2 Chronicles 20, How To Handle Scary Situations
1. Set Yourself To Seek The Lord (v1-12)
2. Wait To Hear From The Lord (v13-19)
3. Make Plans Based On The Word Of The Lord (v20-23)
4. Rejoice Over The Victory Of The Lord (v24-27)
2 Chronicles 20, How To Handle Scary Situations
2 Chronicles 20, How To Handle Scary Situations
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Here in 2 Chronicles Chapter 20, we have one of those passages that stands out among the rest that that when you go through 2 Chronicles, this is probably one that you are familiar with, one that is enjoyable to revisit as you see this incredible situation unfold and the way that God works in the life of Jehoshaphat.
In the midst of really a crisis, a very scary situation that he is facing.
And so I've titled the message this morning.
How to handle scary situations and we're going to look at Jehoshaphat and how he handled how he processed, how he reacted to the things that were happening as a as a good example for us, he really sets a model for us to follow as we face scary situations now for Jehoshaphat.
Genuinely was a scary situation.
It tells us that he feared there.
In verse three, it says Jehoshaphat feared he was afraid he was scared because these three kingdoms.
Ammon, Moab, and Edom all joined forces against the nation of Judah, and so the nation of Judah again, this is after the Kingdom of Israel has been split into, and so the decline of the nation has really been happening significantly up to Jehoshaphat's reign.
And so, although this is the outline, the green portion there on the map is the tribe of Judah after the Kingdom is split.
We would understand that the borders have shrunk since then.
And since the the initial split happened that they've been losing ground as a result of their disobedience to God and unfaithfulness to God and the nation is diminishing continually, and now these other three nations across the Dead Sea, from them and down South below them, these three nations join forces.
And it really becomes a huge multitude.
Four times it tells us that the gathering together of these three nations forms a great multitude there.
In verse 2, some came and told Jehosophat, saying a great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea.
But you can read verse two and.
Think, well, you know they were fearful they were scared.
Maybe they're just exaggerating.
Maybe it's not actually a great multitude.
Maybe it's just you know, kind of looks big.
There's a lot of dust, but maybe not that many soldiers.
But actually, as you work your way through the chapter, you'll find that in verse 15 God himself refers to this.
Gathering of enemies as a great multitude.
So it's not just an exaggeration.
It's not just fear speaking.
This is a legitimately huge threat against Jehoshaphat and against the.
People of Judah.
And so they're facing this great difficulty.
This very scary situation.
And realistically they are on the verge.
Of defeat, they're on the verge of being caught.
Period and whatever that may entail, and whatever may unfold after that.
You know, once a nation is conquered, anything goes that they might be left, you know, and just taken all the treasures away.
Or they might be taken into captivity.
They might be taken prisoner, they might all be slaughtered.
I mean, there's there's no rules or regulations.
When it comes to warfare like this, right?
And so it truly is a scary situation.
Their lives are on the line.
Their lives are at stake and and they're feeling the pressure of.
Fit and Jehoshaphat responds and reacts to this in a way that again sets for us a model.
We get to consider and learn from him how to handle scary situations.
And so there's four points that we'll look at from Jehoshaphat's example four points to help us consider our own situations.
And your scary situation might not be a physical attack of an army.
Hopefully you're not experiencing that situation, but that is a situation that many people face around the world, and so it is a real circumstance in situation that would apply for this as.
Well, maybe your circumstance is not the combination of three armies joining together, but maybe it's three bills joining together and the three bills have joined together and present a very real threat against you.
Or, or maybe it's a family situation.
Or maybe you know there's workplace issues.
Maybe it's just you know virus and.
Health issues, maybe it's it could be anything that causes us to fear.
Just as Jehoshaphat feared.
Fear is a thing that we face.
It's an emotion that we experience and we need to learn how to experience it and then take it to the Lord to really trust him with the situation.
And so that's what we're going to learn how to do through jehoshaphat's example, starting and verses one through 12. We'll see point number one this morning, and that is.
Set yourself to seek the Lord.
Set yourself to seek the Lord.
Look at verse three and four.
It says Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the Lord.
And proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
Jehoshaphat first sets himself to seek the Lord.
And in doing so he calls all of Judah the whole nation to join with him.
And so it tells us that they all gather together.
They all come to Jerusalem, where the temple still is under Jehoshaphat's reign. They all come to Jerusalem to the temple.
Specifically to seek the Lord, they're all feeling the pressure.
They're all feeling the fear they're experiencing the uncertainty of what is to come, and so the nation responds and joins with Jehoshaphat to seek the Lord.
