The story of King Jehoshaphat continues in II Chronicles chapter 20. The Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites, whom God had ordered the Israelites to leave in place when they came out of Egypt, formed an alliance to attack and destroy Judah. Judah was once again vastly outnumbered. There was no hope of defeating this enemy, so Jehoshaphat called the people to come to Jerusalem and pray.
“O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." (Verse 12)
As they prayed, the Lord spoke through one of the Levite singers, who stood up and said:
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you." (Verse 17)
The people knew that God had spoken and their prayer turned into worship.
“And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.’" (Verse 20)
Jehoshaphat appointed worship leaders to march at the head of the army and lead them in singing praises to God.
“And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.“ (Verse 22)
The enemies ambushed each other and killed each other off. The army of Judah had only to carry away the spoil, which was so great that it took them three days! Not only that, but:
“...the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.” (Verse 29)
Sometimes the way to express and act on our faith in God’s Word is by fighting. Sometimes the way to express our faith is to stand still and watch God work. Sometimes it’s a battle shout, sometimes a song of praise. The common factor is that we always trust God, rely upon His Word, and get our directions from Him.
“Trust and obey,” like the song says. We can do this, because we know that God is ready to intervene and that He will accomplish His purpose in our life as we trust Him.
Lord Jesus, You know what I’m facing today. You know how I should respond. You know the plans You have for me and for my family in this. It’s all a mystery to me, but I know I can trust You. Open the eyes of my heart so that I can see Your hand in this and proceed by faith in Your Word. You are the Lord of my life. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles