Updated: Feb 9, 2021
One of my favorite songs we sing right now is Battle Belongs by Phil Wickham. The song has been a reminder for me not to take matters into my own hands, but with prayer and supplication, bring everything to Lord. I sincerely hope this historical account from 2 Chronicles is an extra reminder and encouragement that sometimes the best way to fight is on our knees!
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… You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.’” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17
HELPLESSNESS / DEPENDENT FAITH
King Jehoshaphat found himself backed into a corner. A group of three nations had joined together to overthrow the nation of Judah. The small kingdom was no match for such an enemy. Their best attempts, their wisest strategies, nor their fiercest fighters stood a chance.
Rather than looking for earthly strategies to solve his problem or trying to figure out how to surrender and spare as many Judahite lives as possible, Jehosaphat turned to the Lord in faith and prayed. But he didn’t just ask for help. Jehoshaphat called to mind God’s past faithfulness to His people and pleaded with Him to deliver them the same way He had in generations past and did so with confidence. Even though the king did not know what to do, He fixed His eyes on his sovereign Lord.
God hears Jehoshaphat’s prayer and responded saying, “Do not be afraid or dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s… you do not need to fight in this battle. Position yourself, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD.”
God’s response to the pleas from His people was to go to war for them. They were meant to be living proof of the reality of the one true God. This enemy was far too great for them. They had no other options. The problem facing them was simply too much.
HIS PEOPLES’ PRAISE
Brandishing hearts freshly filled with courage and hope, Jehoshaphat sent the Korahites, the worshippers, onto the front lines of the battle. In the face of a seemingly infallible enemy, they sang, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His faithful love endures forever.”
While they sang, their enemies were attacked by another nation and then began to fight amongst themselves. After this, there were only corpses. God had defeated Judah’s enemies without them lifting a finger. Their fight was ultimately not against their earthly enemy but against the enemy of their souls that would tempt them to disbelieve God and trust in their own strength. Instead, they fought the battle in prayer.
JESUS CHRIST OUR VICTOR
Jesus has fought an even greater battle on our behalf. The sin that clings to us, the enemy that seeks to devour us, the temptations of this earth, the wickedness of our own hearts… they all work together to lead us away from life in God and into selfish destruction. We are powerless to overcome this enemy. Our own efforts to try only lead us further away from God. Jesus alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; God triumphed over them in Jesus.
What battle do you find yourself facing now? What struggle? What worry? What heartache? What sin? If you belong to Jesus and He has fought this greatest battle for you and won, will He not take care of you now? If while we were His enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life? Will He not graciously give us all things in Him?
You can make the words of Jehoshaphat your own and say, “I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on You.”
And you can pray with confidence knowing that God’s response to you in Jesus is “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s… You do not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.”
So, the fight for us is not to fight for things to go our way. Rather, we fight on our knees, with hearts lifted to God in praise, because the battle, the kingdom, the glory, and the power forever and ever belong to Him alone.