It tells us first, though, that he set himself to seek the Lord.
This was a purposeful thing that he did.
He set himself, he put himself in a position where he would be able to seek the Lord.
You know, sometimes when pressure is applied in our lives.
We can be a bit frantic and we can be thinking about all the solutions and all the opportunities.
And it's interesting to consider the example of Jehoshaphat.
Here, in contrast to his father ASA, we looked at his example on Wednesday and saw that when he was under pressure, what he did was he scrambled to make a plan.
He made a negotiation with the king of Syria and arranged for the king of Syria to come and attack his enemy and distract them so that he would be saved from the attack and and instead of relying upon the Lord, he came up with a plan.
He executed the plan.
It was successful.
The plan went wonderfully, in fact.
Just as as he had planned it and it couldn't have gone any better than he had planned.
It was a perfect execution of a plan that worked successfully.
But then God rebuked him and said.
Because you relied on the king of Syria and not on me, you're gonna have trouble for the rest of your life.
That was Josh's dad.
But now Jehoshaphat is facing the situation, and perhaps he has in mind this experience that his father had, we don't know.
But he handles it differently.
Instead of seeking a treaty, instead of trying to find another enemy that's bigger than these three enemies to come and deal with the situation, he sets himself to seek the Lord.
He wants to find out what does God want in the midst of this situation, and there's a lot of verses here, and a lot of things that we won't be able to get through in detail, but I want to give you just a few things that few glimpses of what Jehoshaphat was doing as he set himself to seek the Lord.
And so here's Jehoshaphat.
Recipe for seeking the Lord.
First, fast and pray.
He proclaims a fast.
It tells us in verse three throughout all Judah, he says, everybody.
That is, let's take a break from our normal meals so that we can pray.
And so all of the nation gathered together.
Notice it says in verse four, to ask help from the Lord.
So they're fasting and they're praying they're asking God for help.
I think it's important to understand when it comes to the idea of fasting that it is not a arm wrestling match with God.
It's not a hunger strike God.
I'm not going to eat until you do what I want you to do.
Sometimes fasting is used as a kind of a negotiation tactic with the Lord.
Right, as in you know I can apply pressure to him to to get what I want, but that is a not a great view and not a good understanding of fasting.
Fasting is a means for us to take away some of our routine and have our bodies have a built in mechanism to remind us.
To be seeking the Lord that is, you don't eat and so.
Your stomach growls and it gives you an opportunity every time your stomach growls to remember.
Oh yes, I'm supposed to be seeking the Lord, you know, seeking the Lord sometimes can be quite challenging.
There's day to day stuff happening.
There's life that is going on around us and sometimes we need that that special protected time of.
This is dedicated time for the Lord, even though we might be about some normal business, even though we might be going about some routines that the fast is not a technique to try to make God or force God into something, it's for us.
To be able to align our hearts and to consistently and repeatedly align our hearts to God and to remember to call out to God and rely upon him.
Pastor David Guzik puts it this way.
Wait, it isn't as if prayer and fasting make us more worthy to be blessed or do God's work.
It is that prayer and fasting draw us closer to the heart of God, and they put us more in line with his power.
This is what fasting is for. It's to help us align our hearts with God's heart, and again it really calls back to Wednesday as we looked at 2 Chronicles Chapter 16 and the life of his father, ASA.
When when the Lord rebuked ASA for lying upon Syria, instead of relying upon the Lord, it went with this great exhortation.
In 2 Chronicles, Chapter 16, verse 9.
The Lord told ASA the eyes of the Lord Run to and fro throughout the whole Earth.
To show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal.
And we saw then that that God is not reluctant.
To come to the aid of his people.
He's not reluctant to work in great strength on behalf of people he is looking for those whose hearts are aligned with his.
He can show himself strong so that he can work in their lives and on their behalf because their their will is his will and their desire is to please him and and they.
Want what God wants?
Their hearts are aligned with his and so this is what Jehoshaphat does. He aligns his heart with God's heart.
And he calls the people to join with him in it.
Let's fast and pray.
Let's seek out the mind of God.
Let's seek out God's will again. It's not a we're going to go on a hunger strike to make God defeat this enemy for us. But no, no.
We're going to.
Go on a hunger strike to beat down our fleshly desires, to come up with a plan and to try to handle this ourselves and and to seek the mind of the Lord and find out what.
Is it that?
He wants in the midst of this situation.
And so they would fast.
The next part of the recipe will jump into verse.
Six is to.
Remember who God is.
And verse 6.
