A message by Pastor Bill Mann on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at King’s Grace Fellowship.
2 Chronicles 20:1-37; Ephesians 6:12-13
2 Timothy 3:12
12 . . . all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Paul the apostle talks about the about this battle in Ephesians 6.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
In this message I want to look at a well-known Sunday School story which tells about the people of Judah who were coming under attack. This attack was unprovoked. They did nothing to deserve the wrath of their enemies, well except be the people of God.
I think it’s important to understand that because you are a follower of Jesus, you are a target as Paul stated in 2 Timothy 3:12. I think we can compound our struggle by personal sin or at times we can choose the wrong battle. But this message isn’t about that kind of battle. This message is about the battles that find us because the enemy of our souls is bent on our personal and corporate destruction. (This is not a conspiracy theory, it’s real!)
In 2 Chronicles we find a story about an enemy that was dedicated to the destruction of Judah. This vast army comprised of surrounding nations doesn’t really sound any different then what Israel faces today. But that’s for a different message. This message is about what one’s response should be when facing overwhelming odds as the enemy approaches.
In 2 Chronicles 20 we find the Moabites, Ammonites and those in league with the Ammonites (Meunites) were advancing to do battle against Jehoshaphat and Judah. It was going to be a bloodbath!
Jehoshaphat was a good leader! Verse 3 tells us that he understood the threat level ad was afraid. I think it take great strength of character to admit one’s fear. By doing so, one can address it head-on.
His head-on approach was to go to prayer FIRST! Having done that he then called the people of the Judah to fast. (to seek help from God) As the people gather Jehoshaphat prays publicly. His prayer includes these elements:
2 Chronicles 20:12
12 O . . . God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
This is a great place to start whenever you face a battle. What’s your dependence level concerning God. So let’s get to this:
A Word From The Lord
Here’s an often overlooked thing. God uses whomever He will to bring a “word” at the right time. In this situation He raises up Jahaziel to give Judah confidence that God would fight the battle on their behalf.
2 Chronicles 20:14–17
14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel . . . 15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. . . . 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, . . . Do not fear or be dismayed . . . for the Lord is with you.”
So from Jehoshaphat’s understanding of the situation, to Jahaziel’s admonition and finally Judah’s actions we can build a list with confidence of “What To Do, When You Don’t Know What To Do”.
What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do
Jehoshaphat presents several rhetorical questions that gave confidence to his people that God truly is over all and ultimately in control of all. Do you really believe that God is not blown away by the battle you face?
Sometimes we have confidence, sometimes we don’t. I believe that it is important for us to admit our fears and our lack of faith. When we do God can begin to address it in our lives.
By keeping our eyes upon Jesus we are not looking elsewhere for an answer. This is important because in situations beyond our control what can WE really do. It’s in God’s hand. Our job in situations where we really don’t know what to do is to look to Jesus to get our marching orders.
Awesome advice yet it seems in reality at times impossible. This is where you back to step 2 “Admit your weakness” and then step 1 “Be confident in God and His heart for you.”
The word in the Hebrew for “afraid” pretty much means to be afraid. The word for “dismayed” gives a bit of insight to the depth of fear. It means “to be shattered, filled with terror, to be broken down with fear . . . “
To me this speaks of how fear can take someone. I would think that if you reach this level, although it’s not impossible to climb out of it, it’s just much harder to. What really is your confidence level in God?
Verse 17 begs to be heard again and received:
2 Chronicles 20:17
17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”
Here they were told to “. . . stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” It’s interesting to me that he said, “You will not need to fight in this battle.” There may be some battles that God will have you fight in and He will be there with you helping all the way. Yet in this case, they were simply to do nothing except watch God come through for them. This was God’s battle!
I have found that in my own personal experience If I don’t know what to do, I have to get out of the way and let God be God and let Him do what He will does. (He makes life out of chaos.)
Doing nothing is hard for most people, but sometimes it’s the right course of action.
The original language here means to “use the voice as an instrument to voice, musical tones, rhythms, and often words”. Ok, it means sing then …. So this was “singing out loud” .
Here’s what I think. There is a spiritual dynamic that takes place when we permeate the atmosphere with praise and adoration to the Lord. I’m not sure anyone can adequately explain it to everyone’s satisfaction yet I have observed that things change in the heavenly realm when praise is offered verbally, out loud!
One does not have to sing well or even understand the dynamic, just be obedient and sing through the battle. The results will be amazing. In this story there would have never been a victory had Judah not sang OUT LOUD!
2 Chronicles 20:22–23
22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
This final thought is to remember to give God praise and credit for doing what you could not!
2 Chronicles 20:27–30
27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28 So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the Lord. 29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.
Here’s what I want for you to take away from this message:
2 Corinthians 10:4–5
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, . .