Posted on 27-Sep-2014
September 10th, 2014
Sometimes in life, we might face certain seasons, in which nothing seems to go right. When these moments take place, we tend to be blinded by the challenges and trials that take place, and forget that we have a God who is always bigger than all those problems. It is during times like these where we need to be reminded we have a loving God who is always waiting for us to humble ourselves before him, to turn back to him, and to seek His guidance and deliverance.
Just a few weeks ago, I went through one of these harsh storms. Problems were mauled at me from all sides. Drenched with the cold and unloving “rainwater”, I was lost for direction; I didn’t know what to do other than to run into the Father’s arms! I picked up my phone in search of a worship song, wanting to reach out to Him in prayer and in song. Suddenly, I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to search up “Tim Hughes” on YouTube. I looked through the search results, but it wasn’t his songs that the Spirit led me to, but it was a sermon of his instead! “Worship is a Weapon” – that was the title.
Miraculously, I felt like the sermon was directed towards me. He began the sermon with a quote by Corrie Brown “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed; if you look within, you’ll be depressed; if you look at God, you’ll be at rest”, after which he shared about 2 Chronicles 20, a passage on how God destroyed the enemies of King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah when they decided to worship God and look to Him for help. After listening to Tim Hughes’ sermon, I went on studying the passage myself, knowing that God was trying to speak to me through it.
Prior to 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat had removed Asherah poles from the land of Judah and had made some reformations within the land in hopes of turning back the hearts of the people of the Lord. However, soon after, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat! Messengers came and told him “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the dead sea” Now notice this, although King Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news, the first thing he did was beg the Lord for guidance! He even ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.
People came from all around Judah to seek the Lord’s help in Jerusalem. Standing in front of the people, Jehoshaphat prayed a powerful prayer, praising and proclaiming God’s might, acknowledging that both the people of Judah and himself were powerless against the mighty army and that they look to God for help. In response, the Spirit of the Lord came upon a man standing there who declared the assurance that God is giving them “This is what the Lord says: 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……” After hearing the Lord’s message, King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord! A nationwide revival was happening among them! (If you read the previous chapter, King Jehoshaphat had to travel all around to encourage people to come back to the Lord).
The next day, the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. When they were on their way, King Jehoshaphat appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, to praise and sing to the Lord. Now this was a very bizarre thing to do when you are going out to war, as who in the right mind would take that risk, especially when facing a tremendous army. Normally, people would appoint shield bearers to create a fortification at the front lines, but King Jehoshaphat followed the Lord’s commands to stand firm and not fight at all.
At that very moment when they started to sing, the vast army began to fight among themselves, and eventually, every single one of the enemy died at the wilderness. For 3 days the army of Judah plundered the leftovers of the mighty army for there were indeed so much things left behind! They also named the wilderness as the “Valley of Blessing” (which bears the same name even today) for they praised and thanked the Lord there. In the end, they returned to Jerusalem overjoyed that the Lord gave them victory, and Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for God had given him rest on every side.
To sum it all up, what we can learn from this event is that the first thing we should always do when facing troubles is to turn to the Lord first. In fact we should always be putting God first in everything we do. Next, we should always humble ourselves, and acknowledge that it is by God’s grace that we would emerge victorious. Not only that, we should remember that as long as we put our trust in the Lord, we will never be disappointed. Last but not least, we should always be honouring the Lord by leading a life that pleases Him, and also give thanks an praise Him for all that he has given us.