Face It, Because the Lord is with You

“You do not have to fight this ba2le. Posi6on yourselves, stand s6ll, and see the salva6on of the Lord. He  is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for the  Lord is with you.”
~ 2 Chronicles 20:17 CSB

King Jehoshaphat sought the Lord. When his reign is introduced in 2 Chronicles 17, this is one of the  first things we are told—he did not seek the false gods, but he sought the Lord. Jehoshaphat wanted to  know God and to obey him, to follow in God’s ways all his life.  

When King Ahab asked for an alliance in battle, Jehoshaphat agreed—but he said, “First, please ask  what the LORD’s will is” (2 Chronicles 18:4). The Hebrew word translated “ask” (dāraš) means to seek  with care or to enquire. When he established judges in the cities, Jehoshaphat warned them to do their  work for the Lord and to be aware of God’s watching eye and holy character as they passed judgment.

“Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the LORD. He is with you in giving judgment.  Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injus6ce with the  LORD our God, or par6ality or taking bribes.”
~ 2 Chronicles 19:6-7 ESV

Perhaps the greatest test of Jehoshaphat’s faith comes in 2 Chronicles 20. Multiple enemy nations  gather together to fight Judah—a vast number of soldiers. How does he respond? The text bluntly says,  “Jehoshaphat was afraid.” But that’s not all. Once again, consistent with his lifelong practice, he resolved  to seek the Lord, and he called the rest of the nation to join him (v3-4). The king prays to God,  rehearsing the character of God and his past faithfulness. Jehoshaphat brings their situation before  God and asks for deliverance. He concludes:

“We are powerless before this vast number that comes to fight against us. We do not know what to do,  but we look to you.”
~ 2 Chronicles 20:12 CSB

You won’t find a better example of what to do when you are overwhelmed and overmatched by life.  Jehoshaphat doesn’t spend hours exhausting every possibility with his military advisors. He doesn’t  send an envoy to an allied nation asking for aid. He doesn’t send negotiators to seek terms of peace. He  brings his problems to God, admits his helplessness, and fixes his eyes upon God.

In the following verses, God responds in gracious faithfulness. A prophet speaks out assurance to the  people, promising salvation from the Lord. They are not alone—God is with them in this difficulty. And  having sought God, knowing God is with them, the prophet calls Jehoshaphat and the people to set  aside their fear and to face their trouble.

“...He is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them,
for the Lord is with you.”
~ 2 Chronicles 20:17 CSB

We all encounter trouble in life—enemy armies that camp against us, eager to destroy us. Your army  might be a shocking diagnosis or a staggering loss. It could be a betrayal or a wreck or a hospital bill.  Whatever it is, seek the Lord. Draw near to him, to know him and to walk in his ways. Remember his  character, and throw yourself on his mercy.

In this story, God provides a miraculous deliverance. The enemy nations fight amongst themselves and  are destroyed without Judah needing to swing a sword. That doesn’t mean God will always deliver us in  the same way. Sometimes the way of escape is simply that God enables us to endure it (1 Corinthians  10:13). Whether he takes away the pain or loss or sorrow, he will be with us.

And when we know that, we can face anything.

Ben Whiting




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