Overview passage: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Today’s study: 2 Chronicles 20:3-4
“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord, indeed they came from every town in Judah to seek Him.”
When life is hard, who or what do you turn to? A friend’s advice? Self-help book? Worry? Your own solutions?
When Jehoshaphat learned that this great multitude was coming to attack, he could have mustered his army, fortified his city and fired up his people. Or, he could have sent representatives to other countries to ask for help. He could have used his own best judgment in solving the problem.
He didn’t do that.
When bad news came, Jehoshaphat “resolved to inquire of the Lord”. He brought his people together to seek help from the Lord.
The Hebrew word here for “inquire of” and “seek help” is “darash”, which means “to frequent a place” or “to trample with the feet to beat a path”. The picture is of beating down a path to God because you frequent that way so often. You trample down the grass as you go back time and again, laying your problem before God, earnestly giving it to Him and then leaving it there as you depend on Him to answer.
Often our response to a crisis is to find our own best solution. We try to work things out on our own and use our own strength and wisdom. After all, we are resourceful, capable people, right? We call that “taking matters into our own hands.” But the Lord calls it pride when we think we can handle anything without His help.
In Philippians 4:6, God specifically tells us to bring everything to Him. So, isn’t it sin if we try to handle it on our own and don’t give it to Him?
Our first and foremost response to a crisis should be to beat a path to God.
But what about when life is going okay? Do we seek Him just in hard times or do we go to Him every day? Our path will be overgrown with weeds if we wait until trouble comes before seeking Him. He wants to have a daily relationship with us where we realize how much we need Him, how much He cares about us, and that He is sufficient for every need in our lives.
There is nothing in our life that doesn’t come from the Lord. He gives us the air we breathe, the water we drink, the job we have, our health, our family, our salvation… every single thing in our lives is given to us from His hand. Do you see Him as the Source of everything in your life?
He is not only our Source, but He also bends over backwards in His Word to show us how much He cares for us and how personal He wants to be to us. He is described as “Our Father” in Matthew 6:9. He tells us He knows the number of hairs on our head in Matthew 10:30. He is described as our Shepherd in Psalm 23:1. He is our Help and our Refuge in Psalm 46:1. He is our Sun and our Shield in Psalm 84:11. He is our Brother in Hebrews 2:11. He is Our Vine and we are His branches in John 15:5. And, He is our Friend in John 15:15.
He gives us such a clear picture of the kind of relationship He longs to have with us! So, on our part, if we say we love Him too, but don’t consistently seek a relationship with Him, do we really love Him? Do we take His love for granted?
So, what does seeking Him every day look like? It means spending time with Him, reading His Word and drawing encouragement from it, letting it convict and teach and change our hearts. We allow His Word to speak into our lives and we pray it back, lifting up our needs to Him. And, we practice His presence by talking to Him continuously as we walk through our day.
Intentionally seeking God this way gradually transforms us because we really get to know Him. And so, we get our picture of Him right and we realize that God is continually using everything in our lives to make us more like Himself. Then, when trouble comes in our lives, we understand that it has a purpose.
When we face difficulties, we naturally want to ask God to take it away and substitute something else that is more to our liking. For instance, we want health instead of sickness, ease instead of hardship, wealth instead of poverty. But what God wants is to use those hardships to make us like Himself (2 Cor. 12:7-10). We want substitution. He wants transformation. And so He asks us to claim His promise, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9), as He walks with us through the trial.
Our transformation to His likeness only comes from a path that is worn smooth from use. What does your path to Him look like? Trample down the grass to His presence and you will find that more and more you look like your Father.
Truth For Today: Daily commit yourself to seeking the Lord.