Am I the only one or do you also sometimes feel the size of your battle is overwhelming? Do you need a battle strategy? Well there’s a story in 2 Chronicles 20 about King Jehoshaphat, whose battle was seemingly overwhelming. The story starts with some messengers who came to bring King Jehoshaphat the news that a great multitude was gathering against his kingdom, and Jehoshaphat feared. He feared because the multitude was overwhelming and they came from beyond the sea. Beyond the sea? Hmm… I wonder if they were drawing supernatural power from the water spirits.
It is in these circumstances that Jehoshaphat decides to do 7 things:
1. He seeks the Lord (vs 3)
2. He proclaims a fast (vs 3)
3. He calls on the people to come to Jerusalem – and they came! (vs 4)
4. He asks for help from the Lord ( vs 4)
5. He stood in the midst of the assembly (vs 5)
6. He and the people gathered in the temple, before the new court (so they gathered in a specific location – the temple)
7. And where everyone could see and hear him – he spoke to God. (vs 6) In other words he publicly acknowledged his dependence on God. He did not pretend to be strong before the people, he did not pretend to have all the answers, and he did not try to look good in the eyes of the people.
Then he starts speaking to God. And he asks God a few questions – like a prosecutor would ask questions in court. However, his questions are not really demanding an answer from God. Rather the questions remind him and the people who their God is. If we look at the context of this, we see that Jehoshaphat takes his case to court and pleads his case before the Righteous Judge of all. In vs 5 it is already stated that he stands in the new court, in vs 11 he asks God to bring judgment on the enemy…
So here’s what he asks:
1. Are you not… our God in heaven? (vs 6)
With this question he calls on the identity of God, His sovereignty, and the ‘our God’ calls to remembrance the covenant He has with His people.
2. Do you not… rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? (vs 6) Once again this is an acknowledgement of God’s supremacy over all the kingdoms of this world – but also over the kingdoms of the spirit world.
3. Is there not… (vs 6) power and might in Your hand so that no one is able to withstand You? This is a declaration and acknowledgement of God’s power over all. Not only is He supreme in who He is but He is also the all-powerful One!
4. Are you not… (vs 7) our God who drove out the inhabitants of this land….
In vs 8-9 he says – on grounds of the above, when we face disaster, we will stand in the temple and in His presence and You will hear us and save us!
In vs 10-11 he introduces the enemy to the court of heaven, he tells God who are attacking them, the unrighteousness the enemy commits, and then he calls on the Righteous Judge of all to judge the enemy with the following words:
5. Will You not… judge them?
Immediately after he asks for God’s judgement on the enemy, he goes a step further – he declares his inability, his powerlessness against this multitude, he acknowledges that he does not have an answer, a plan or a strategy, in other words he declares his dependence on the Righteous Judge of all to make a judgement in his favour by saying:
“For we have no power against this multitude that is coming against us,
nor do we know what to do”.
And then he declares that his trust is in God by saying ‘our eyes are on You’ we look to You, we focus our attention and our faith and our trust solely on You, God, for an answer in this situation!
Then the Judge speaks through his Holy Spirit and He answers Jehoshaphat and says:
1. Do not fear nor be dismayed because of the great multitude
2. The battle is not yours but it is God’s
3. Go down against the enemy
4. They will come up against you
5. You will find them at the brook before the wilderness (the water again)
6. You will not need to fight the battle
7. You have to position yourself
8. You have to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord
9. Do not fear nor be dismayed
10. Go out against them the Lord is with you
It is true that in every battle there are some things we have to do but the real battle is the Lord’s He is the stronger covenant partner who will fight for us! The battle is His the victory ours so we need to not fear nor be dismayed, we need to be obedient to what He tells us to do – we need to position ourselves and go down to the enemy, we need to stand still and see the salvation of God!
Note Jehoshaphat’s reaction when he heard the verdict from the Judge:
1. He bowed his head with his face to the ground (and all the inhabitants of Judah followed his example)
2. They worshipped the Judge – the sovereign God of the covenant
3. The Levites and the Korahites praised with voices loud and high
The very next morning they went out to the enemy and Jehoshaphat exhorts the people to BELIEVE in the LORD YOUR GOD!
Then he positioned the worshippers in front of the army as they went out to meet the enemy – worship is the strongest form of warfare – so he worships God as they move towards their position. And they praised the beauty of God’s Holiness, and His mercy that endures forever! When they began to sing – the Lord ambushed the enemy and the enemy fought against each other, destroying their own army.
When Israel arrived at the appointed place, they found the enemy dead – and they gathered the spoil for 3 days. After those three days they assembled in the Valley of Blessing where they blessed the Lord! Then they returned to Jerusalem with joy, rejoicing over their enemies with all their musical instruments.
The result was that they had peace all around because all the nations that heard that God fought for them feared the God of Israel!
So let us take our battles to court and appeal for justice to The Judge on grounds of the blood of Jesus who already overcame the enemy for us.