Happy Canada Day, everyone! We are officially in our second half of this memorization journey. This is so exciting.
I haven’t been able to let go of all those kings Israel & Judah had that were either doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD or they were following God, but not wholeheartedly. (see my previous post)
In one of the blogs that I read this week I was reminded of the story of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. The neighboring countries declare war against Judah and King “Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the LORD for guidance.” (verse 3) And he did not just do this by himself, no, he also asked the people of Judah to begin fasting. And in verse 4 it says that “people from all towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD’s help.” And so King Jehoshaphat gets up in front of all the people in the courtyard of the Temple and he prays a lengthy prayer (verses 6-12). And then at the end of his prayer he says “We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” (verse 12b)
It’s amazing to see this picture: Here stands this great King of Judah in front of his people, who have gathered from all over. They’ve come with women and children. And they kind of all look to the King first: What do we do? Wouldn’t you, too? And then they hear their King pray: God, “we do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” WOW! I don’t know what I would have felt when I would have heard my King, my Prime Minister, my Chancellor, say these words.
But then, when I go back and look why all these people had come to Jerusalem, I can see that they don’t just came to see what their King would do or how he would act. It says in verse 4 the people came to “Jerusalem to seek the LORD’s help.” I’m glad their main focus was not on King Jehoshaphat, but their main focus was on their LORD. That’s so amazing to see.
Personally I often tend to look to certain people for, I don’t know, guidance, or confirmation, or motivation, or help. But really, my focus should be on the LORD God, ONLY on HIM!!! Because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters! Whether I’ve been faithful and have followed the LORD God with all my heart. Whether I’ve been obedient to Him, only Him.
After the King’s prayer, a man from the crowd (filled by the Spirit) came forward and spoke these words to the King and the people: “… Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…. you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory… Do not be afraid or discouraged…” (Verses 15b, 17 emphasis mine)
And that’s exactly what happened! The King went to battle, but he did not have to fight. The LORD God won this one for him. How did it happen? The King took along a choir! Can you imagine going to battle with a choir? Well, that’s what he did. And not only did he take the choir along, those poor choir members had to walk in the front, ahead of the soldiers. And the King told them to sing. Yep! I’m sure they might have started out hesitantly, but their voices grew stronger as they marched. They sang, “Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever.”
It says in verse 22 that as soon as “they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.” And by the time the army of Judah got to the lookout point, the battle was over. You can read it all in 2 Chronicles 20.
So, what is my lesson from this story?
1. I have to focus on the LORD God, not on people.
2. Whatever “battle” I’m in, I have to give it to the LORD and have Him fight it for me. (he might want to use me as a choir member, though :<)))
3. Never underestimate giving praise to God. (that reminds me of my last memory verse from Jeremiah 17:14 “…my praises are for you alone.”)
And so, my memory verse this time around is from Psalm 139:23-24:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
What about you? Were are you on your journey with God? What will you memorize? Let’s hear it!