Taught at Langley Avenue Church of God
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Verse 18 & 19 – Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with very loud voice.
Jehoshaphat bowed himself and worshipped. And all of Judah worshipped God for his answer to their situation. What they were doing was thanking God and praising him for the victory that had not come in the natural but they were accepting in the spiritual realm. A miracle is simply the physical reality (what we see) and the spiritual reality (what is true) coming together because of the power of God. We have to begin now thanking God for the victories in our lives, for the miracles we do see yet, but are soon manifesting themselves to us. We want to wait until the battle is over and then thank God, but we have to begin before we even see the answers to praise him. For we walk by faith and not by sight. And as we praise what happens is, we bring the spiritual reality closer so that the physical reality (what we see) and the spiritual reality (what is) become one. And at the moment we experience the miracles of God.
Verse 20 – Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat 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.
So the people rose early in the morning and trusted in what the prophet had told them. A note, do you realize a lot of scripture talks about how individuals rose early after getting an answer that means, “move quickly” when God gives you directions. Move early in the situation, move quickly before the enemy comes and tries to convince you the answer is not truly from God. See had they waited, they may have begun to doubt the answer for it was indeed a strange one. The scripture also says, believe his prophets and so shall ye prosper. Ahab had refused to listen to the word of God and because of his disobedience he died. But Jehoshaphat was listening and heeding the word of God and because of it he would prosper. Disobedience and sin leads to death, but trust and faith in God will prosper the soul of man. Who do you want to be? Do you want to be Ahab calling on God, but having no intention of heeding and therefore setting yourself up for a spiritual death? Or do you want to be like Jehoshaphat and not only seek God, but obey all that he commands and therefore, prosper in the ways of God? Do you want the message of God coming to you as a rebuke or do you want the word of God to come to you as a word of encouragement? Then you must chose to do either as Ahab did and die or as Jehoshaphat and live.
Verse 21 through 24 – After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.
We know the rest of this story; the singers go out before the army and sing songs of praise to God. God sets an ambush against the enemy and they win the battle. There are a few things that are important to note here. All that had come against Judah were destroyed. Not one enemy was left. And the amazing part is the people did not have to lift one finger to do anything. Image if you will what it must have been like to think about going into battle without any weapons. No sword, or shield. Yet the people did have armor. Their armor was praise. One of the greatest weapons we have in our spiritual warfare is our prayer and praise. We cannot even enter into the king’s court without praise. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise (Psalm 100:4).
What does this mean? When we enter into our battles following God’s directives, we can come through to the other side of the battle without carrying the scar of the battle. The men of Judah came through this battle without being wounded, scarred or tired. In the fight with Ahab, the men were tired, bruised and defeated from the battle, because God was not in the battle with them. Jehoshaphat however had God with him and he was given the victory. God will give those that are obedient to him, victory in the battles. And we can come through more than conquers. We can come through our battles without the scars of what we have gone through. And not only that but the enemy is destroyed on every avenue with no trace left. So the battles we face are not half won, but completely won with no trace of the enemy left to defeat us in this battle.