2 Chronicles 20:17 “‘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.'”
I have loved this story for as long as I can remember. Both the scene here, where God speaks this Word through a very ordinary Levite (in contrast to a recognized prophet) and the king and the people receive it in faith, and the scene the next day and following, when they discover exactly how God fulfilled this Word, make me very happy just reading them. Political correctness would require that I sorrow for the deaths of all the people in the invading army, but the point is, those people had set themselves up in direct opposition to God and His people, so God dealt with them as that deserved. There are people in many nations today who have set themselves up against God, causing great distress and suffering for God’s people. God’s response may not be as immediate or as final as it was here, but it is just as certain. There is a whole political movement in the US that has set itself up against Biblical morality on several fronts, but right now we see them tearing themselves apart with infighting, in a manner reminiscent of this story. The point for those who seek to follow God is indeed to stand firm, speaking the truth in love, trusting that God is still God. As Jehoshaphat said in verse 20, “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in His prophets and you will be successful.”
I am not to be too quick to attribute evil motives to people, but I am to be very firm in trusting God. Yesterday I saw a very disturbing report of what is going in in China with the suppression/oppression of religious minorities, and I know that time is limited for the ruling cadre there. I read of what is going on in North Korea and Islamist countries and my heart aches for my brothers and sisters in Christ in those places, but there too, I know that God is still God, and His arm is not shortened nor His strength abated. The Revelation to John makes it very clear that the devil makes a lot of trouble, but his end is already sealed. I am to pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ wherever they are and whatever they are going through, that they may stand firm in the assurance that “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) For that matter, I need to keep remembering that myself! My challenges probably won’t be as dramatic as that faced by King Jehoshaphat, but the answer is still the same: trusting obedience.
Father, thank You for this reminder, and for this marvelous record of Your gracious plan. We do face challenges every day. May we not be anxious, but move out against them in faith, just as You told Jehoshaphat, so that Your plans may be fulfilled for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!