Have you faced a situation in your lives when it appears as if everything is coming against you and you fear failure, defeat, destruction, reject or some other calamity and you just do not have the resources to defend yourself? I think we can all answer “yes” to that question. At least once in our lives we all face some seemingly impossible situation where no way of escape was on the horizon. There is a situation like that in 2 Chronicles 20. Jehoshaphat was king of Judah at the time and many surrounding armies were gathering together against Judah. So the king did the wisest thing – he gathered together everyone and prayed! The end of his prayer was this: “For we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
In the Old Covenant, the Spirit would come upon special individuals when God had something to say to them. And this is what God said through Jahaziel:
“Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. He said, Hearken, all Judah, you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you King Jehoshaphat. The Lord says this to you: Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down to them. Behold, they will come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the ravine before the Wilderness of Jeruel. You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you” (italics mine).
This wasn’t the first time God told Israel to stand still. Another time that comes to mind was when they were fleeing Egypt and were backed up to the Red Sea. Exodus 14:13 states through Moses: “Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today.” What came next was a deliverance of miraculous proportions and all the Egyptians died who drove into the Red Sea after them as God closed up the waters on them. The same happened to Judah in 2 Chronicles 20. As they prayed and worshiped God and then “went down” where the Lord told them to go, their enemies were busy fighting each other and even killed each other. When Judah’s army arrived, all they found were dead bodies, and it took them 3 days to gather the spoil from among them.
What struck me in reading this, was that the very thing God asked of them goes against our human nature. Don’t we all want to “do something” to help any given situation? We try and strive hard at times to find solutions to things that we really can’t do. Like my favorite pastor says, “Our very trying betrays our confidence in the flesh” (vs confidence in God). When harsh things coming against us, we default to trying harder! We wrongly assume that things aren’t going well because we haven’t tried hard enough. That’s just one of the enemy’s tactics. Judah could never have gone up against the multitude of armies that came against them. They did the wise thing – they realized they were defeated unless God came to their rescue and acted on their behalf.
I think today, we have lost confidence in God’s love for us. We still expect some judgment, some punishment, and some calamity to happen because we aren’t perfect. That thinking only uncovers we are believing a lie. Jesus took all our punishment on the cross! There is no more judgment coming – Jesus took all our judgment for all our sins. We still may bear the consequences of sin at times, but not judgment. God in His mercy even desires to help us with those consequences as well. God really desires to go to battle on your behalf. He alone knows how incapable we are to really do battle right where the real battle is. In fact, at the cross He disarmed principalities and powers. “God disarmed the principalities and powers that were raged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross]” Colossians 2:13.
Whatever you are facing today, hear the Lord’s words to stand still, stand firm, and be at peace knowing that He has your life in the palm of His mighty hands. He will go before you into whatever battle you are facing, however enemy seems to be breathing down your back. Judah still had to “go down” and do the thing God asked them to do but when they “went” they found God had already done battle for them. I know that standing still is contrary to human nature, but the victory for Judah was plainly seen and written for us to see the end of that battle. With Christ how much more is our victory secure!! One of the verses from the hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God” declares,
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.