They are described as not just a horde, but as a “great horde.” Moabites, Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites. A great multitude of fighting men all gathered together for one purpose — to come in battle against Judah and their king, Jehoshaphat. The goal of this legion of aggression was to drive the people of God from the land promised them as an inheritance. Chances of the armies of Jehoshaphat being able to withstand this great enemy army? Nil. Situation? Desperate. Options? None.
So what do you do when you don’t know what to do?
Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In Your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand You. . . . O our God, will You not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.“ (2Chronicles 20:3-6, 12 ESV)
We don’t know what to do . . . but are eyes are on you. Our resources are insufficient . . . our best planning won’t cut it . . . even if we could put out 150% effort it wouldn’t be enough. So, O LORD, God of our fathers, we will set our eyes on You.
Maybe not too surprising that when all other avenues are exhausted the next logical step for the believer is to look heavenward. But this morning as I’m noodling on this I’m thinking, Why does it take a great horde for me to look up?
While it’s a great comfort to know that when all else fails we can pray, I’m thinking that maybe I rely too much on my strength and self-sufficiency way too often and miss too many opportunities to fix my eyes on the God of my salvation. That I underestimate the number of “great hordes” I encounter because I overestimate my flesh-bound capability. And thus, I fail to “lift up my eyes to the hills” . . . and I forget to ask, “From where does my help come?” . . . and I falter in remembering that “my help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2).
I’m thinking that I need to heed Solomon’s advice and “not lean on my own understanding” (Prov. 3:5) and realize more often that I really don’t know what to do.
And what to do when you don’t know what to do. Turn Your eyes upon Jesus.
I need to look up . . . look way up. To do as Jehoshaphat did and set my face to seek the LORD with fasting. To be like the people of Judah who assembled and sought help from the LORD. To cast my eyes upon Him who is God in heaven. To know, not just in the desperate situations but in every situation, that He is the one who rules over all the kingdoms . . . and that power and might ARE in His hand . . . and that none is able to withstand Him.
If I didn’t know what to do more often then I’d be setting my mind on things above more consistently.
God, guard me against a spirit of self-sufficiency . . . that my eyes might be on You constantly.
That I might know Your ever present help in every time of need . . . and realize in all things Your all sufficient grace . . . all for Your everlasting glory.