Jehoshaphat says, oh, Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven?
And do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations?
And in your hand is there not power, and might, so that no one is able to withstand.
You hear it begins the records the beginning of Jehoshaphat prayers.
All of Judah gathers together.
And he begins his prayer, remembering who God is, and in a sense he's reminding God of who he is, right?
But he's recognizing God.
You are the God of our fathers, and you could think back in all of the history of the things that God has done through them.
Under Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.
Under Moses and Joshua and and those that have gone before them, the Prophet Samuel and King David, that that you are God the same God of these guys who experienced your great work and deliverance.
And God, you rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.
God rules over all the kingdoms of the nations, Jehoshaphat says.
Let me remember who God is.
You know, sometimes we get all worked up over the little local rulers that you know we have to encounter or face or experience the consequences of their decisions, right?
But God rules over all the rulers of all the nations.
He's above them all.
There's there's none who has greater authority than him, or out of his sphere of influence.
God in your hand is power and might.
So that nobody can withstand you.
There is no person, there's no nation.
There's no work.
There's no plots that can withstand.
The work of God, the will of God.
And so Jehoshaphat begins by reflecting on.
And reminding God about who he is, not 'cause God needed the reminder, but to have that did he, he needed to remember as he goes to God in prayer for this very scary situation, he's encouraging himself by remembering and reflecting on.
God, you're big.
Although this situation is scary.
Although this threat is real and and the danger is real Lord.
Are you not the God who rules over all you have power and might.
And you can do whatever needs to be done.
The second or the third part of the recipe is to remember what God has done.
Verse seven, are you not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham your friend?
Forever he he starts by thinking back.
Not only is God big, but God has worked in our lives.
God has worked in our nation and he's the one who gave us this land and drove out the inhabitants of the land.
Here Jehoshaphat is also remembering what God has said.
In verse eight, he says they dwell in it.
And have built you a sanctuary in it for your name saying.
If disaster comes upon us sword judgment, pestilence or famine, we will stand before this temple and in your presence.
For your name is in the temple and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.
Here in Jehoshaphat's prayer he is really calling back to the dedication of the temple that we saw in 2 Chronicles chapter six and seven, where Solomon, as he finishes the temple, he prays and asked God to hear when his people experienced difficulty, scary situations.
And gather together to pray at the temple and to pray to the Lord or seek the Lord from where they are.
And so Jehoshaphat is referring back to this in his prayer.
And in 2 Chronicles, chapter seven, he the Lord, responds to Solomon's prayer, and.
Says I will do that.
When my people.
Who are called by my name, right? 2 Chronicles 714. That famous verse, when they gather together when they seek my face.
I will hear and I will heal.
And I will work.
And so Jehoshaphat is calling back to these things that have been said by the Lord.
He's reminding himself, he's reminding the Lord, not because the Lord needs it, but because he needs it.
He's claiming this promise of God and saying, God, this is what you said.
This is where we are.
We're in in the exact circumstance.
That is described there.
And really, we're facing this enemy because we obeyed you previously.
In verse 10 and 11, he says, and now here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt.
But they turned from them and did not destroy them.
Here they are rewarding us by coming to you to throw us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
These three nations.
God says when we were I'm sorry.
Jehoshaphat says when we were coming out of Egypt and heading into the promised Land God, you told us not to destroy these nations.
We went around them.
We didn't conquer them.
Just like you said.
But now these three nations that you told us to leave there alone, they're coming to try to kick us out of the possession that you have given to us when you gave.
US this possession.
This is your work.
This is what you have said and so here Jehoshaphat is just immersing himself and who God is, what God has done, what God has said.
And then he wraps it up with a confession of dependence upon God.
I guess I gotta stop yelling at you guys, OK?
Alright verse 12.
Oh our God, will you not judge them, for we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do.
But our eyes are upon you.
Here, Jehoshaphat as he is setting himself to seek the Lord.
He's fasting, he's praying.
He is remembering who God is the mighty works of God and the words of God.
And he is saying.
Kate Lloyd, with all that in mind.
US compared to you.
US compared to this multitude, that's coming against us.
Also, we're nothing.
But this multitude, compared to you, Lord, you're much greater than this threat that we face.
We have no power against this great multitude.
And we have no idea what to do.
Think about the nation of Judah at this time.
You're in the nation of Judah.
King Jehoshaphat summons everyone to come and seek the Lord.
Jehoshaphat announces guys.
We've got a great threat against us.
And I'm here to tell you I have no idea what to do.
As a citizen of Judah, how do you feel right?
This isn't very comforting.
