What do you do when you feel like you are under attack?
What’s your first reaction?
Three enemy nations came ready to attack and threatened the lives of all of God’s chosen people! 2 Chronicles 20 tells us of a King named Jehoshaphat and he’s leading God’s chosen people, the Israelites. Long story short, trouble came to Jehoshaphat in the form of the Moabites, Ammonites and Menunites. I’m not a math genius, but three armies against one does not seem like good odds in my book!
The story continues and tells us that “Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”
He set his face to seek the Lord.
Oh, that my first reaction in this life would be to set my face to seek the Lord.
Hang on, cause this story gets even better!
Early in the morning all of Judah-ALL OF JUDAH, went out to the wilderness of Tekoa and there they praised the Lord together saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Take note of this my friends!“ And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.” AKA a fancy word for pure DEFEAT sisters! Yes, and amen!
What can we learn from this?
Jehoshaphat was afraid…and that was okay. God is not scared by all of our feelings. In fact, he tells us throughout scripture to come to him with our burdens – “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
Praise went before the VICTORY. Pure, genuine, and loving praise poured out for Our Creator. Here’s the thing, I’ve been learning about praise; praise recognizes God’s sovereignty and my own humanity. True praise deals deeply with our character. It’s not that I need to flatter God with how great He is. No, it has everything to do with my own posture and humility before God – ultimately it has everything to do with the state of my heart.
So, what is your first reaction when challenges come? If this story stirs you at all, it’s the Holy Spirit and that is a very good thing. I encourage you to find a quiet spot, even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom for a hot second – Take a breath and pour out your heart to God. But first…praise Him!