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Not a Sword, But a Song

One of my all-time favorite Bible stories is found in the book of 2 Chronicles 20. Jehoshaphat was ruling over Israel when the country came under attack from several different directions at once. (Ever been there?) Vast armies were headed their way.

Like any good ruler, Jehoshaphat panicked. No, really. The Bible says he was terrified. But he took his fears and channeled them. He commanded the people to fast and pray. Then he stood before the people and prayed boldly, reminding God of His promises. He cried out (vs. 12): “O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been there hundreds of times. Bill collectors were calling. Medical issues loomed large. Relationship issues threatened my peace. The money for the mortgage payment simply wasn’t there.

But look at what happened next: “As all the men of Judah (Jahaziel) stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there.” (vs. 13/14)

That’s how it works, folks. You channel your fears, your worries, your concerns into prayers. Intense prayers. You stand boldly. You stand TOGETHER (with fellow believers). You don’t give up. And when you live like that, God moves supernaturally.

In this case, He spoke through Jahaziel. He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” (vs. 15-17)

It’s what happens next that always gets me excited. Jehoshaphat makes a decision that might’ve seemed nuts to some. He sends the singers out ahead of the warriors. He put the worshipers on the frontlines. (Where are my praise and worship leaders?!) “After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor.” (vs. 21)

They squared their shoulders, garnered their courage, and began to sing at the top of their lungs: “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!”

Look at what happened next!

At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped. (vs. 22-24)

So, just as Lord said (through Jahaziel) the battle was won, not because of strong warriors or great weaponry (at least not in this case) but because worship, praise, and adoration led the way. They proclaimed their victory before they even saw it.

I don’t know what you’re facing today. I don’t know what armies are threatening to take you down. But I do know the very best strategy you can take is to emulate Jehoshaphat’s battle strategy.

  • 1). Admit your fears (as Jehoshaphat did).
  • 2). Pray.
  • 3). Fast.
  • 4). Gather a team around you.
  • 5). Remind God of His promises.
  • 6). Listen closely as Him reminds you that the battle is already won.
  • 7). With everything that’s inside of you, praise Him as you’re marching head-long into the battle.
  • 8). Watch your enemies turn on each other and ultimately fall.
  • 9). Praise Him some more!

For Jehoshaphat the victory was won the moment that first song was lifted. The same is true of your situation. And mine. You’ll notice that I’m always referencing worship songs/lyrics that have impacted my life. There’s a reason for that. I’m a singer. I’m boldly facing my enemies, not with a sword, but a song.

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