2 Chronicles 20

2 Chronicles 20
by Pastor Lawrence

If the pen is mightier than the sword, as the old adage reads, prayer and praise is mightier still. When King Jehoshaphat hears of the impending invasion of his homeland by a great horde of enemies, he immediately turns to the Lord in prayer and assembles God’s people to seek the help of the Lord. In vv.5-12 we get a glimpse of Jehoshaphat’s faith and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures as he turns the promises of God into prayer and pleads unto the Lord to work according to those promises. Because the Lord is the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jehoshaphat begs his heavenly king to use his great power to protect them from their enemies. Because the Lord has covenanted with the nation of Judah, Jehoshaphat urges him to keep his covenant promises unto his people. This earthly king quickly acknowledges how powerless his people really are in light of such a great coalition of enemies and he simply says in v.12, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” If I were to summarize most of my prayers unto God in the midst of difficult circumstances it would sound much like that last petition: “I don’t know what to do, Lord, but my eyes are on you.” Where else can we direct our eyes, for God alone is our help and our refuge.

As they are still assembled in prayer, the Spirit of the Lord speaks through a Levite named Jahaziel who comforts them saying “do not be afraid or dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is the Lord’s, only take your stand and see the salvation of the Lord.” Then the Lord revealed the exact battle plan of their enemies informing the king where to expect their initial approach. So, early the next morning, the king assembled his army of warriors and worshippers, having appointed some simply to sing the Lord in sanctified clothing and to lead the battalions toward their enemies. And as soon as they began to sing, the Lord caused one of the foreign nations in the coalition to turn against the others that it might be destroyed, then as soon as it was demolished, the Lord turned the remaining nations to fight against each other until all of them were destroyed and there were dead bodies everywhere.

When King Jehoshaphat and his people came upon the scene, their eye not only caught sight of many pools of blood but also many precious spoils of war. After three days of rummaging through the wilderness and loading down their persons with many goods, clothing and jewels, they were not able to gather all the treasure for they couldn’t carry anything more. This great change of events, rightly led to a prayer of thanksgiving and praise unto the Lord for enabling to rejoice over their enemies. Surely, this is what David meant when he said in Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil and my cup overflows.” Or as the apostle Paul says in Romans 8:31 “What shall we say to these things, if God is for us, who can stand against us?”

It’s certainly difficult for us to understand why God acts in certain situations at times and not in others, and, perhaps, that is why fear so easily creeps into our hearts. But whether God immediately provides a way of escape for us or else desires for us to endure the trial that we are facing, in either case, the Lord has promised to go with us and to carry out his perfect will in our lives, and this should continually give us a reason to sing, causing us to rejoice in the Lord always.