Our King, our leader, doesn't know what to do.
This is not what most kings would confess.
But he does.
He's open, he's real.
And he says guys, I I have.
No idea what to do.
And God, here we are in this prayer.
We don't have any idea.
What to do but?
But our eyes are upon you.
Because of who you are.
Because of what you've said, because of what you've done previously.
Lord, we're here.
To hear from you.
What do you want to do in this?
Situation the commentator, Martin Selman says the final phrase we do not know what to do but our eyes are upon you is one of the most touching expressions of trust in God to be found anywhere in the Bible.
To recognize one's weakness.
Is a position of much.
To set yourself to seek the Lord.
Means that you will come to God.
With the dependence upon him.
That you will come to God, not with your agendas, and not with your ideas and your plans and purposes, but but that you would come to God to hear from him, and.
And although that feels weak for us to not have the answers to not have the plans to not know what to do, although that feels weak for us.
It is actually the position of much strength.
To depend upon God.
To seek his heart because the eyes of the.
Lord, run to and fro throughout the whole earth.
Looking to show himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to him.
And so, when your heart's loyal to God, even if that means you have no clue for your life, you have no clue to how to handle the situation. Even if you have clues. But you don't know if they're of the Lord or not.
When you confess dependence upon God.
And you recognize that you don't have what you need.
You don't have the power.
You don't have the intelligence.
You don't have the wisdom.
It's a position of much strength.
It's something we need to learn about these scary situations.
To set ourselves to seek the Lord again, it's so.
Easy for us.
Or common for us to be quick to trying to find a solution ourselves to come up with a plan to try to engineer some sort of response or reaction.
Some sort of solution to the situation?
But set yourself to seek the Lord.
Position yourself in such a way that you don't rely upon yourself that you're maybe even suspicious of the solutions that you come up with.
Set yourself in such a way that that you don't automatically do what you think.
You should do.
That you seek the Lord.
And that you make sure.
That you receive from him that as you confess, your dependence upon him, that then you actually rely upon him and depend upon him for the next step for the answers and direction and insights that he wants to bring.
Pastor Alistair Begg.
That if dependence is the objective.
Then weakness is an advantage.
If dependence is the objective.
Then weakness it's an advantage.
Because it puts us in a place.
Of trusting in the Lord of seeking the Lord, weakness is helpful for us.
Again, it's not pleasant.
It's not what we desire, and it's not necessarily what you want to hear from leaders.
Well, we don't know what to do.
But let's learn to.
From leaders and from.
Our own selves.
I don't know what to do.
I don't have the answers for this scary situation.
Don't underestimate the fear that is going on here.
This is a real threat and there's great pressure to have an answer to have a resolution.
But Jehoshaphat sets himself to seek the Lord.
We can't just respond, we can't just react.
We can't just come up with a plan.
We need to hear from the Lord and that leads us into the following verses. Verses 13 through 19 gives us point #2 this morning and that is wait to hear from the Lord.
It's one thing to set yourself to.
Seek the Lord.
And it's a further step now to then hold that course.
Until the Lord responds.
Hear from God, what does he have to say?
Verse 13 says.
Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives and their children, stood before the Lord.
Then the spirit of the Lord came upon GCL the son of Zechariah the son of Benaiah, the.
Son of jail.
The son of Matsonia, a Levite of the sons of SPF in the midst of the assembly.
And he said, listen, all of you of Judah and you, inhabitants of Jerusalem and you King Jehoshaphat.
Thus says the Lord to you, do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude.
For the battle is not yours, but God's.
As Jehoshaphat sets himself to seek the Lord and invites all of Judah to join with him to seek.
The Lord they do.
They pray they call out to God and now God is going to give an answer through this prophet who speaks on his behalf.
And we'll consider what this prophet speaks in just a moment, but but would you stop for a second and look?
At verse 13.
Again, it says now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives and their children, stood before the Lord.
I'd like to just try to help you or encourage you to think about picture the situation here.
A real military threat.
The people are gathered together.
It's not just the elders.
Jehoshaphat doesn't say all right?
All the leaders amongst the Kingdom.
There's a military threat we need to gather together.
You would understand and that might be a course that we might take you and I might take that course of, you know, we need to protect the women and the children in this this situation.
We don't want them to worry.
We don't want to frighten them.
We don't want them to be scared.
Let's just get the military leaders together to figure out a military response to this military threat that is coming in.
I think it's interesting to note.
The Hulk Nation was here.
The men, the women, their children, and they are standing before the Lord.
You know sometimes.
We attempt to protect people.
