All of us will have battles in our lives. The question is, how will we respond in the face of these battles? In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat was confronted with a “vast army” who had the power to devastate his kingdom. He knew that he and the people needed to fast.
In response to the people fasting, the Lord encouraged Jehoshaphat by saying, “Do not be afraid or discouraged by this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15). Whatever you are facing, we serve a God who wants to fight our battles! When you depend on your Heavenly Father, He is faithful to go before you.
Verse 21 tells us that “Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out to the head of the army saying, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his Love endures forever’.”
Before any sword was raised, praise was lifted up for the victory that the Lord was going to bring. Praise preceded the battle. The chapter goes on to say that “As they began to sing and praise” the Lord began to defeat their enemy. Jehoshaphat’s position of praise released God’s power over the battle that he was facing!
As we fast one of the most important things we can do is to spend time thanking and praising God. Don’t just pray about the problem but praise God knowing that He is a God who solves problems. Whatever battle you are facing, the Lord is faithful to fight for you as you look to Him and praise His name.
2 Chronicles 20:2-3 NIV
2Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 3Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
20:2 One Hebrew manuscript; most Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate Aram
2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NIV
15He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lordsays to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lordwill be with you.’ ”
2 Chronicles 20:21-22 NIV
21After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lordand to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
20:21 Or him with the splendor of
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
22As they began to sing and praise, the Lordset ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
2 Chronicles 20:25 NIV
25So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.
20:25 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts corpses
Psalm 34:9 NIV
9Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.
The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.
Adapted from the James River Fasting and Prayer Plan available on www.bible.com