Reading: 2 Chronicles 20: 1-19
1 After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle.
2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, "A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazontamar" (that is, Engedi).
3 Then Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
6 and said, "O LORD, God of our fathers, art thou not God in heaven? Dost thou not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? In thy hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee.
7 Didst thou not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and give it for ever to the descendants of Abraham thy friend?
8 And they have dwelt in it, and have built thee in it a sanctuary for thy name, saying,
9 'If evil comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house, and before thee, for thy name is in this house, and cry to thee in our affliction, and thou wilt hear and save.'
10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy --
11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit.
12 O our God, wilt thou not execute judgment upon them? For we are powerless against this great multitude that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon thee."
13 Meanwhile all the men of Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
14 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.
15 And he said, "Hearken, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, 'Fear not, and be not dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but God's.
16 Tomorrow go down against them; behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz; you will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel.
17 You will not need to fight in this battle; take your position, stand still, and see the victory of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Fear not, and be not dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you."
18 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.
19 And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
Judah was about to be invaded by foreign forces, so naturally, the King and all the people of Judah were afraid. They began to panic and did not know what to do. In the moment of their confusion, the king of Judah, King Jehoshapat suddenly remembered God.
He called all his people together, including their wives and children and ordered them to fast and to have intercession with God. He brought all his people before God in His Holy Temple and pleaded to God for help. He told God of the likely invasion of Judah by foreign forces.
Here, we see a man, who loved God and trusted God all the days of his life. Instead of facing and tackling the problem himself, he put God first and prayed to Him for help. We saw God answering King Jehoshapat's prayers, and comforted him with these words: 'Don't be afraid and discouraged, the battle is not yours, but Gods'. Later on as we read the passage, we found that the foreign forces fought among one another and died. Judah was saved.
Have we ever placed God first in our lives? In times of trouble and despair, it is natural for us to try and handle and solve these problems ourselves, which often gave us frustration and anger.
We can learn from King Jehoshapat. When an organisation is faced with problems, the leader can call his staff together and pray to God for help. In World Vision, we can often pray for the poor, the sick and dying, people faced with famines, floods and earth quakes .
The head of the house can gather his family together to pray for love ones, those who are sick and those who are lost.
The Lord will answer our prayers and He will comfort us with the same words "Don't be afraid and discouraged, the battle is not yours, but God's."
Let's sing - I’m So Happy"
Heavenly Father, teach us to place you first in our lives. Remind us that there is a God who is prepared bo help and guide us in time of distress and despair, if we in the first place are willing to submit ourselves to you. Help us to walk and trust you day by day.