And so we do not include them.
Whenever there is a scary situation.
And sometimes there is wisdom in that for sure.
At the same time, I would encourage you to consider that that is not always the best course.
I would suggest that sometimes we fail.
To teach others how to seek the Lord in the midst of a scary situation.
Because we didn't allow them to be part of it.
Again, I'm not suggesting that we always try to scare everybody to the ultimate, you know, Max capacity, but.
But here there they have their kids with them.
And and they're saying, Lord, there's this great threat, a great multitude is coming.
It's a huge multitude.
We might die.
But their kids are with them.
Lord, we don't know what to do.
We don't have a solution.
Have an answer right?
Again, this is not a typical thing necessarily for parents.
To say to.
Their children, right?
We have no idea what to do.
We might die.
How many times have you?
Shared that with.
But they included them in this and I would suggest you there's perhaps some important considerations.
There's perhaps there's some wisdom there that.
In doing so, you teach them you model for them.
So that when they face scary situations.
They have some history to draw from.
How mom and dad.
Here's how brother here's how uncle here's how you know.
I've seen godly people handle situations in the past that.
They they set themselves to seek the Lord.
And they they worked to hear his voice and align their hearts to him and.
Yes, there might be some.
Fear that they experience in that journey, but it.
Helps prepare them, perhaps for their own situations which they will face, which they will experience.
And so here they are, everybody is included.
And now they're just waiting.
They stood before the Lord.
It says at the end of verse 13 and then verse 14, then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel.
And he's going to bring forth.
The word of the Lord.
He's going to bring forth a prophecy.
A prophetic word is the right word.
To the right people at the right time.
The right word to the right people at the right time.
Or a specific word to specific people at a specific time.
It's the word of the Lord in a unique and special way that is timely and specific to the circumstances and situation at hand.
And so God is going to give an answer to this gathering, not just a general answer, not just you know, something that they would read about in a previous scripture, or in Deuteronomy, or something that that he is going to give them right what they need right at that time.
And it's specific to them.
And their situation.
This is a.
Way that God wants to work in our lives.
He he brings forth.
Prophetic words to this day.
This this is not a finished work of God, that everything that he needs to say has been said.
It's recorded in the scripture.
We have the word of God.
Yes, the general revelation and and this is essential and a huge part of the way that God speaks to us.
But also please understand that there are things that God wants to say to you directly about your very specific situation at just the time that you need to hear it.
Something interesting to consider is what's the time gap between verses 13 and 14.
I'm not trying to suggest there's a huge.
Time gap, but also.
Not trying to say that there couldn't have been.
You know, many times the word of the Lord to us.
Comes a little bit later than we would have wanted.
The Lord is evil and he gives us the right word at the right time to the right people, right?
He he does do that, but.
There's that thing.
But never late.
And we always wish we knew the plan early.
We always wished that we had, you know, the the blueprints, the road map and and everything that that we could know about a situation we always wish we had that before and early and and with plenty of time but.
God likes to give us that word at the right time.
And the right time is his choosing, it's it's the time that he sets the time that he knows is the best time.
And it's one of the difficult things about.
Seeking the Lord and that is waiting.
To hear from him.
And setting aside my.
Timeline my time frame.
In my understanding of what needs to be done and when.
There's a really good.
Contrast picture to what happened here with King Saul.
Early in King Saul's reign there was a threat.
There was a military threat much like this one.
The enemy forces were increasing.
Saul is a relatively new king, was watching his army get scared and scattered, and so they were starting to run away and he was losing people left and right.
The Prophet Samuel, speaking on behalf of the Lord, told Saul to wait seven days.
And he waited seven days.
But when Samuel came on the 7th day, there was to be this offering this sacrifice unto the Lord before they went out to face this military threat.
And Saul waited day one day.
2 pressure is mounting, he's stressing more and more.
He's watching the enemies increase.
He's watching his people decrease.
Getting more and more concerned.
Day three day, four day five day 6.
When is Samuel gonna get here?
Well, he told you seven days, right?
But it's day six when.
Samuel gonna get when.
Are we going to offer this sacrifice so that we can deal with this threat?
This is this is really becoming worse and worse.
Day 7 happens.
There's no Samuel.
I'm going to do this myself and.
He offers the sacrifice on his own.
Not following the instruction that God had given to him.
Not waiting the full term, in fact.
He waited 95% of the way.
Because it tells us first Samuel chapter 13.
Just when he finished.
He just finished offering the sacrifice and Samuel shows up in verse 11.
Samuel says what have you done?
