Sometimes we know what to do when facing a big decision or battle. We get in there and do it. But there are sometimes when the opponent is so large, and our resources so small, that we are just at a loss.
It is in those times that the Christian has to admit to their limitations and make known their resolve to utterly rely on God. God will then rise up in a powerful way to provide victory. Such was the case when Jehoshaphat the king of Judah faced off against a group of enemies. He recounted to the people God's faithfulness and ultimately said, "We do not know what to do., but we look to God."
This doesn't seem like a great strategy in the natural realm. But it is exactly what God is looking for. God was moved by this exhibition of total trust, and gave them word that He would deliver them if they would only stand and watch the victory... which they did. Here is the rest of the story...
"In the morning they got up early and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa. As they were about to go out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, 'Hear me, Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem. Believe in Yahweh your God, and you will be established; believe in His prophets, and you will succeed.' Then he consulted with the people and appointed some to sing for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of His holiness. When they went out in front of the armed forces, they kept singing:
'Give thanks to the Lord, for His faithful love endures forever.'
The moment they began their shouts and praises, the Lord set an ambush against the Ammonites, Moabites, and the inhabitants of Mount Seir who came to fight against Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites turned against the inhabitants of Mount Seir and completely annihilated them. When they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped destroy each other.
When Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked for the large army, but there were only corpses lying on the ground; nobody had escaped. Then Jehoshaphat and his people went to gather the plunder. They found among them an abundance of goods on the bodies and valuable items. So they stripped them until nobody could carry any more. They were gathering the plunder for three days because there was so much. They assembled in the Valley of Beracah on the fourth day, for there they praised the Lord. Therefore, that place is still called the Valley of Beracah today." (2 Chronicles 20:20-26)
While 'doing nothing' except trusting God seems careless, when it is God's directive, it is the best thing you can do. But when you look deeper, you find that God's people are not 'doing nothing'. This battle was not an exercise in laziness. It was an exercise of faith. And the best way to express your faith is to obey and praise God. So Jehoshaphat again rallied the people by reminding them how awesome God is., how faithful He is, and how great His love is. They were going to stand and watch God do whatever He was going to do. But they were not just going to stand. They were going to announce His greatness. They sang songs and proclaimed His holiness.
Again God responded to their trust. The first time with a word of encouragement, this time with action. The moment they began to praise, God began to pounce on their enemies. God set an ambush, and He caused the enemies to begin to destroy each other. This was not their plan, but it was their path. God's people could not have caused them to destroy each other. This was obviously the work of their Deliverer.
Not only did God win the battle for the people of Judah, there were enough valuable for them to collect plunder for three days...
"Then all the men of Judah and Jerusalem turned back with Jehoshaphat their leader, returning joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord enabled them to rejoice over their enemies. So they came into Jerusalem to the Lord’s temple with harps, lyres, and trumpets.
The terror of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that Yahweh had fought against the enemies of Israel. Then Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was quiet, for his God gave him rest on every side." (2 Chronicles 20:27-30)
So God won the war, and His people collected the wealth. And then they praised Him. Notice they praised God when they began with no plan. They praised God when they obeyed Him by standing to watch Him carry out His plan. And they praised Him when His plan gave them the victory. They praised Him in the morning, praised Him in the noontime. Praised Him when the sun went down.
Praise is the common thread. God is always near the true praise of His people. He lives there. He rises up there. He moves there. He listens there. He defends there. He redeems there. He responds to praise because it is us acknowledging who He is. When we humbly and honestly praise, we set ourselves up for victory because we put ourselves in our proper place, which is not to fight, but to be faithful.
There are plenty of verses that tell us to be faithful, to be prepared, to be creative, to work, to fight, etc. But this is an example that our victory is not found in our wisdom or warrior skills. Our victory is in God alone. Even when we have done all we can, we are to stand. Today you have the opportunity to worry about your problems or worship and praise about your God.
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My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.