Overview passage: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Today’s study: 2 Chronicles 20:5-12
“Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said, ‘O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand and no one can withstand You. O our God, did You not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for Your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in Your presence before this temple that bears Your Name and will cry out to You in our distress and You will hear us and save us.
But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory You would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt, so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession You gave us as an inheritance. O our God, will you not judge them?
For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
Jehoshaphat measured his problem against the greatness of God and it shrank in comparison.
The mistake we often make when trouble comes is focusing on our problem. We don’t look to God. Have you ever noticed that where you focus determines how big your faith is, how you feel and your attitude in general? When my eyes are on my problem, my faith shrinks, fear and frustration take over, and joy is sucked out of my life. My focus determines my faith, my feelings and my attitude.
Instead of putting his eyes on the problem, Jehoshaphat put his eyes on God. In his prayer, he focused on God’s power and character, remembered God’s promises and then handed the problem over to the Lord.
Jehoshaphat reminded Himself and all the people that their powerful and mighty God controls all nations – even the ones advancing towards them. He didn’t point this out to give God information. No, Jehoshaphat was reminding himself and his people that they served a powerful God, a God who had promised to care for them and had proven Himself trustworthy in doing that. In their crisis, the people needed a true vision of God and that’s what their king gave them. He knew that if the people got their picture of God right, their faith in Him would come.
When you face crises in life, focus on God’s character. Let yourself be immersed in who He is – powerful, loving and sovereign. Psalm [9:10] says, “And those who know Your Name will put their trust in You.” Knowing God’s name means understanding His character. When you are immersed in Scripture and know the God of the Bible, you will put your trust in Him and be able to stand strong in the face of adversity.
Jehoshaphat continues his prayer by claiming God’s faithfulness to His promise to preserve and protect His people and their land. Jehoshaphat knew Scripture and knew God’s promises. He held God to His promises.
We, too, must intentionally focus on what God has promised in His Word. As Beth Moore says, “We must believe that God will do what He has said He will do.”
Know and claim the promises that the Lord has given in His Word. We give up so many answers to prayer because we don’t claim what God has already promised. He tells us to be content in Phil. [4:11], so let’s claim His contentment. He tells us we can do everything through Him in Phil. [4:13], so why do we fear? He tells us not to worry in Matt. [6:34], so why fret? He has made these promises (and more!) to us and He expects us to take them to the bank. When God has spoken, believe Him! Stand firm on His promises.
The king focused on His almighty God and then laid the problem at His feet. Then he and his people stood before their God, waiting for Him to answer. Notice that they didn’t come up with their own best ideas for solving the problem. Instead, they stopped and put themselves in a position to hear from God. They put aside everything and listened for His voice.
When God speaks, are you listening? Or do you miss His voice? In whatever you are experiencing, have you taken the time to wait, watch and give God the opportunity to speak as the people of Judah did? Or, have you already filled in every conceivable space with your own ideas, decisions and actions?
Sometimes in prayer we think we know best and so we have a laundry list of how we want God to act in a given situation. We have the audacity to tell Him what to do and expect Him to answer our way. Jehoshaphat doesn’t do that. He simply says, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
Isn’t that statement comforting!? So many times I’m at the end of my rope and it’s a comfort and a relief to know that I can hang onto that knot of Who my almighty God is and wait for Him to act on my behalf. “I don’t know what to do…..but my eyes are on YOU.”
Truth: Remember Who God is, what He has done for you and what He has promised you.