The photo above is from last night. What a wonderful God we have to give us an hour like this on each end of our day!
I was at a bible study last night that gave me the opportunity to share my experiences with my favorite story of the Old Testament, that of King Jehoshaphat. Those of you that have been reading this for a while will remember me writing about him. In fact, I wrote about his father, King Asa, just the other day. Remember this verse?
2 Chronicles 15>:14-15 They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpet and with horns. And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.
As with so many kings, Asa didn’t end strong. His son, Jehoshaphat was pretty good – “His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord. And, furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.” The Asherim is an object of a foreign goddess. So that was good. However, he made a pact with the other Hebrew king, Ahab. A bit of a clarification may be needed. Jehoshaphat was king over Judah, the small portion of the entire Hebrew population and land that included Jerusalem. The rest was called Israel and was generally very wicked. They fought against each other. Well, Jehoshaphat made a marriage alliance with King Ahab, a particularly evil king. Ahab was killed in a battle that the two allied together in. Word quickly came to Jehoshaphat from a prophet:
19:2-3 But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord. Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asherahs out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.”
This should be a fair warning to us all regarding who and how we associate, right? Anyways, the day came when God’s wrath was seen on the horizon:
20:1-4 After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tama” (that is, Engedi). Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
Isn’t that awesome, the way they reacted to this awful news? Just think about this! The bible then records for us a wonderful prayer that Jehoshaphat delivered to God before the assembly. Then, a prophet rose and delivered a word from God.
20:15-17 Thus says the Lord to you, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”
Got that? Does this ring a bell? What about Ephesians 6? “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Hmmm?
Let’s see what happened.
20:18-19 Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. And the Levites, of the Koathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
Again, we see worship of God – LOUD worship! How cool is that! Now, on to the battle.
20-24 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end to the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.
When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the horde, and behold, there were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped.
How many battles do we fight on our own? How does that go for us? I can attest to you that there have been times that I have been in hopeless situations, when all hell was breaking into battle against me. I prayed 2 Corinthians 20, aloud, back to God, claiming this as his promise to me to deliver me from evil if I only seek his face and stand firm. And you know what? He gave me great peace in the midst of it all as I watched him deliver me. Spiritually speaking, I looked upon the horde and could see the dead bodies all around me, just as with Jehoshaphat. It didn’t all happen in a day, but it definitely happened. I trusted the Lord to fight my battle. Actually, it was HIS battle, God’s battle. I simply had the opportunity to see him in action.
Folks, I know there is one of you reading this today going through what seems to be a hopeless situation. Perhaps many of you are. Pay attention to the Word of God. These stories are lessons for us to learn from, take to heart, and employ in our lives. Trust in the Lord and he WILL deliver you, his chosen whom he sings loudly for.
Father, let us put our entire trust in you today. Yes, let us do nothing about this huge battle but sing praise to you and stand firm. Let us trust in you so much that we stand and not step on single foot onto your battlefield. Let us watch you while a thousand fall at our side, ten thousand at our right hand while none of the destruction comes near us. Let us only look with our eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. (Psalm 91:7) Then, let us give glory to you and proclaim your name to the entire world! Amen!
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers