Based on 2 Chronicles 20
From a Sermon by Rev. Sam Henderson
By Guy K. Henry
Have you ever been afraid? Have you ever worried? Have you ever felt like you’ve been defeated? If so, follow with me and watch how the Lord likes to fight battles!
Two young solider boys hid themselves in the craggy mountain tops that surrounded the city of Jerusalem. Their eyes were wide and their mouths dropped open as they took in the sight of the thousands of soldiers that surrounded Israel’s biggest city. These troops were not friends of the Israelites. They were the enemy, and they had come to fight God’s chosen people.
“We must tell the king that we have seen enemy so that he will not be surprised,” whispered Seth the younger.
“Yes, we must go,” agreed Jed as his hand grasped the handle of his sword, “but we must take care not to be caught.”
Together the two boys skillfully climbed down the rocky mountain. They did their best to stay hidden behind the rocks.
The sun had just about set when they came to the gates of Jerusalem.
“Let us in!” called Jed.
“We have an urgent message for King Jehosaphat!” Seth yelled.
The men who guarded the gates let their fellow soldiers into the city.
“You will find the king praying at the temple,” one of the guards said.
The two boys sprinted to the temple where they found the king.
“Oh king!” panted Seth, “We bring terrible news!”
Jehosaphat lifted his head and gazed at the two young soldiers. He noticed that not only were they out of breath from running, but that they were shaking from fright.
“What is it?” asked King Jehosaphat as he stood up.
“We were on top of the mountain,” began Jed.
Seth interrupted, “There are thousands of enemy solders surrounding the city!”
“We think,” Jed said as he glared at Seth, “that our enemies from Moab and Ammon have joined together and come to fight us.”
“And perhaps more from other countries,” added Seth.
Now Jehosaphat was shaking with fear. “Did you say thousands?”
Both boys shook their heads.
The king fell again to his knees and signaled for Seth and Jed to join him.
“We must pray that Jehovah will show us what to do,” the king said.
Before he began to pray he called out to one of his servants. “Tell the messengers to spread the news that our enemies have come to fight us. I command the people to pray and not to eat until the Lord shows us what He wants us to do.”
As the news spread throughout the city and the land the people began to ask the Lord to help them. From the mighty king to the youngest child, everyone was praying.
God heard Jehosaphat’s prayer as he lay with his face in the dirt floor. God heard the prayers of the adults as they held each other’s hands. God heard the prayers of the boys and girls as they prayed simply, “Help us Lord!”
As He always did, God not only listened to their prayers, but He also answered them. God picked one man, Jahaziel, to take His message to the king. Jahaziel had been in his house praying with his family when he felt God’s spirit near him.
“Oh Lord I ask…” Then Jahaziel stopped. His family looked at him and wondered what he was doing.
“Father, Father,” his youngest son said as he tugged on his daddy’s robe.
Jahaziel listened carefully to what God told him. Only he heard God’s spirit, so the rest of his family was quite confused!
“I must go to the king,” Jahaziel finally spoke. “The Lord has given me a message for Jehosaphat.”
He stood up and dashed to the door. Before leaving he turned back to his oldest son and said, “You stay here and keep on praying.” Then he ran into the street to find the king.
A while later Jahaziel stood outside the temple.
“Stop!” barked one of the king’s guards. “Where do you think you are going?”
“I must see the king,” Jahaziel said desperately, “the Lord has answered our prayers and given me a message for the king!”
The guard believed him and stepped aside. “Go, the king is inside.”
Jehosaphat was still laying flat on the ground praying when Jahaziel knelt beside him. “Oh king,” he said, “Jehovah has given me a message for you.”
The king turned his face towards Jahaziel. “Please help me up,” he asked as he lifted his hand towards Jahaziel. As soon as they were both standing Jehosaphat looked at Jahaziel and said, “The message, tell me the Lord’s message.”
At once Jahaziel told the King exactly what the Lord had told him. “Listen people of Judah and Jerusalem. Listen King Jehosaphat. This is what the Lord said to you.”
The king listened without interrupting.
“Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged by the size of your enemy.” Jahaziel spoke.
