I Feel Like Jehoshaphat
Sometimes I just feel like Jehoshaphat. If you don’t know who that is, Jehoshaphat was a king of Judah that did right in the eyes of the Lord. He chose not to seek the foreign gods that several of the former kings had made Judah and Israel to seek. He followed David’s example in following the commands of God, and he even removed ungodly things from the land. Though it seemed like he was doing the right thing, he still faced great danger. And I think I understand how the man must have felt. Sometimes it seems like, no matter how hard I work at doing what I feel like God has called me to do, I still find myself struck with hardship. And it’s at times like this that it’s tempting to stop and question God, wondering if He actually knows what’s best.
But what I love about Jehoshaphat is that it’s during his trials that we see where he puts his hope. Jehoshaphat, and all of Judah along with him, was facing a difficult circumstance. Vast armies rose up against them and marched toward their demise. When I hear news like this, the easiest thing to do is to start sulking. But Jehoshaphat does the opposite. As soon as Jehoshaphat gets word of the approaching armies, he turns to the Lord, and he causes all of Judah to seek the Lord for help as well. Jehoshaphat prays a prayer of petition to God in the midst of the people. He says in 2 Chronicles 20:12, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” That’s powerful!
When I’m facing an enemy that’s too strong for me, it can be hard to actually admit that I’m not going to be able to win the battle on my own. But Jehoshaphat admits openly that he and the people are powerless before their enemies. He tells God that he doesn’t know what to do. And then he says something that we all need to say a lot more often. He says, “Our eyes are on You.”
Our Need For A Deliverer
A problem arises when we start to think that through our actions we have earned some sort of merit with God. No one is holy before God, except for by the blood of the Lamb, and so there is nothing we can do to earn God’s love or favor. It’s a gift through His Son Jesus. So then why does God let hardship happen? So that we will seek Him. It’s plain and simple. Without the advancing army, Jehoshaphat may have never realized his need for complete reliance upon God. And without the struggles that we face, we can go a long time thinking that we just don’t need God’s help, or even that we just don’t need Him at all.
Our Eyes Are On You
God gives a prophet a message to tell Jehoshaphat and all the people; that God would deliver them without a fight. This is my favorite part of the story, because Jehoshaphat doesn’t just believe God, but he believes God so much that he sends the worship leaders out in front of the army to praise God for a victory that they have not yet seen. And then God does what He said He was going to do. Jehoshaphat arrives with the people of Judah to discover that armies that meant to destroy them have already completely destroyed each other. That problem that you’re facing is not a problem to God. It’s not a big issue when it comes to God, because He is powerful when we are powerless. But the reason that it’s there is so that you will seek Him. It’s time to stop complaining. It’s time to stop trying to figure out how to solve the issue, and it’s time to look to the Creator and say, “Our eyes are on You.”