The army was right at his doorstep.
Today Pastor Eli brought a word on battles. In 2 Chronicles 20, we read Jehoshaphat’s prayer as he faces a battle he had no time to prepare for. There was a vast army, meaning an army that put them out numbered—a number too big for them to handle on their own.
“Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, 'A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar' (that is, En Gedi).” 2 Chronicles 20:2 (NIV)
When the battle picks you, it picks you at an opportune time when you are taking ground.
This battle picked Jehoshaphat at a time as he was making reformations and taking ground. Just as he, we shouldn’t be surprised when the enemy comes to challenge us after we get things into order and take ground in our addictions, struggles, etc. Jehoshaphat was shocked, but not shaken because he had built his house on a firm foundation; the Rock! He knew where to go.
“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.” 2 Chronicles 20:3 (NIV)
When we don’t have time to prepare, check your position.
Read 2 Chronicles 20:5-12 as Jehoshaphat stands firm and calls upon the Lord in their situation:
“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”” 2 Chronicles 20:12 (NIV)
Jehoshaphat knew and was proclaiming their need for God in their situation. He knew they had no power against the army but he knew Who had the power! This is a great position to be in—to be aware of your great need for God! Pride will try to sneak in and convince us that we don’t need God, but we do.
“Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.” 2 Chronicles 20:14 (NIV)
Then we meet Jahaziel, who has Asaph, a worshipper under King David in his line of descendants. He’s heard stories about what God has done before, and he knows He can do it again!
“He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV)
We see here that it’s not about their strength as an army—it’s about strategy. “The battle is not yours but God’s." They were facing a battle too big for them to handle, so all that was left to do was align themselves not on the frontline, but standing on God’s promises.
“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30 (NIV)
In our own battles, we should pay close attention to if we are trying to fight out of our own strength. Is the yoke easy? Does your burden feel light? If not, are you really under God?
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:31-34 (NIV)
We are told countless times in scripture to not worry. It’s because He cares for us, and when we look to Him, fights battles on our behalf. He’s the One we run to when things feel too heavy to handle.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)
We don’t need to know what tomorrow holds if we know WHO holds it. And we can rest knowing that peace is a promise to us, bought by Jesus’ blood that was shed for us.
“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” 2 Chronicles 20:22 (NIV)
Take time to study these scriptures and understand how big our God is! Let these scriptures show you that it’s less about power and more on our positioning. Just as Jehoshaphat, we can have a resolve to immediately inquire of the Lord and let Him do the work we were never meant to do in the first place. And as we seek God’s face, we, too, can see our enemies defeated as we lift up a song of praise.
- 2 Chronicles 20:1-29
- Matthew 6:31-34
- John 15:15
- John 14:27
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