My reading this morning was about King Jehoshaphat, when a vast army was coming against him. He was alarmed, but decided for the best option, to go to the Lord. He went as far as to proclaim a fast for all Judah.
The people came together to seek help from the Lord; they came from every town in Judah. Everyone came! Men, women and children, and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
Then Jehoshaphat prayed. You can read his prayer in 2 Chronicles 20:5-12.
When the King prayed the Lord spoke through one of his servants, who said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s… You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face [the enemy] tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
So, what did they do? Jehoshaphat encouraged the people!
“Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem!” he said. “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”
Here is the part I love!
After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the enemy! The enemy fought amongst themselves and destroyed one another.
“When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.”
It took Jehoshaphat and his men three days to collect the plunder!
On the fourth day they assembled to praise the Lord!
Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.
From start to finish they praised the Lord!
I’m sure I’ve written about this before, and this will not be the last time… I love this story so much because it encourages me to praise the Lord, even when the enemy is upon me.
There is power in praise! Well, not exactly. The power is in Him whom we praise! Glory be to God! Praise Him!
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.