Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27

2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37; Romans 10:14-11:12; Psalm 21:1-13; Proverbs 20:4-6

“Fat, Fat Jehoshaphat.”

That was the name of our kids’ Music Camp in Austin. The musical had everything—war and warriors, songs, marching and victory. Sarah, Mary and Esther were among those kids who enjoyed learning about this unusual King of Israel who fought a battle with just a praise band!

Jehoshaphat was one of the best kings Judah ever had. He went on a ‘missions’ trip’ to his own people, visiting them in their towns, and he “turned them back to the LORD, the God of their father. He appointed judges in the land” (2 Chr. 19:4-5) and warned them soberly to “let the fear of the LORD be upon [them]” (vs. 7).

But one of the most remarkable things he did was to march out to war with only a praise band at the head of the army (2 Chr. 20:21). And the next verse says, “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” (vs. 22, emphasis mine).

Psalm 21:1 almost seems to comment on this unlikely victory: “O LORD, the king rejoices in your strength. How great is his joy in the victories you give!”

Why was Jehoshaphat so successful in his ‘battle’? He believed God’s Word as it came to him through the prophet Jahaziel who said, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God’s…. take up your positions, stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem” (2 Chr. 20:15-17, emphasis mine).

We’re in a battle, dear readers. You are. I am. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against rulers, authorities, the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:11). And our weapons are not swords or spears, but the same weapons that Jehoshaphat’s army used: praise to God in all circumstances, trust in Him, obedience to Him. He will win the victory over all our enemies, but not because of our strength or cunning or skill in battle. The battle belongs to the Lord.

When you wake up and fear has you by the throat—fear that your home will be foreclosed on, that your son will once again use addictive drugs, that your marriage is in trouble, or that your kids are out of control; fear that you will be alone in your old age, or that you will be assaulted by robbers or demolished by cancer; fear that God is not going to be there for you and that you are alone -- remember Jehoshaphat. And praise God. Turn to 2 Chronicles 19 & 20 and reread this story. And say with this King, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever” (2 Chr. 20:21).

Then stand firm and wait. Sing. Praise God.  Sing some more. Wait for the Lord. Wait for Him to come through for you. To deliver you from fear. To enable you to trust Him in every circumstance.

These words are true for us today; the battle is not ours, but God’s. We cannot defeat our enemies, but He can. And He will, if we call on Him with praise.


- Nell Sunukjian

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