November 21, 2015

2 Chronicles 20:12 “O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

I have always loved the story of Jehoshaphat recorded in this chapter. This verse is absolutely key in understanding what happened. Kings have never been known for humility, but here Jehoshaphat, before God and before all the people, confesses Judah’s collective inability to deal with the situation that confronts them. His focus is on God, first and foremost, and that’s never a bad thing. God responded gloriously, and all Judah had to do, literally, was pick up the pieces, but it came from the attitude expressed in this verse. Many years ago a friend of mine pointed out how people say things like, “All I had was the Lord,” as though that were a bad thing, when actually it is the very best position to be in. We really are in that position much more than we realize, but the problem is that we keep searching for other things besides the Lord to depend on. How foolish! Actually, the entire universe is totally dependent on God. He spoke it into existence, and without Him it would disintegrate. (Colossians 1:17) Astrophysicists speak of “cosmic glue” and “dark energy” to try to explain why the universe doesn’t just dissolve into chaos. They need to read the Bible! The amazing thing about all of this is that God really does care about people, who seem so utterly insignificant on the cosmic scale. When we turn to Him in humility and trust as Jehoshaphat did, He delights to work on our behalf. From our extremely limited perspective we usually don’t know what would be best, but trusting obedience is the attitude that liberates us to receive and enjoy God’s best for us.

I too have been sadly prone to trust in things other than God, and I still have that temptation. However, I have a lot of experience under my belt to teach me how foolish that is. I have learned that trusting God isn’t passive, and it isn’t “gimme.” “God helps those who help themselves” is a proverb that is NOT in the Bible, but it is true that we have to be willing to participate in what God wants to do for and through us. Paul was quite explicit on that point. (1 Corinthians 15:10) I must not draw back from anything the Lord directs me to do, however hard it might seem or be, but I must always remember that the power and wisdom necessary are in Him and not in me. I must not rely on myself, but neither am I to be anxious about anything, because He is totally reliable.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for bringing Cathy and me through her hospitalization and back surgery, and that You will take us through her recovery from this point as well. Thank You that You will be equally faithful when she has brain surgery in February. Things like this really sharpen our focus on what is important! Help us rest, relax, and rejoice in You, doing each thing You direct without complaining, but not gathering things to do that You aren’t directing either, so that all of Your plans for us may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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