There are several interesting stories about Judah’s King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 17 through part of 21. One particular story was recently brought to my attention by my dear wife; the story of a battle against three neighboring armies in chapter 20. The story begins with the king’s alarm at hearing about the impending threat. Another translation says he was afraid. An army of Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites came to make war with him.
This has been a week for me in which I have succumbed to fear on several accounts. I was being threatened by fears of my enemies, and I had to do battle.
- COVID is back, attacking friends, and causing me to fear for us all.
- The news is full of tragedies, as in Afghanistan, causing sadness and fear.
- Physical maladies are pressing in, causing me fear of being old and in the way.
Experiencing mild depression, and irritability with those I love most, I needed help from the Lord. I needed help to get out of this funk I’ve been in. I needed a rescue. I needed to break the chains of fear from overcoming me. It is hard to ask for help, but I began by reading this passage of scripture, hoping for a rescue.
In the king’s alarm, he did some things:
- He inquired of the LORD and proclaimed a fast for all of Judah.
- He and the people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD.
- He prayed to the LORD, acknowledging His greatness and faithfulness, asking for the LORD to help, acknowledging no power to face the vast army. “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
- He listened to what the Spirit of the LORD spoke to the assembled people, to not be afraid or discouraged, “for the battle is not yours, but God’s”. “Take up your positions, then stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you.” “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.”
- He and all the people bowed down in worship and praised the LORD with very loud voice.
- He led the people into battle singing, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His love endures forever”, and the LORD annihilated the vast army.
- He led the people home rejoicing over their enemies.
Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit I need your help. I am in desperate need. I feel like a sinking ship. I’m having dreadful thoughts. I’m miserable. What can I do? I try prayer. I try different activities, try reading, try exercise, try taking a nap. LORD, you have been so good to me, to us, to our family. We have recounted the ways. I know your presence is with me. Why do I feel so overcome? I feel surrounded by my enemy. LORD open my eyes to see the unseen realm – to see the reality of your mighty army fighting for me.
Sunday came, and I felt like staying home, but my dear wife urged me with “let’s get to church”. I was encouraged to “set (my) heart on things above … and set (my) mind on things above”. I was reminded that I am “one of God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved”. I was encouraged to sing spiritual songs, being overwhelmed with gratitude for the messages to my own heart and mind. I worshipped. Monday evening came, and we have worshipped again, our family group has come together singing the old hymns of the faith. I have had time to recollect how my experience gave me the opportunity to encourage a couple of brothers Sunday and Monday. I feel that God is rescuing me from a pit. I am thankful. The battle belongs to the LORD. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”
Chris Willadsen August 31, 2021