“In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land, The battle belongs to the Lord. No weapon that’s fashioned against us shall stand, The battle belongs to the Lord.” (Petra, “The Battle Belongs to the Lord.”)
As we saw last week “resting is warfare.” Resting really means to put our full confidence and trust in the Lord and wait for Him to bring the solutions to our battles.
As a conclusion to the shoes of peace lets take a look at how a nation rested in the Lord for His solution to their battle.
2 Chronicles 20 contains the story of Jehoshaphat, Israel and 3 large armies. Israel did not have enough soldier power to beat these armies on their own. Naturally speaking. The king was astute enough to realize this. And, he knew that it was a time to trust in the Lord to battle for them.
Let’s read the section of Scripture – it tells the story beautifully.
2 Chronicles 20:1-30
The Stage is Set (verses 1-2)
“After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat. Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)”
The Initial Reaction (verses 3-4)
“Jehoshaphat was terrified (afraid) by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.”
Being terrified – led Jehoshaphat to an action. He eagerly sought the council of the Lord. Why? Because he knew he could not trust in his own wisdom and strength.
Begged – means he didn’t just flimsily ask God for help. Example: “Hi God, fight my battle see you later, tomorrow maybe.” He took the time to ask God in faith to help them.
Fasting – They wanted God’s help enough that they took time out of their daily eating routine to demonstrate their need of Him.
Lesson to Ponder
We have to ask ourselves, how do I handle my difficult decisions? Do I turn to God and seek His guidance and strength? OR Do I handle it on my own terms and hope for the best (often forgetting there could be a worse)? Often you hear people say, as my last resort I turned to God to see what He could do.” God should be and wants to be our first for lack of a better term step.
God’s Gift: The Freedom to Choose For Ourselves
The one thing that God has granted you and I is the freedom to make choices. Even accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour is a personal choice that you have to make no one else can make it for you. Should I sin or should I walk in God’s counsel – our choice? Again our choices will determine the outcomes that we experience.
The Action of Jehoshaphat’s Choice (verses 5-12)
“Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. He prayed.”
The Prayer of Jehoshaphat
- ““O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven.
- You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth.
- You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!
- O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived?
- And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham?
- Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name.
.. They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’
.. “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance.
.. O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.””
Lesson to Ponder
“We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, we are looking to you for help.”
Where is your help coming from, when all that is happening to you is outside of your natural ability to change?
Prayer is our lifeline. It is the one thing that lets God know more than anything else that we are submitted to Him. Remember the formula for dealing with life’s battles? Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee. The Submitting to God is talking to Him and casting all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
[The resisting of the devil is the study, memorization, meditation of God’s Word – remember Jesus answered every one of the devil’s temptations with a scripture, “It is written.” (Matthew 4:1-11)]
Prayer is something that is so simple to do but sometimes overlooked because we are well grained in this society to be independent. “I will do it by myself.” It may take effort on our part but the rewards will be great.
Back to Jehoshaphat’s Life
God’s Answer to Their Prayers (verses 13-17)
“As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.
He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.
But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!””
WOW! God has answered their prayers and it will be done in an extraordinary way.
Immediately upon hearing God’s solution to their battle, they went into worship to thank God. They had not seen His solution yet. They just knew they could trust Him. Why? Because, He had come through for them so many times before.
We can also go into worship and praising God when we ask for His help. Because, we have the examples written in the Bible and personal examples of God helping us. The question becomes: Will we trust God enough and give Him the praise He deserves regardless of how He answers our prayer? Remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they trusted their lives and their death into God’s hand – In Daniel 3 they faced a really difficult decision. Will you bow down and worship the idol of me, or burn in the fiery furnace, Nebuchadnezzar asked. And they, “replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
We can trust in the Lord to take care of us. He has demonstrated time and again His ability to do so.
Worship Resulted (verses 18 and 19)
“Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.”
Battle Day Prep Speech (verse 20)
“Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.””
Lesson to Ponder
BELIEVE IN THE LORD YOUR GOD AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO STAND FIRM.
Remember what Ephesians 6:13 and 14a said. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then,”
Jehoshaphat And Israel Go Out To Battle Worshipping God (verse 21)
“After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!””
The Result (verse 22-24)
“At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.”
Added Bonus (verses 25-26)
“King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all! On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing, which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.”
Lesson To Ponder
Immeasurably More Than We Can Imagine
Ephesians 3:20-21 is always a verse that comes to mind when I think about all of the great things God has given us. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Rest Was the Reward For Trusting In God (verses 27-30)
“Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies. They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the Lord. When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”
Lesson To Ponder
Rest In Battle
Jehoshaphat is an excellent example of Resting in the Lord as our battle plan
Matthew 11:28-29 – ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The Battle Belongs to The Lord by Petra
Let us make “resting in the Lord” our main battle plan.