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In the last post (here) we saw King Ahaz respond to affliction the wrong way by turning to the world and striving after the wind. The result was devastation. Today I want to show you an example of another king of Judah from 2 Chronicles 20. This king knew his place and knew who ultimately had the power.
King Jehosaphat had learned that the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, a great multitude, were coming out against him and were not far off. He was terrified! Overwhelmed, he may have sat down in dismay. What could he do? How could he possibly face this giant? He knew that he did not have the resources or the ability to do anything to thwart it. He did the only thing he knew to do — pray! Verse 3 tells us his initial reaction, “he turned his attention to seek the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” He gathered all Judah and they stood before the Lord as a family; the men, their wives, and their children, in humble submission. We can learn so much from his prayer.
“O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? (2 Chron 20:6-7)
O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” (2 Chron 20:12)
He starts out by acknowledging who God is– Almighty King of the Universe. He knows that God has the ultimate power over all of life’s circumstances and he confesses that truth. When we come before the Lord in desperation, before we state our need, we must acknowledge God’s worthiness. Agree with Moses in Exodus 15:11, “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing great wonders?” Pray one of the countless verses in Scripture that tell of God’s greatness. When Jesus modeled prayer for us in Matthew 6:9-13, He also began with praise and acknowledgement.
Jehosophat then reminded God of His promises — that He had promised this land to His people Israel. That He had driven out the Caananites from the land so He could fulfill His covenant with Abraham. We also should pray the promises of the Lord. There is no better prayer than to repeat the words of God and they are a good reminder to us. “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22.
Finally, we see Jehosophat’s humble plea for salvation. Even though he is the King of Judah, even though he has powerful friends, even though he has great armies at his disposal, He knows he is weak. He knows he is nothing before this giant mass that is looming before him. He trusts that the Lord is going to save his nation because of His Great Name. Do you have faith that the God of heaven can handle whatever problem you bring before Him? “Is my hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver?” Isaiah 50:2.
The King of Judah humbled himself, bowing with his face to the ground, before the Almighty King of the Universe. James 4:10 says to humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Worshipping the Lord when nothing seems to be going right is humbling: are you willing to let go of your pride and acknowledge God’s sovereignty in your life?
When news of devastation comes to us, where do we turn first for help? To friends, google, or our favorite social media outlet? Our first thought should be of the great God of the Universe. Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I will lift my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.”
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