Worshiping Before Your Battle (2 Chron. 20)
Oh my goodness I LOVE God’s Word! Like ridiculously, over-the-top LOVE.IT. This week I read a passage in my Bible Study that crazy inspired me and I figured it was worth sharing!
SO - in 2 Chronicles 20, there’s a story about King Jehoshaphat having to lead the Israelites into a battle against the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites. Only it says that the King was literally “terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance.” He ended his prayer with “We do not know what to do, but we are looking to You for help.”
Sigh. Can we just stop there for a minute. What a perfect ending to a plea for help from God. “We do not know what to do, but we are looking to You for help.” Seriously. So perfect. Probably should have just started there in his prayer but whatever. Not my story. Anyway….
The Lord responded with a fantastic, “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!”
Great, right? Awesome actually. Not gonna need to fight. Just take up your positions. Got it? Good. You can do this.
Only King Jehoshaphat got so excited (I totally get that), that he and his advisers decided to send a choir on ahead of the warriors to lead the way in worship. Not exactly sure what he was thinking but apparently God was in it because scripture records “AT THAT 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.”
SHHHHHUT UP!!!!! THAT’S CRAAAZZY!!!
So listen - this is what got ME so fired up!!
I began to consider how we all are fighting battles of our own right? I mean we have to battle for our marriages, battle for our kids, battle for our country, battle for our mental health, you name it - if we were honest - some of us are facing some fa-hierce battles! But as modern day believers, when we battle, we do it differently than we see in the Old Testament right? We battle through prayer! We actually believe God’s Word when it says we are using “God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” And many of us take that call to prayer seriously.
But what if - WHAT IF - we instilled King Jehoshaphat's battle plan? What if we worshiped BEFORE be prayed. I mean like every time? Would not some battles be won before we even hit our knees? Could it be possible that God would move ahead of us wiping out the enemy of our soul in the battlegrounds of our lives before we ever arrived on the battlefield?
Friends, I'm wildly in love enough with Jesus to think so! You see, God is unchanging. (Malachi 3:6) What He did then, He can do now.
So let’s worship! Let’s worship before we battle for our loved ones. And let’s see if God does not do what He has done before for those who belong to Him. When we look toward God and cry out “We do not know what to do, but we are looking to You for help.” May we also find out that the battle really does “belong to the Lord!”