Taught at Langley Avenue Church of God
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
II Chronicles 20
Verse 15 though 17 – 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. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' "
The answer was don’t be afraid of this multitude, for the battle is not yours but God. So he tells them to go down, and they won’t need to fight but they will only need to set themselves in place and be still and watch the salvation of the Lord.
What does this mean? Jehoshaphat tried to do things in his own way when he aligned himself with Ahab. Maybe in his mind he thought he might be able to bring back the broken kingdom through his son that had married Ahab’s daughter. Maybe he was willing to overlook Ahab’s sinful way, for he thought he might be able to have faith in what could become of this relationship. Whatever the reason, Jehoshaphat could not trust in his alliance with Israel. Yet, he could trust in his alliance with God. He was putting his faith in the wrong place when he was trusting in his relationship with Ahab. But by putting his faith in God, he was saying I will align myself up with what God is saying and when I do, I will see the salvation of the Lord.
There are times we put our faith and total expectations in people and God is telling us not to do it because we are setting ourselves up to be let down. I don’t mean we cannot have some expectations in others, but God is the only one that we are to look to for our completeness, for our total joy and happiness. God was telling Jehoshaphat I am greater than this multitude and you are not going into this battle alone. The ones you thought would stand with you or that would go into battles with you are not there, but have in fact become part of the cause of the battle, but I am still there. When your own brother will forsake you, I will never leave you or forsake you. And you don’t have to be afraid because you will not have to fight, but I will.
But you do have to do something; you have to show up for the battle. We don’t always want to show up for the situations and circumstances we are in, instead we want them gone and we want to hide our heads in the sand, but we have to show up. We have to come and take our place. And like a tree planted when the storms blow around us, we can stay rooted in our place in God and the storm will not blow us over. And then he tells them to be still.
Do you know what it means to be still? To be still means to be unmovable, motionless, at rest, tranquil, silent. So when God tells Jehoshaphat to be still what he is saying, do not move in your own thoughts anymore. Do not move to the left or the right, but stand instead. Be at rest and at peace and feel my joy, for the joy of the Lord is my strength. Be silent do not be restless for that is fear at work, but be tranquil or still because you know who’s battle this belongs to. And when you stand, unmoved, unchanged, you will see me show up and bring salvation. I will save you from everything that the enemy is trying to bring your way. And because God is so merciful he will tell us when we move, to get up and stand still. You know what happens, we decide it must be time for us to advance or move and we make a step in our own power, what happens? We slip and fall. So in his mercy he tells us get up, and keep standing. So if you have been moving when God has said be still and you slip, stop moving, get up and be still. God says, Get up, and stand still. Stand still so I can work.