What do we do when we see trouble coming?
September 16, 2021
TAKE UP YOUR POSITION
This blog is based on 2 Chronicles 20 and follows this blogger’s commentary of the chapter. Ellen White also provides further elaboration on the event that took place. (“Prophets & Kings”, Chapter 15 “Jehoshaphat”). The Bible chapter provides a powerful message that is applicable to where we are in this time. As we read the chapter, we are guided as to what we need to do to get us through the tough times; fight the good fight of faith no matter how it may end.
THEY ARE COMING
The army was approaching, and fast. Fear was growing amongst the people of God. King Jehoshaphat stopped what he was doing and gathered the people of Judah together to seek help from the Lord. There was no hesitation, they came from every town in Judah.
The King took his place in front of the temple and spoke to the assembly of people who gathered there together. He prayed out loud:
“O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend. They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, if calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us. We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
WHAT TO DO
All the men of Judah, with their wives, children, and little ones, stood there before the Lord. Then, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, son of Zechariah, as he stood there in the assembly. He 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. Tomorrow march down against them; you will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”
The King and the assembly fell in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites stood up and praised the Lord with a very loud voice! The King stood and said:
“Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem. Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld. Have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”
The King then appointed men to SING to the Lord and to PRAISE God.
Early the next morning, they left for their destination. As they set out and began to march, they gave thanks to the Lord. The singers went before the army, lifted their voices in praise to God for the promise of victory. Ellen White elaborates further as to why the singers went ahead of the army. She writes, “It was a singular way of going to battle against the enemy’s army – praising the Lord with singing and exalting the God of Israel.“
As they began to sing and praise the Lord, the Lord set ambushes against the army of men who were going to do them harm. The enemy that was coming to cause them harm was then destroyed by another army. There was so much confusion amongst both armies that they destroyed each other. By the time the King and all the men arrived at their destination, there was no one left, no one had escaped.
PRESENT DAY APPLICATION
Fast forward to present day. We may not have an army attacking us to the size and magnitude that King Jehoshaphat had coming at him with swords, horses, and chariots. But we do have troubles, trials, and even pestilences that can give us a similar gasp of horror as we see these things coming at us. And, we can certainly equally say: “We have no power to face this,” or “We do not know what to do.” But we know we can also say: “Our eyes are upon You.”
We know that while here on this earth we will have trouble. But in that trouble, God will help us walk through the water, river, and the fire. It will not consume us. The troubles are to teach us to look to Him. To build up our faith and trust in Him. He has promised to give us His peace, His strength, to get through the battles no matter what. Should we be removed from our earthly post, He will give us the strength to get through that, too. We know who He is and we know how it ends. So, either way - - we win!
WHAT WE CAN DO EACH DAY
As we get closer to the end of time, we will start to see even more strange and disturbing occurrences – yes – stranger than we are seeing now! However, as we each go through our battles each day, we need to keep our focus on Jesus, sing, and praise His name through it. He will be our peace. He will be our comfort. He has promised this to us.
Ellen White wrote, “If more praising of God were engaged in now, hope and courage and faith would steadily increase. And would not this strengthen the hands of the valiant soldiers who today are standing in defense of the truth.” (Ellen White, “Prophets and Kings”, “Jehoshaphat”, page 202.)
“God was the strength of Judah in this crisis, and He is the strength of His people today. We are not to trust in princes, or to set men in the place of God. We are to remember that human beings are fallible and erring, and that He who has all power is our strong tower of defense. In every emergency, we are to feel that the battle is His. His resources are limitless and apparent impossibilities will make the victory all the greater. (Ellen White, “Prophets and Kings,” “Jehoshaphat,” page 202.)
We must remember that we are not alone in these battles of ours. God is with us and will fight for us. We have our part to do in believing that He can and continue moving forward, singing and praising God through it, until we are with Him in eternity.
Will you Take Up Your Position today?
Recommended Companion Reading: Ellen White: Prophets & Kings”, Chapter 15 “Jehoshaphat,” Pages 190-20