Friday, December 7, 2007

Jehoshaphat's Story

For the last couple of months, I've been reading 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles. Talk about mind blowing! These books in the Bible are all about genealogy, the various kings that ruled and their reputations, and the numerous battles that took place. Even muddling through the different accounts of it all and wondering "where is this going?", I found a chapter I could identify with. It is the story of Jehoshaphat and his rule as king of Judah.

Someone breaks the news to Jehoshaphat that the Moabites and Ammonites are heading his way to go to war with him. He is alarmed and declares a fast for all of Judah. Everyone came together and prayed to ask God for help. They all gathered in the temple courtyard and Jehoshaphat prayed in front of all of them so they could all hear his plea with God. His prayer starts in 2 Chronicles 20:6. In verse 12, he prays, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." If you read the rest of the chapter, you'll see where the battle ensues and the Moabites and Ammonites were defeated. But the interesting part is, they were not defeated by Jehoshaphat's army--another group of people from Mount Seir (who had initially joined in the battle to invade Judah along with the Moabites and Ammonites) rose up against them and defeated them. In fact, the Bible says in verse 23, "they helped to destroy one another."

Sometimes we find ourselves in Jehoshaphat's shoes--we have a battle before us and we don't know what to do. But if we keep our eyes fixed on God, God provides another way for the battle to be won--and sometimes, it is won through a most unlikely means.

In the middle of this whole chapter, a man named Jahaziel stood up after Jehoshaphat's public prayer and says (verse 17), "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. O Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." Notice Jahaziel encouraged them to be ready, and they would get the opportunity to watch God fight for them.

Whatever battle rages in your life right now, grab your supplies, take up your position and stand firm. Then watch God do the fighting for you.

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