I don’t know why the tears were there today. I wasn’t really unhappy, just emotional. My husband, two kids, and I were sitting at the table, having lunch after our 3rd week of watching church online due to Covid-19. But I was being brought back to a place in my life that I regretted. While we laughed at these stories from the past, I also was embarrassed that so many of my actions that we were laughing about, had been driven by fear, the unknown, and the feeling of being out of control. How I wondered what kind of damage I did to my kids and husband because of believing the chaos of my circumstances over trusting the truth in God’s Word. I don’t ever want to return to that unsettling and extreme state of mind again.
While my situation more than pales in comparison, I now often think of the story of Jehosaphat when I am in circumstances outside of my control. The king of Judah and his people were facing an inevitable death in 2 Chronicles 20 (NLT) as they realized 3 merciless armies were coming to devastate them. It was going to be more than ugly. But God did the impossible and I believe and am more than certain this is who He is today.
The story is full of amazing lessons to learn from and apply, now more than ever, as we stare in the face of Covid-19. This very virus has managed to shut down society and our economy. So where do we find our peace as we sit in our homes waiting for this “spirit of death” to pass over us? Explore this hard to imagine account of Jehosaphat with me.
Scripture says that King Jehosaphat was TERRIFIED and BEGGED God for guidance. Who hasn’t been tempted to be caught up in fear in the last few weeks with all that we read or watch on the news? But Jehosaphat called the people around and told them to start FASTING as they sought the Lord’s help.
Jehosaphat also acknowledged that God was “POWERFUL AND MIGHTY. NO ONE COULD STAND AGAINST HIM.” (vs. 6). He brought up accounts from the past where God had done the miraculous for His children. What a great prompt for us, to get in the Word and remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness to the generations that have gone before us.
The people’s posture was completely toward God in this impossible situation. They said, “Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, PLAGUE, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.” (vs. 9)
“We are powerless against this army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” (vs. 12) Where do I look for truth, peace, answers, and comfort in the middle of confusion, quarantines, people losing jobs, isolation, empty shelves in the grocery store, financial markets collapsing, and widespread fear in the news of the potential of sickness and death touching us and our loved ones? Jehosaphat pointed his people to the One they were looking to for help. He pointed them to God, our creator, savior, protector, deliverer.
At that point, the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. He had a special word from God. One that stands for you and me today as well.
“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. DO NOT BE AFRAID OR DISCOURAGED.” (vs. 15-17)
Then they did what we would benefit from today as well. They “bowed low with their face to the ground and they worshipped God.” (vs. 18) Their posture was towards the only One who could save them from sure death. That continued into the next day as Jehosaphat put singers at the front of the line to continue in praise and worship as they headed toward the battlefield. Jehosaphat called out “Believe in the Lord your God and you WILL be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets and you WILL succeed…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.” (vs. 20-22). Not one of the enemy escaped or survived and Jehosaphat’s people only had to observe the Lord acting on their behalf. “The Lord gave them victory over their enemies and what resulted was PEACE, for his God had given him rest on every side.” (vs. 30)
I can’t help but be excited that we serve that very same God today. Hebrews 13 says that “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Today in uncertain times, God is the only thing certain and we can more than trust Him in what may seem like an impossible situation. What an incredible peace that offers us.
Get into the Word to see who our God really is. His Word is accomplishing, achieving, relevant, peace and life-giving. It is our hope. I love the passage in Jeremiah 23:29 where it says,
“Does not my Word burn like fire?’ says the Lord. ‘Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?”
Stand on that Word. There is power, peace, and hope made available to us today. We can take our economy, retirement savings, businesses, families, health, protection, and more and believe what He says in His Word regarding what is dear to us. He is faithful. He does the impossible!!
Take a lesson from Jehosaphat. If you could have a conversation with him today, He would possibly encourage you to do the following regarding the issues that have developed because of Covid-19 or other challenges out of your control that you may be facing:
1. Seek the Lord – He rewards those who earnestly seek Him…Hebrews 11:6
2. Fast – remove things of the world so that you can see and hear Him more clearly…Isaiah 58:6-7
3. Acknowledge who God is in the past and today – He is faithful still…Romans 14:11
4. Take time to pray and bow low– He will hear you and rescue you…Philippians 4:6
5. Do not be afraid – Cast your care…Psalm 55:22
6. Worship God – He is the only one who will see us through this…Deuteronomy 10:21
7. Believe – Spend time in the Bible so you know what to and who to believe in…Isaiah 40:31
8. Go out in faith, knowing that the battle is God’s not yours…Hebrews 11:1
I love you and pray with confidence for you in these days of earthly uncertainty. We have a God who loves us and who can be counted on. He is ready to do the impossible for you as He did for Jehosaphat and many others before us. You will not even need to fight. Find your peace in trusting Him today.