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The Valley of Praise

Today's Devotional

On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah. 2 Chronicles 20:26

Poet William Cowper struggled with depression much of his life. After a suicide attempt, he was committed to an asylum. But it was there through the care of a Christian physician that Cowper came to a warm, vital faith in Jesus. Soon afterwards, Cowper became acquainted with pastor and hymnwriter John Newton, who encouraged him to collaborate on a hymnal for their church. Among the hymns Cowper wrote was “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” which contains these words pressed from the crucible of experience: “You fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds you so much dread, are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.”

Like Cowper, the people of Judah also met God’s kindness unexpectedly. As an alliance of armies invaded their nation, King Jehoshaphat gathered the people for prayer. As Judah’s army marched out, men in the front ranks praised God (2 Chronicles 20:21). The invading armies turned on themselves, and “no one . . . escaped. . . . There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it” (vv. 24-25).

On the fourth day, the very place where a hostile invading force gathered against God’s people was dubbed the Valley of Berakah (v. 26)—literally, “the valley of praise” or “blessing.” What a change! God’s mercy can turn even our most difficult valleys into places of praise as we give them to Him.

How have you seen God bring good out of difficulty in your life? What can you thank Him for today?

I praise You, loving God, that no valley is deeper than Your love.


Militarily threatened by a large enemy coalition (2 Chronicles 20:1-2), Jehoshaphat turned to God for help (vv. 3-13). God assured His people, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v. 15). Soon after God had delivered the Israelites from Egypt—with the Egyptian army in pursuit—Moses encouraged a terrified people, “Do not be afraid. . . . The Lord will fight for you” (Exodus 14:13-14). This promise, however, was contingent on their obedience and faithfulness. They were “to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all [their] heart and . . . soul” (Joshua 22:5; see 23:6-13). Jehoshaphat exhorted the people: “have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld” (2 Chronicles 20:20).

By |2024-04-19T02:33:16-04:00April 19th, 2024|
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