And Saul said, when I saw that the people were scattered from.
And that you did not come within the desappointed that the Philistines gathered together at michmash.
Then I said, the Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.
Therefore I felt compelled and offered a burnt offering.
Have you ever felt compelled and did something because the pressure of the situation was rising and rising and rising?
And finally I can't wait any longer.
I just have to do what must be done.
He weighted 95% or maybe 99% of the way. You could do the percentage calculations. That's not something I'm skilled at.
While I'm up here teaching OK, I didn't write that in my notes ahead of time, but but but.
Picture that right.
He's like he's like just.
By 30 minutes.
He misses the.
Mark if he would have waited 30 minutes more.
He would have been right in line.
With what the Lord had for him.
But he didn't wait that 30 minutes.
He rushed ahead.
Did what he thought was best.
Took matters into his own hands.
It's good contrast to help paint the picture for what's happening here with Jehoshaphat.
This threat, this military army that is coming against him, is in their territory.
In Getty is in their territory.
This isn't that.
They're a long way off.
They're going to be here in a few days.
They're in their territory.
They're already there.
They're already present.
The threat is imminent, it's real.
And he says we're gonna wait.
To hear what God has to say.
And so the Lord stirs up this prophet.
Gives this prophecy to Judah.
Verse 15 listen.
All of all, you of Judah and you, inhabitants of Jerusalem and you King Jehoshaphat thus says the Lord to you.
Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude.
For the battle is not yours, but God's.
Tomorrow go down against them.
They will surely come up by the ascent of Ziss.
And you will find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jurul.
You will not need to fight in this battle.
Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.
Who is with you?
Oh Judah and Jerusalem do not fear nor be dismayed.
Go out against them, for the Lord is.
The word of the Lord to Jehoshaphat and the people is I got this.
Don't worry about it.
Don't stress about it.
I'm gonna take care of it.
It is the exact right word to the exact right people.
At the exact right time.
The Lord showed up and gave an answer.
And the answer is one that.
We would all love to.
Hear you don't have to fight.
In this battle.
Wait, you know, Jehoshaphat might have mounted up the soldiers and come up with a military plan and.
People might have been hurt.
In the execution of that plan.
Because how else do you deal with a military threat with a military answer, of course, and so he could have put something together and tried to resolve this on his own.
But God had a different plan.
And Jehoshaphat was wise to wait.
Even though it was scary, even though the more he waited, the more pressure was applied to him, the more intensity that he was feeling in the midst of that, he waited.
And God had an answer that would have been a surprise to anyone.
And that's not unusual for God.
God dancers are usually a surprise.
To those who receive that answer from the Lord because his ways are not our ways and are higher than our ways and are far above and and past are finding out God.
God is able to do unique things and special things that we wouldn't have imagined.
That's why we need to wait to hear.
From the Lord.
Our best plans.
Our best strategies are never going to come close to God plans and strategies.
Set yourself to seek the Lord and then wait.
Not just 90% of the way, not just 95% of the way. Wait until you hear from the Lord. Let him give you the instruction, the direction, and lay out his plans and purposes.
Because his ways are far better than our ways.
Pastor Warren Wisby says God always has a special word for those who turn to him for help.
When you face a battle, spend much time in his word and in prayer.
For then he will give you that.
Needed word of encouragement.
He always has a special word.
Whenever you face a scary situation.
Whenever you are facing difficulty, whenever you.
Are involved in a situation where you don't know what to do.
Has a word for you.
Turn to him for help.
Rely upon him, wait to hear from the Lord.
Will they hear this?
And verse 18 and 19 and rejoice and verse 18 and Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshipping the Lord.
Then the levite's of the children of the Co sites and the children of the Coral Heights stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high.
They hear from the Lord and immediately believe the word of the Lord.
They receive it, they accept it.
God says you will not have to fight and they say Hallelujah.
Praise the Lord.
We were scared.
Of the battle.
We won't have to fight.
God has an answer.
He has a solution.
He has a resolution for this situation.
They hear the word of the Lord and they believe it.
But they don't just.
Believe it. In theory they don't just believe it intellectually. They now are going to base their lives and risk their lives based on what God has said and that brings us point. #3 this morning and that is to make plans based.
On the word of the Lord.
Don't just hear the word of the Lord, and be hearers only, but be doers of the word and and this is what they do.
They they take the word of God so real they take it to heart in such a way that now their course of action is directly impacted.
By what God has said. Let's read verses 20 through 23. It says so. They rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa.
And as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, hear me, oh Judah, a new inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established.
Believe his prophets, and you shall prosper.
