A Firm Foundation, Part 4

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There are many stories in the Bible that show what happens when you your faith and trust in God. Usually someone overcomes impossible odds, or does something seemingly bizarre to succeed. Of all the stories, there is one that sticks out to me. Every time I read it, I am pretty amazed at the faith of all the people involved. The story is found in 2 Chronicles 20, and is about King Jehoshaphat battle against the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites.

The story goes that the three nations decided to invade Judah. Upon hearing this news, “Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” (2 Chronicles 20:3, NASB). Jehoshaphat sought God’s help to prevail against the oncoming foes. He knew that their army was massive, and his was not, and it look as though everything was coming to an end for him and the people of Judah. God responds to the prayer of the people and their king by saying, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours by God’s. tomorrow go down against them. Behold they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17, NASB). So Jehoshaphat marched the army to wear God had directed them, with choirs singing “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (2 Chronicles 20:21, NASB) leading the way. While they were praising and marching, the 3 armies turned on each other and killed themselves. When the Judean army came to the valley, all of their foes were dead. They then spent 3 days collecting the spoils of the “battle” an on the forth day they worshiped and thanked God for His provision.

Can we trust our foundation this way? What would it look like if, when God tells us something, we listen. The people of Judah were told they would not have to fight, they simply had to listen. They trusted God to not give them up. We can trust God too. He knows what is best for us. When we build our house upon this foundation, we can find peace knowing that our best life is ahead of us. This doesn’t mean it will be easy. I think that is a very human understanding of what “best” is. We think that so long as we have $1,000,000 in the bank, we will be fine. But God never tells us that. In all honestly, when He was here on earth, He lived as a homeless man with nothing but the clothes on his body. Just because we have nothing, does not mean we are not living a good life. Trust in the Lord because He is our foundation, our rock, and our salvation.

 

Psalms to Pray: Psalm 21-24

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Going Into Battle

For the past seven weeks, I have been doing a Bible study on worship with my church’s praise team. It has been a pretty great study so far, and I look forward to the last two weeks of it. The study, while going throughout the Bible, focuses on one story. It can be found in 2 Chronicles 20.

In this story, Judah is being threatened by 3 different invading armies. King Jehoshaphat orders a time of fasting and prayer. The prophet Jahaziel then delivers a message to the king and all Judah, “thus says that Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15b-17, NASB).

After receiving this message, the people fast and pray. In the morning the army marched out to station itself for battle, but leading the charge were the priest and holy worshipers (a choir!!!!). These people lead the people of Judah is a praise song that went like this, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (2 Chronicles 20:21, NASB). During the praise, God made the armies confused and they destroyed themselves!

Isn’t that a great story? But it has a point that I’d like to share with you.

Life gets hard. The people of Judah were experiencing this (3 armies at once!). But no matter how hard life can get, we should lead the charge with praise and worship. As we’ve been discussing this week, praise is important (especially when we are waiting on God’s promises). The people of Judah showed us what can happen when we place our trust in God. They didn’t have to lift a sword in order to defeat the three armies, all the did was sing. God did the rest of the work. The story goes on to show that they went on to plunder for three days! It must have been a massive gathering against them. But the listened and trusted in God. They went into battle praising Him, and He provided for them.

God wants to do the same for you. All you have to do is surrender your life completely to Him. Then, go into battle singing His praises. We can’t go into the “battle” of the day saying “Let me figure it out, then I’ll ask God.” Give it to God first! He can handle it.

I thought of a couple songs that would be appropriate for this post. So please take a listen, and give your battles over to God.