“Look how our enemies repay us by coming to drive us out of your possession that you gave us as an inheritance. Our God, will you not judge them? For 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…
This is what the LORD says: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s… You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.’”
UTTER HELPLESSNESS / DEPENDENT FAITH
King Jehoshaphat found himself backed into a corner. A coalition of three nations had joined together to overthrow the nation of Judah. The small southern kingdom was no match for such an enemy. Their best attempts, their wisest strategies, nor their fiercest fighters stood a chance.
The newly reformed king, rather than looking for earthly strategies to solve his problem or trying to figure out how to surrender and spare as many Judahite lives as possible, turned to the Lord in faith and prayed. But he didn’t just ask for help. Jehoshaphat called to mind God’s past faithfulness to His people and pleaded with Him to deliver them the same way He had in generations past and did so with confidence. Even though the king did not know what to do, He fixed His eyes on his sovereign Lord.
God heard Jehoshaphat’s prayer and responded saying, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours but God’s… You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourself, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD.”
God’s response to the cries of desperation from His people was to go to war on their behalf. He had staked His honor on their flourishing. They were meant to be living proof of the reality of the one true God. This enemy was far too great for them. They had no options. The problem facing them was simply too much.
THE PEOPLES’ PRAISE
Brandishing hearts freshly filled with courage and hope, Jehoshaphat sent the Korahites, the worshippers, onto the front lines of the battle. In the face of a seemingly infallible enemy, they sang, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His faithful love endures forever.”
While they sang their enemies were attacked by another nation and then began to fight amongst themselves. After this there were only corpses. God had defeated Judah’s enemies without them lifting a finger. Their fight was ultimately not against their earthly enemy, but against the enemy of their souls that would tempt them to disbelieve God and trust in their own strength. Instead, they fought the battle in prayer.
Jesus has fought an even greater battle on our behalf. The sin that clings so closely to us, the enemy that seeks to devour us, the temptations of the world, the wickedness of our own hearts… They all work together to lead us away from life in God and into selfish destruction. We are powerless to overcome this enemy. Our own efforts to try only lead us further away from God. Jesus alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; God triumphed over them in Jesus.
What battle do you find yourself facing now? What struggle? What worry? What heartache? What sin? If you belong to Jesus and He has fought this greatest battle for you and won, will He not take care of you now? If while we were His enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life? Will He not graciously give us all things in Him?
You can make the words of Jehoshaphat your own and say, “I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on you.”
And you can pray with confidence knowing that God’s response to you in Jesus is “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s… You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.”
So, the fight for us is not to fight for things to go our way. Rather, we fight on our knees, with hearts lifted to God in praise, because the battle, the kingdom, the glory, and the power forever and ever belong to Him alone.