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing.
To the Lord.
And who should praise the beauty of holiness?
As they went out before the army and were saying praise the Lord for his mercy endures forever.
Now when they began to seeing into praise the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, and they were defeated.
For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them.
And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
Something amazing happens here.
God intervenes this enemy that has joined together and gathered against Judah is defeated by their their own selves.
They turn against each other.
They wipe themselves out.
So that the end result is.
Judah did not have to fight by the time they got to the battlefield.
The battle was done and the enemy had destroyed each other already.
In verse 20, Jehoshaphat stands up before the people.
It's the next morning after they hear the prophetic word they've heard from the Lord.
And Joseph says, believe in the Lord your God, believe his prophets.
We've heard the word of the Lord.
We've heard what he has to say about this situation.
But we can't just stop there.
We must believe it, you know, to believe something.
We often use the word believe in a way that is incomplete in in regards to how the scripture uses the word believe.
We used the word believe in a way that it could just live.
Within our head.
That we believe something and it's just an intellectual acknowledgement of some reality, something.
But to believe biblically is to not just acknowledge what God has said and hear what God has said, but then to live your life based.
You've heard me define faith over and over again.
I'll do it once more faith is obedience to God.
At his word.
It's it's responding to God at his word and believing it to the degree that I will base my life.
I will base my actions.
I will risk my life doing what God has called me to do.
And here you see that the the nation of Judah really did believe what God said.
They didn't just hear it and celebrate it.
They didn't just think, wow, that's such a great message.
I'm glad God said that.
It wasn't just happening in their heads when they believed what God said.
They based their lives upon it, and they risked their lives.
According to what God has said.
In verse 15, God told them the battle is not yours, but God's. This isn't your battle. This is God's battle. In verse 17, God told them you will not need to fight in this battle.
You will not need to fight now.
God told them you do need to go to the battle.
You need to go out to battle.
You need to March.
As if you were going to battle, but you will not need to fight.
And they believe this so much.
That when they consulted together in verse 21.
They said, let's put the worship team at the front of the army.
Let's put the worship team at the front.
Those who should sing to the Lord and those who will praise the beauty of His Holiness.
Let's put them in the front.
Now all the soldiers had no problem with that right?
Sure, but then they can go first.
Hey, if all this doesn't work out and they die, will be ready.
But think about these singers.
Think about these worshippers.
They had instruments, not weapons.
They're risking their lives.
Based upon what God has said.
Will be the first to the battle.
Yeah, we'll stand out in front.
We'll be vulnerable.
We'll risk it all.
Because God has told us what did God say in verse 17 you will not need to fight in this battle.
They took that literally.
They said this is for real God, God said we would not have to fight so it's no problem that we don't have weapons and we only have instruments.
'cause God said we would not need to fight.
They've made their plans.
They took the course.
That was in agreement.
With what God had revealed to them.
It tells us in verse 22 when they began to sing into praise.
The Lord set ambushes against the people of M and Marvin Meltzer as they believed God God at his word and acted accordingly.
Then God fulfilled what he said he would do.
He said this is my battle and the Lord set ambushes against them.
The Lord defeated the enemy.
Again, it was a word of prophecy, the right word to the right people at the right time.
You will not need to fight, and they believed that and they put the worshippers at front and the worshippers believed that and so they worshiped God, and as they trusted God and followed the course that God had given to them.
God did the work that he said he would do.
They made their plans based on what God had revealed now.
I I think it's appropriate for us to pause for a moment and and make sure that we understand.
The prophetic nature of this word.
You know, sometimes it's a bit concerning the way that we take scriptures and try to use them in our lives.
It would be possible for me to go through this passage.
And come up with an entirely different message and I could speak for 45 minutes about how worship defeats the enemy.
And we would all enjoy it and celebrate it.
Worship defeats the.
You need to praise the Lord and as you do, the Lord sets ambushes against the enemy and and we could go on and on for a while on this idea.
I can teach another message. You don't have to fight the Lord's battles. The Lord doesn't need you. He sets the ambushes himself. He defeats the enemy. You never have to be part of the Lord's battles.
But but please.
Be a little bit more discerning.
When it comes.
To taking the prophetic words of the Lord.
In considering them for yourself, remember Paul told Timothy and Second Timothy Chapter 2.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
There is a wrong way.
To divide the word of truth, even though it's.
The word of truth.
And even though we are reading here, the word of the Lord, and there's this prophetic word of the Lord.
There's a wrong way to divide it.
There's a wrong way to take that and try to use that claim that lived by that in your life and.
