There is a chiastic structure in today’s reading:
2 Chr 20:1-30
1A: 2 Chr 20:1-2, Moab, Ammon, and Edom came against Judah;
1B: 2 Chr 20:3, Jehoshaphat feared;
1C: 2 Chr 20:4-5, Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD with fasting;
1D: 2 Chr 20:6-12, Jehoshaphat’s prayer for deliverance;
1E a: 2 Chr 20:13, All Judah stood before the LORD;
— b: 2 Chr 20:14, The Levite prophesied;
— c: 2 Chr 20:15a, The LORD’s word to Judah + Jehoshaphat;
CENTRAL AXIS: 2 Chr 15b-17, “Do not be afraid;”
2E a: 2 Chr 20:18, All Judah bowed before the LORD in worship;
— b: 2 Chr 20:19, The Levites praised the LORD God of Israel;
— c: 2 Chr 20:20-21, Jehoshaphat’s word to Judah + Judah’s word to the LORD in praise;
2D: 2 Chr 20:22-24, The LORD’s miraculous deliverance;
2C: 2 Chr 20:25-26, Judah gathered the spoil with rejoicing;
2B: 2 Chr 20:29, The kingdoms feared God because the LORD had fought for Judah;
2A: 2 Chr 20:30, God gave Jehoshophat rest all around.
Even the central axis forms a chiastic structure, with the opening and closing elements of, Do not be afraid nor dismayed; Do not fear or be dismayed. In fact, “Fear not” is the most often repeated command in the entire Bible! We are so careful to obey Worship idols not, or Murder not, or Steal not. But how careful are we to obey Fear not? It is just as important as the others!
And, as we see with the miraculous victory that the LORD wrought for Judah, we have good reason to fear not, nor be dismayed!