The king thought for a moment. He had been afraid of the enemy. Up until then he could not imagine how his army could fight against the much bigger armies of his enemies.
Jahaziel continued to speak the message that the Lord had given to him. “This will not be your battle.”
Jehosaphat was confused. “Whose battle is it?” he thought.
“This battle belongs to God. God Himself will fight this battle for you,” Jahaziel said. “Tomorrow, go to where the enemy is and wait.”
The king shuddered as he thought about even seeing his enemy.
Jahaziel then smiled and said, “You will not need to fight in this battle. All that the Lord expects you and his people to do is to go out into the field and stand still and watch.”
Jehosaphat had not heard a plan like this before.
Jahaziel explained, “You will watch how the Lord saves you from your enemy.”
The king swallowed and waited for Jahaziel to finish the Lord’s message.
“Oh people of Judah and Jerusalem,” his voice echoed off of the walls of the temple. “Tomorrow you will go out and face your enemies. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the LORD will be with you.”
The king’s servants had been listening to Jahaziel speak the Lord’s message. The king clapped his hands together twice which signaled them to come to him. “Servants,” the king ordered, “go and run up and down every street of the city and the land and shout out the message that the Lord God has given to Jahaziel.”
The group of servants spoke together and said, “Yes my master!” Then they ran out from the temple.
Jehosaphat then returned to prayer. Now he prayed differently. Before he had been begging and pleading with God to make the enemy go away. Now he joyously shouted.
“Thank you! Oh Lord Thank you!” the king sang, “You are good. You are kind and you are faithful!”
When the Lord’s message spread throughout the country, the people’s prayers changed too. Now happy singing and loud praises could be heard coming from all the houses. People danced in the streets and lifted their hands towards the sky.
That night as the enemies of God’s people made camp, some of the men thought they heard happy singing coming from Jerusalem. One of the soldiers drifted off to sleep saying, “Just wait, tomorrow we will show them!”
Everyone in Jerusalem woke up early the next morning. The very young and the very old gathered together. The rich stood near the poor. The soldiers marched with the children. By the time the sun had fully risen, all of God’s people stood in the middle of the wilderness and faced towards their enemy. Aside from the occasional sound of a crying baby, all was quiet.
Then King Jehosaphat climbed on top of a large boulder and spoke to the crowd. “Listen!” he shouted. “Believe in the Lord your God so that He may build you up. Believe the Lord’s prophets, so that you will do well!.”
The people listened carefully and passed the king’s words to those who were too far away to hear him.
Then Jehosaphat picked a large group of people and told them to start singing praises to the Lord. He said, “I want you to loudly praise the Lord about how wonderful and great He is to us.”
Quickly the people began to sing and lift their hands towards the sky. Soon the sounds of their praises echoed off the sides of the nearby hills.
“Lord you are great and holy!”
“Oh I give thanks to you Lord, for you are good!”
“Thank you God!”
“You have saved us!”
The sounds of praise filled the land and reached the ears of their enemies.
The enemy troops glared at God’s people standing in the wilderness.
“Look at those helpless fools!” sneered one Moabite general in disbelief. “I think that they actually want us to kill them and carry their children off as slaves.”
Another Moabite laughed and added, “They don’t even have weapons and look, the soldiers are standing next to the little children!”
“Let’s get ‘em,” the general snorted as he put on his armor.
The Lord loved the praises of his people. He looked at them and smiled. He then looked at their enemy and His face turned angry.
God’s people sang even as their enemies came closer and closer.
Then the Lord caused the Moabite, the Ammonite, and all the other enemy soldiers to become very confused. They were so confused that instead of fighting the Israelites, they began to fight against their own soldiers!
It didn’t take very long for the armies to kill each other as God’s people continued their singing and praising.
After a while Jehosaphat sent one of his soldiers to a watch tower so that he could learn what had happened to his enemy.
The man climbed to the top and put his hand to his forehead to shield his eyes from the sun. He looked from the left to the right. All that he saw were dead enemy soldiers. None had escaped. When he reported this news to Jehosaphat, the praises of God’s people swelled even louder!!! Jehovah had fought and won their battle for them!
Romans 8:31b “…If God be for us, who can be against us?
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever”
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
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