By Kathi Pelton
I absolutely love the story in 2 Chronicles 20! In this story Jehoshaphat has been informed that a vast army is approaching to attack his land and his people. He is terrified and calls for the people to fast and pray. Then he prays and reminds the Lord that they established a temple in the land to honor His name and that their trust is in His name alone. The people once again cry out to the Lord to spare them from the vast approaching army and the Lord speaks through one of their prophets saying,
“He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!””
2 Chronicles 20:15-17
The next morning they go out, sending worshippers ahead and as soon as they begin to sing the enemy armies turn on themselves and fight one another until not one is left alive.
As all the people of Judah and Jerusalem saw the Lord Himself defeat the vast army they rejoiced greatly. They also spent three full days gathering all the plunder left by the defeated armies. They rejoiced with song, dance and great joy as they entered Jerusalem carrying the plunder!
What stands out to me in this story above all else is that it began with honor! When they returned to their land from exile they set up a temple to honor the name of the Lord. It was the statement over their nation and their people that said, “In God We Trust!” When they heard that enemies were approaching to take their land they immediately turned to honor the Lord and they turned their trust toward Him once again. Yes, they were afraid but even within their human fears they honored the Lord and trusted in His faithfulness.
I believe that this story is a “testimony for today!” Many are facing approaching enemies, vast armies and even “sure defeat.” But you are a temple of the Lord and your life has been established to bring Him honor. Your posture in the midst of human fears and even what appears to be a pending defeat is to decree, “In God I trust!”
I hear the Lord speaking to you, just as He did to Jehoshaphat, saying, “This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…”
Honor the Lord with your posture, your trust, your prayers, your faith in the midst of fears and then sing and declare, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His faithful love endures forever!” (2 Chronicles 20:21)
God spoke through His prophet to them that they were not to be afraid and they believed the word of the Lord and acted on it (2 Chronicles 20:20). They went out to face an enemy too large to defeat with only the word of the Lord and their trust put in that word (and in His faithfulness!).
Do not hear the word of the Lord and then run away in defeat. You can go forth and face your dread enemies knowing that, as you have honored Him with your trust and faith, He will battle for you and defeat all of your enemies. You will watch as God fights for you. You will even be left with more “plunder” than you can carry!
This is a word for God’s people individually and corporately. It is for households and for nations. It is for all who honor the Lord even when their very lives are threatened and their land is being invaded.
Put your face low to the ground in humble honor, dependency and begin to pray. Cry out to the One who’s love endures forever and then follow His instructions. Sing of His love and as He leads go to the battlefield with songs of praise leading the way. Then watch what He does! Watch as your enemy turns on himself and destroys all that was planned to destroy you! Watch as the Lord fights for you and watch as you return home carrying the plunder of provisions.
Honor Him! Honor Him when you are afraid! Believe in His words through the prophets and believe in His faithful love that endures forever. Though your enemy is vast and defeat appears sure; trust the Lord and what He is saying! Go out and face them knowing that the battle is the Lord’s!
“Give thanks to the Lord; His faithful love endures forever!”
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