Code red! Threat level severe! Enemy forces were coming together against Judah. And King Jehoshaphat, sizing up the tri-nation army being assembled against them, came to a most reasonable conclusion, “We are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us.”
Situation desperate. So, what do you do when there’s nothing you can do?
“O our God . . . We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
(2Chronicles 20:12 ESV)
Jehoshaphat was afraid. He had every reason to be. But he “set his face to seek the LORD” and assembled the people to do likewise (20:4). Though the kingdoms of the nations conspired against him and his people, he determined to look to the God of heaven who rules over all the kingdoms of the nations (20:6).
“Our eyes are on You,” declared the king.
Thus, the people cry out to God, and God answers His people.
“Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. . . . Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’'”
(2Chronicles 20:15, 17 ESV)
Okay! That’s encouraging. We’ll stand firm. We’ll hold our position . . . and maybe our breath . . . as we wait to see the LORD’s salvation on our behalf.
But here’s the thing that I’m chewing on this morning. They didn’t wait to worship.
I’m thinking if it were me, I might instead be cautiously optimistic. I wouldn’t want to count my chickens before they were hatched. I’d wait for the win before I sang of the victory. I’d want to actually see the Lord’s deliverance before singing the Lord’s praise. But not Jehoshaphat and Co.
Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.
(2Chronicles 20:18 ESV)
They had cried to the Lord. They had heard the word of the Lord. They believed the promise of the Lord. And so they gave thanks for the steadfast love of the Lord (20:21).
The horde was still approaching. They still had to face the enemy. But instead of preparing weapons, they offered up worship. Tactical planning (which would have been of no use anyway against the horde) gave way to heartfelt praising. Instead of putting his best soldiers on the front line, the king instead sent his best singers to go before the army (20:21).
Fear had given way to faith. And faith is the assurance of things hoped for (Heb. 11:1).
Though yet to be fought, the battle was already won. Though the trial was yet to be faced, the outcome yet to be determined, they were convinced that through Him who loved them, they were more than conquerors (Rom. 8:3).
And that, because “our eyes on You.”
Such is the outworking of His abundant grace. That in all things He might receive the victorious glory.