One of the kings of Israel who used the right lens and the weapon of worship to see the enemy defeated was Jehoshaphat. We read in 2 Chronicles 20 of a time when the two tribes of Moab and Ammon joined forces and came against Israel. King Jehoshaphat was told ‘A great multitude has come against you’, verse 2. We are then told that King Jehoshaphat prayed and built up the faith of the nation by using ‘the lens’ of their past history.
In his prayer he reminded the people (and of course God) of the time when the Lord had driven out the inhabitants of the land before them, verse 7. He then prays “O our God, will you not exercise judgement upon them? For we do not know what to do but our eyes are upon you”. What a fantastic lens through which to view the crisis.
He also appealed to the promise made to Solomon when the temple was dedicated, that God would hear the prayers of His people to defend them from their enemies, when they called on Him from the house that they had built for Him. 1Kings 8:43-45.
As they pray like this God speaks through the prophet Jahaziel, and assures them that not only is this battle ‘the Lord,s’, verse 15, telling them not to be afraid or dismayed, but also that mysteriously they will ‘not need to fight in this battle’, verse 17.
Not surprisingly with a response from God like that, Jehoshaphat bows his face to the ground in worship, verse 18. Then we read something wonderful, an insight into this kings success, He ‘consults with the people’, and in response to their suggestion appoints singers to sing, to go out BEFORE the army. How amazing! What wisdom and what faith.
The Lord fulfills His promise that they will not need to fight by setting an ambush, and the two tribes and others who had joined them, ‘the enemy’, end up fighting each other, leaving the Israelites with just the task of collecting the spoil. The victory is secured by the hand of the Lord and the faith of Jehoshaphat and the people.
The interesting thing here is what the singers sang, as they preceded the army. They sang this. “Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving kindness endure forever”, verse 21. So simple. Just an expression of faith and trust, but so powerful, and once again we can see how remembering and giving thanks to God for who He is towards His people is at the heart of moving in faith.
Yet again we see the power and grace of God at work in response to the faith of His people. It’s that combination of grace and faith again. God was planning to help them, no question about that, but it was when they acted out their faith by i) sending the singers out front, and ii) by thanking the Lord and worshipping, that the Lord went into action, verse 22.
So there we have it. Four recognisable principles to help us when we are battling with something.
1). Get the lens of testimony working, and build your faith.
2). Find the mind of Christ with others.
3). Do what you feel the Holy Spirit is leading you to do.
4). Start moving out on that with praise, thanksgiving and worship in your heart and mouth, and see the Lord work for you and with you.
As the Meerkats would say “Simples”.
Apologies for non British readers, that expression comes from an advert over here, and has become something of a catch phrase!!!!