II Chronicles 20:20
Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” NIV
This verse also comes from the story of Jehoshaphat that I began looking at yesterday. Jehoshaphat and all of the people have prayed about the coming battle, because they knew that three mighty armies are coming to attack them. In the face of this threat, some of the people have begun to praise God, “with a very loud voice.” (v.19)
As the people start out, Jehoshaphat appoints men to go ahead of them to sing to the Lord. Verse 21 says that they sang, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” There is a praise song with these words that I just love to sing, but, I did not know its history until I read this chapter yesterday.
I just absolutely love what happens next. God sets an ambush for the three armies, and, in the confusion, they turn against one another and fight until all of them are dead. When the people of Judah arrive on the scene, “they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground.” (v. 24) There was so much plunder, that it took the people three full days to collect it all!
Jehoshaphat knew that his problem was far too large to solve on his own. He doesn’t even try to solve it. He takes it to God as an earnest and urgent request, and, even before the problem is solved, he and the people begin praising and thanking God.
This is powerful. I am wondering, how much different (read better) would my life be if I consistently followed this formula?
There is a lot here for me to think about today.