By: Tatum Lee Louw
“Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, ‘A vast army is coming against you from Edom from the other side of the Dead sea. It is already in En Gedi. Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah”.
(2 Chronicles 20:2-3)
Jehoshaphat just received news that an army was coming up against him, in fact this army was already on their way to wage war against Jehoshaphat. He did not ask for this fight or cultivate this trouble, but it is was still coming his way. Imagine the fear and anxiety that fell upon him, hearing this news. One man against an army of soldiers, all in ambitious pursuit to defeat him.
Have you ever been in a position where you felt as if you were up against a vast army? Sometimes this army takes different forms. It may be the opinions of people, the insecurities that just keep piling up like brick walls in front of you, the gossip that never ends, the accusations of the enemy and sometimes it feels as if the devil himself, crafted and customized and army especially for your afflictions.
I can relate to Jehoshaphat’s current position in this scripture. For me, this army was a range of emotions that took place in cycles in my life. I experienced the army of rejection, insecurities, forgiveness, lust and envy. For a very long time, I accepted defeat. I could not conquer all these emotions, so when rejection hit me. I’d wallow in depression, hardly manage to lift myself out of bed and neglect to take care of myself, for weeks on end, until the battle was over and I stand on the other side in defeat.
I was doing it all wrong at the end of the day. I learned this lesson from Jehoshaphat, particularly in this scripture.
“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord”
The very first thing this man of God did was to seek God’s face. In the face of fear and anxiety, Jehoshaphat’s first response to what he heard, was to seek the Lord’s face. How amazing is that? He understood that he was weak, brittle and completely vulnerable to the enemies attack, but he knew a Man who wasn’t. Jehoshaphat knew that he was in the minority, but with God on his side, he was the majority.
The passage continues and in the latter parts, God completely blew my mind. As Jehoshaphat continued to pray and confidently expect the Lord to defend Him, this is how the Lord responded:
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle . Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you”
(2 Chronicles 20:15-17)
Isn’t that just amazing? He put all of his trust in a Living God who avenged him! You may be facing an army of your own emotions, or a difficulty that’s just been waging war against you. Be encouraged, with the words the Lord spoke over Jehoshaphat. Take up your position in Him and be confident in this fact:
“You will not have to fight this battle”