willing, we’ll look at the other two similar passages at a later time.