Are you facing battles in your life? Are you going through a difficult period and feel that you have nowhere to go for help? Well then, this is for you…
We read of several instances in the Bible where our Almighty God had delivered people in times of war, disobedience, distrust, fear, invasion or wants. Each time God has displayed his mercy and compassion, though the people did not deserve it.
Likewise, we read of one such mighty act of God in 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30. The events presented in this chapter reveal God’s faithfulness and mercy when we obey his commands. The chapter speaks about how Jehoshaphat faced the vast army of Moabites and Ammonites, through simply following God’s instructions. We read in the previous chapter that Jehoshaphat not only set his heart on seeking God, but also went out to the people and turned them back to the Lord. Moreover, he advised them to fear the Lord, serve the Lord faithfully and wholeheartedly and to keep away from sin. Hence, Jehoshaphat must have also followed these judiciously.
In spite of this, we see that an army came against him from the other side of the sea. Indeed, we may fear the Lord, pray every day and follow his commandments. And yet, we might face the giants in our lives, that come from the other side of the sea, when we least expect them.
Lessons from Jehoshaphat – How he faced his battles
Jehoshaphat did not waste any time. He got into action immediately. His actions got the attention of the Lord.
Inquired of the Lord
Though Jehoshaphat was alarmed, he went to the Lord in anticipation. We find several instances in Bible when people went to inquire of the Lord in times of distress. Genesis 25:22 tells how Rebecca went to inquire of the Lord and the Lord spoke to her (verse 23). In Judges 20:18, we see that the Israelites inquired of God and the Lord replied. Again in verse 23, we read that the Israelites wept and inquired of the Lord and God answered. In I Samuel 10:22, people inquired of the Lord and the Lord revealed the person. Take David, he always inquired of the Lord before he went for battles. Read 1 Samuel 23: 2 & 4, he inquired and the Lord answered, 1 Samuel 30:8, he inquired of the Lord and the Lord said he will succeed, 2 Samuel 2:1, 2 Samuel 5:19 & 23, and 2 Samuel 21:1 David inquired or sought the face of the Lord and the Lord answered. We read that David won all his battles by inquiring of the Lord and getting his approval. This teaches us that no matter what kind of battle we are facing, we need to run to the Lord to seek his guidance and not try anything on our own.
Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for all Judah. We read in Ezra 8:23, “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer”. In Joel 2:12, we read, “Even now”, declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning”. When Daniel fasted, he saw the Lord, who spoke to him. (Daniel 10). Jesus fasted for 40 days and returned to Galilee in the power of the spirit (Luke 4:14). While Saul and his friends fasted and worshipped the Lord, the Holy Spirit talked to them (Acts 13:2). After Moses fasted for forty days and forty nights, he spoke with the Lord and his face was radiant (Exodus 34:28, 29). Esther instructed all her people to fast before she went into the presence of the King (Esther 4:15-16). Truly, this shows that we will be guided by the Holy Spirit when we fast and worship the Lord. Through fasting, we get the attention of our Lord.
Seek help from the Lord together
We read in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them”. In the same way, the people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord. They came from every town to seek him. Wives, children and even the little ones came into His presence. Therefore, we need to seek the Lord as a family, as a church or as a community. Together when we seek him, the Lord will answer our call.
Praise the Lord
Jehoshaphat and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord (verse 18) and praised the Lord. We need to think of all the Lord’s blessings that have brought us thus far and praise God as we seek His favor in times of trouble. We need to sing to the Lord and give thanks to the Lord. Prayers and praises to God will bring us peace (Philippines 4:6-7). Psalm 95:2 says, “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song”. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name (Psalm 100:4).
Have faith in the Lord to face battles
We read in verse 20 that Jehoshaphat advises people to, “have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld”. With faith, when the people began to sing and praise, we see that the Lord worked on their behalf. He fought the battle for them. They were able to defeat their enemies. We read that all the men returned joyfully to Jerusalem (verse 27) and the Kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side (verse 30).
In Mark 11:22, Jesus says “Have faith in God”. If we have faith, we can move mountains and nothing will be impossible for us (Matthew 17:20). Therefore, believing God and placing our trust on him brings healing (Mark 5:34), peace (Isaiah 26:3) and everlasting life (John 3:16).
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