(Recommended reading: 2 Chronicles 19:4 – 20:29)
**The past few weeks – especially the last two – have been like nothing I have ever seen before in my lifetime. Even after 9/11 I did not see the fear and panic like what is going on in our nation and the world at large right now. I remember after 9/11 people were afraid to get out to go anywhere like malls, etc. I determined at that time I was not going to let fear rule my life – I went where I wanted to go, when I wanted to go. What the terrorists wanted us to do was allow fear to rule our lives. I basically feel the same way about this current pandemic. Do not get me wrong, I am not going to be stupid, I am going to take the precautions they recommend about hygiene, etc.; but, I refuse to go to the store and hoard paper products and food, etc. I bought a few things – some single cans of about 10 different vegetables, one package each of t.p. and paper towels (I was at the point I would have been buying the paper towels anyway.) But seriously, in my opinion, it just is not necessary to buy a year’s worth of things. I see people buy huge amounts of bottled water – what is that all about? Do they think that our water supply is going to be turned off just because people are sick? I am just having a hard time grasping all of this.
I was about to start writing a new article for this week dealing with fear because of all that is going on around us right now regarding this Coronavirus. But I looked into my notebook where I keep articles that I have already written and found this one. I decided that this addresses the issue pretty well, so I will just go with it. I pray that it will speak to any of you that may be full of fear right now. We just absolutely must stay calm, be sensible and pray. The President has proclaimed today – March 15, 2020 – as an official day of prayer for our nation. So do your part – just ask for God to fight the battle for us.**
After Solomon’s death, there were kings to follow that lead Judah away from their God. But, Jehoshaphat came along and turned the people back to God. He established order in the land by appointing judges and priests – cautioning them to mete out their rulings fairly, on behalf of a just God.
Several nations around them then declared war on them. When Jehoshaphat was made aware of the coming battle, he was fearful. He prayed and ordered a nationwide fast. As he prayed his faith seemed to surface and he said …“’You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.’” (2 Chronicles 19:9b NLT) He then stated their obvious lack and their need for help. “’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.’” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NLT)
As the people of Judah stood before their God, He spoke through Jahaziel. “He said,…‘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…’” “’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!’” (2 Chronicles 20:15-16a & 17 NLT)
2 Chronicles 20:20-24 NLT says: “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.’ 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!’ 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.”
Jehoshaphat and his people had a huge contingency to face, but with a strong faith in the word of God, they moved forward. Then they praised God, before they reached the battle line. At that point, God took over – He controlled the battle and gave victory to His people with no combat required of them. All they had to do is by faith believe, by faith move forward, by faith praise Him – then victory was theirs!
If we can only just learn to stand in faith and believe – knowing that our battles are not ours, but God’s – we will see many more victories in our lives. Everything from the small skirmishes to the major battles should be given over to Him.
Fear not, for He is God and He is ALWAYS on our side!
And remember this: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
Written by Karran Martin – June 4, 2019 – Edited March 14, 2020