I would suggest.
It's not uncommon for us to misapply things now.
Worship defeats the enemy.
There is a truth in that.
But this isn't the passage that I would use to teach that truth unless.
There was a prophetic word to me to use this passage to teach that truth, right?
Like, please understand there's general principles, and there is the realities that that God reveals of himself in his ways in the word.
And then there's specific circumstances in which he does something unique and different, and it's not an exhortation to always address the enemy in this way every time.
You can think back to the example of David, the worship leader, right?
Of the songs.
Did David set the worship leaders at the front of his army when he went?
To battle against the Philistines.
Was it just 'cause?
David didn't hear from the Lord.
No, remember when God told David to go to battle against the Philistines?
There was a couple occasions when he first became king over the whole nation, the Philistines invaded the land to try to find David, much like the.
Threat that was here.
And David inquired of the Lord, should I go against him?
God says yes go fight.
Them he didn't say you don't have to fight, I'll fight for you, he said go fight them, go into battle.
He didn't say, just put worshippers at the front and then everything will be OK.
No, he said go fight them, pull out your sword, hack people in pieces, go to battle and I'll give you Vic.
And then the Philistines came back at second timing.
David says alright, should I go again?
Well, don't go up like you did last time.
This time go around this way, right?
It's a prophetic word.
It's the word at the right time for David in that situation.
Please understand that that we need to hear from the Lord about our current situations and there are universal truths that apply to every believer.
But there's a lot of things that are not universal truths.
And we need to learn to rightly divide the word of truth.
This is not the general exhortation for how to battle.
This is the specific exhortation for Judah to battle this specific battle that they face.
Pastor David Guzik puts it this way.
The principle of God fighting on behalf of his people and the glory of trusting praise before the battle remained how God wanted his people to participate in the battle would differ from circumstance to circumstance.
According to the leading of the Holy Spirit in their situation.
Make plans based on the word of the Lord.
God is going to lead you in your situation.
There's the general truths of the scripture that apply to all believers, and yes, we abide by those, and we make our plans based on those.
And when God speaks to us directly and prophetically, then we base our lives on those.
And sometimes God will use these kinds of situations to give us a prophetic word.
That is, to our specific situation.
But we need to be careful to rightly divide the word of truth and not just claim things.
That are not prophetic words to us prophetic word.
It's the right word to the right people at the right time.
How to handle scary situations?
Set yourself to seek the Lord.
Wait to hear from the Lord.
Make plans based on the.
Word of the Lord.
And if I had 10 more minutes point #4 rejoice over the victory of the Lord afterwards.
They rejoice, they receive the spoils.
Of war without having to go into the battle.
They name they rename the the place where they're celebrating the the valley of rejoicing, and they go back to Jerusalem with joy.
This is something that God wants to work in all of us in all the scary situations we face.
The difficult things that we face we can trust and know.
God is able to work all things together for good.
Sometimes the rejoicing over the victory is able to happen immediately, like it did for them.
Sometimes the rejoicing over the victory is a rejoicing that's in faith.
Peter talks about that in first Peter chapter one.
He says in this you greatly rejoice, though right now you're experiencing various trials.
But looking to eternity.
You see the victory.
And you rejoice, with joy, inexpressible.
Receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
One way or another, you believe in God you trust in the Lord.
You rest in him, you will rejoice.
In the victory of the Lord.
Sometimes it's immediate, we always want it.
To be immediate.
Sometimes it's delayed and we have to.
Rejoice in faith, but either way you will rejoice.
When you set yourself to seek the Lord and you wait to hear from him, and then you make your plans based on what he says to you and how he directs you, you can rest assured you will rejoice.
You will have victory and you will enjoy it.
You will rejoice in it.
God will be faithful.
To do the things that he's promised to you, let's pray.
Let me thank you for your word that helps us to handle scary situations and Lord, we feast them.
We don't like it.
We don't want to, but Lord, there are things in life that we must experience, and they're part of the journey that you have set before us that we might know you, that we might become more like you.
That we might see your work in us, and so God, I pray that you would help us.
To learn these valuable lessons.
Lord to seek you to align our hearts with yours.
To trust you when you speak to us to obey you, regardless of the risk.
Lord, that ultimately we might have great joy.
In seeing your work fulfilled and accomplished.
Knowing that what you desire is best, your plans are for our good.
And so, Lord, even when we don't see those plans fulfilled and we.
Don't see the victory immediately.
Help us by faith.
To trust you enough to rejoice now.
For the promises that you have given to us.
We pray this in Jesus name.