“A huge army is coming to fight against you.” – message to Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:2
Right now the army we’re facing is the cancer battling Michael’s dad. The force of the cancer is tearing down the defenses in Garey’s body. We all experience different pictures of the army at different points in our life. The picture of the army in your life may look like a lost job, a falsified smear of your reputation, the death of a loved one, a miscarriage, a financial struggle, sickness, unfaithfulness, depression, fear, loneliness, anxiety. How do we overcome the army when there is no sign of or reason for hope?
In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat is given a message that a vast army is unexpectedly coming against him. Jehoshaphat’s response is to ask God for advice and to proclaim a fast (a period of abstaining from food for a spiritual purpose) for all of Judah, uniting his kingdom in seeking help from YHWH (the written name of God in the Bible). As people came to the temple at Jerusalem to seek YHWH, Jehoshaphat stood among them and made statements that reveal an authentic walk in humility and the fear of YHWH.
“You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.”
“Power and might are in your hands, and no one can withstand You.”
“We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.”
“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
Can we admit these things in our own lives? Can we declare that YHWH our God rules over all His people including us. Do we believe that power and might are in His hands and that no one, no cancer, no lie, no threat, no sickness, no struggle, no loss, no despair can withstand Him? Do we admit that we can’t handle the battle on our own–that the strength of technology or medical intervention or money or fame or our own vengeance is not effective against the force of the army fighting against us?
Jehoshaphat knew God enough to know these things. And this is what happened:
The Spirit of YHWH came upon a Levite and gave him a message for the king to “not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” The Spirit then gave instructions of where to find their enemy, to take up their positions, stand firm, and NOT FIGHT! That’s right. “Stand firm and see the deliverance YHWH will give you…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and YHWH will be with you.”
Therefore Jehoshaphat led his people in worship again (the first time by declaring a fast and uniting to seek God) by bowing with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before YHWH. Then some people stood up and praised YHWH with a very loud voice!
The next morning they left for the place the Spirit of God had instructed for them to go. Jehoshaphat encouraged the people, appointed men to sing to YHWH and to praise and thank Him for showing His holiness. AS THEY BEGAN TO SING, YHWH set ambushes against the army who was invading Judah, and the army was defeated!! The attacking army began to attack amongst each other until they had destroyed one another! When the men of Judah came to see the army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped! Not only had God destroyed the opposing army, but then Jehoshaphat and his men went out and carried off their plunder–equipment, clothing, and valuable articles!
After this incredible battle that they were able to witness YHWH fight for them, Jehoshaphat led all his men joyfully back to Jerusalem where they went into the temple with harps and lutes and trumpets to praise YHWH for his magnificent power shown among them!
This story just keeps getting better! This victory brought the fear of God upon all the kingdoms of the countries, and Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for God had given him rest on every side!
So what action will you take with the battle facing you? As for me, I will declare that God reigns! Power and might are in His hand, and no one — not even cancer — can withstand my God! I will admit that we don’t have the strength or power to face the cancer that is attacking Garey. I will admit that I do not know what to do, but MY EYES WILL REMAIN UPON MY GOD!
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.” – Jesus, Matthew 5:3 (The Message)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)