Rather than including an entire passage of scripture, I will be posting the scripture reference for you to read. Unless otherwise noted, I use the NKJV bible, but there are a number of different versions out there. If you do not have an actual bible on hand, no worries. Youversion is an awesome Bible app and Bible Gateway (linked here) will give you direct access to via your search engine. You can also look up multiple translations on both of those.
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Background: At this point in history, the United Kingdom of Israel was split into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, and Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah.
As Chapter 20 of 2 Chronicles opens we find that a number of people groups have gone to battle against King Jehoshaphat. Verse two actually says “A great multitude is coming against you . . .”, and in verse three the Bible tells us “Jehoshaphat feared”.
I think we’ve all been here. Maybe not literally but without a doubt, figuratively. We’ve felt like all the odds are stacked against us, and no matter what we do, there is no way, in our own power, we’re going to win. We fear what may come upon us.
Fear is a powerful emotion. It can paralyze us. So what do we do when we’re faced with what appear to be insurmountable obstacles? Verse three tells us that “Jehoshaphat feared . . . ” but it in the same sentence it immediately gives us the answer to those fears. ” . . . and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.”
- Seek God – Verses 5-13 show us the people of Judah standing before God, from the youngest to the oldest, and crying out to Him. When you feel you are at your weakest, it is in this place that you’ll find yourself standing in the most powerful position. There is no place more powerful than the place of seeking God. When it looks like everything and everyone is turned against you, the first thing you need to do is to cry out to God. It removes the weight of the burden from your shoulders and places in squarely on the shoulders of the only One who can save you. There’s no special formula or blueprint for crying out to God. Sometimes you may not even have the words, and that’s okay. There is no shame in whispering or shouting the three simple words, “God help me”. Romans 8:34 says “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” When you don’t have the words, Jesus does, and He knows exactly what you need. Just cry out to Him.
- Believe – God will answer. In verses 14-17 God answers the people of Judah. Twice He tells them not to fear for this is not their battle but His. Verse 17, in particular, speaks to this, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” One of the hardest lessons, that I’m still learning, in this life is when to stand still and when to act. I’m a doer and a problem solver so when God tells me to stand still and let Him fight that can be really difficult for me. But you know what Jehoshaphat does? In verse 18, he bows his head to the ground and worships God. In a moment when he could be doing all the things, he does the only things that matters, he worships. Verse 20 goes on to tell us, “So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe his prophets, and you shall prosper.’ ” Jehoshaphat’s belief came through seeking and worshipping God. Belief always comes through seeking and worshipping.
- Praise – Don’t wait to see the victory before you praise. Praise ahead of the victory. Verse 21-22, “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as the went out before the army and were saying: ‘Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.’ Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” Can you imagine how crazy this must’ve seemed to the enemies of Judah? Here they are coming into battle, and instead of drawing swords and shields, they’re praising and singing. More enemies can be been defeated in a moment of praise to God than in a lifetime of trying to fight our battles on our own.
- Bless the Lord – The passage goes on to tell us that their spoils were so great they could not carry them, and it took them three days to gather them. Yet, after all of that, in the middle of the frenzy of an overwhelmingly victorious battle, verse 26 says, “And on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the Lord . . .”. It starts with God and it ends with God. He always sees us through, and when it’s all said and done, we need to bless Him for what He has done. Do not discount the importance of blessing God for the victory.
We all fight battles, both large and small. Your battles may not look like mine, and mine may not look like yours, and because of this, the directions God gives us while in that battle are not going to be exactly the same. His fighting for us will look different every time, and that’s why it’s so important to start by seeking God, cry out to Him and seek Him for direction and wisdom, and follow with believing, praising, and blessing.
Copyright 2019 Courtney G Davis All Rights Reserved
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