2nd Chronicles 20:1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 13 And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation; 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. 17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
This passage of scripture recounts very vividly the fearful experience of the men of Judah who were once surrounded by enemies bent on their destruction. The heathen nations of Ammon and Moab amongst others, had gathered together and consolidated their forces with the intention of totally annihilating the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the situation thus represented a crisis of such epic proportions, that king Jehoshaphat found it necessary to call an emergency fast for nobles and common people alike.
This particular experience in the history of Judah is pregnant with instructions for people of every nation, both individually and collectively, for we all have had to face personal and national crises from time to time. We observe in the story that Jehoshaphat and his people sought the Lord as a first resource and not a last resort. They did not first try to fight the enemy without God, and then call upon Him for help only after realizing that they were suffering tremendous loss. This first lesson is of very great importance, especially for us living in the twenty-first century, for we often try to resolve insurmountable problems ourselves, only to find out afterwards that all our efforts proved futile, and then and only then we turn to the Lord in desperation. But this should not be.
Whenever we are faced with trying circumstances that threaten our very existence and sanity, we should seek God first, thereby giving Him control of the entire situation for resolution. This method of dealing with threatened dangers or emergencies will often save us from unnecessary heartache and suffering, for God has promised to be our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble if we call upon Him.
As the men of Judah began to pray, the Lord moved upon one of the musicians in the congregation, impressing deeply on his mind through the power of the Holy Spirit, that they would suffer no loss because God was going to personally fight for them, and at the same time giving him the plan of attack to have the enemy routed. The plan of attack is worthy of our utmost consideration, for it goes contrary to all known conventional methods of warfare. Let's read:
2nd Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. 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. 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.
We often get flustered and all out of whack when facing daunting problems, of which we have no clue how to solve or handle. When under assault by the enemy, we should remember to sing songs of praise to God, instead of wallowing in our troubles and asking "Why me". It was when the men of Judah, led by the choir began to sing, that the omnipotent power of God was engaged in their behalf, and we have the sacred record of the result, not one enemy soldier escaped. That's why we remind everyone that the last five letters of the word "omnipotent" spell "Potent" and that's why in the Bible we are encouraged to "sing a song of praise" to God when the dark shadows of despair, doubt, and discouragement threaten to overwhelm us. Let's read:
Isaiah 30:29 Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the mighty One of Israel. 30 And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. 31 For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
As we face an untried week with temptations and snares that may beset our feet, let's remember the example of king Jehoshaphat and the mighty men of Judah, who placed their entire trust in the mighty God of Jacob. The same God who delivered their families from destruction will do the same for you and me if we put our implicit trust in Him, not leaning unto our own "misunderstanding". We therefore end with a text and a promise which should bring encouragement to each of us, reminding us that the battle is not ours, but the Lord's. Let's read:
Deuteronomy 33:25 Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be. 26 There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. 27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
May this be our experience for the rest of our lives. "Good night" and God bless!