I was recently reminded of the time the LORD fought for the people of Judah during the reign of King Jehoshaphat. God tells us what happened in 2 Chronicles chapter 20.
King Jehoshaphat was one of the better kings of Judah – certainly not perfect, but he worshiped the true God. One day some men warned Jehoshaphat about a vast army marching against Judah. But it wasn’t just one army – it was three. Three countries banded together to destroy Judah. King Jehoshaphat was alarmed by this overwhelming enemy.
What was Jehoshaphat’s solution? Pray! He went to the temple and people from all over Judah went with him. There he prayed to God, recalling God’s promises, and ending with, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chronicles 20:12) – a simple statement of trust.
God answered, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15). Don’t worry, King Jehoshaphat, because this is God’s fight, not yours. Then the LORD invited the King and his army to the battlefield to watch how he would save them.
The people imediately began praising God, and the next morning the king and his army marched out to meet their enemy. As they were marching God was working against those three opposing armies. God caused two armies to turn on the third and destroy it. Then those two armies turned on each other until they destroyed each other. Not a soldier was left. When Jehoshaphat and his men came to the spot where they expected to face their enemy, they saw only dead bodies! This battle belonged to the LORD. All that was left for King Jehoshaphat and his men was to gather the plunder – so much plunder it took three days to collect!
How many times have I failed to hear God say, “This is my battle”? With every one of his promises God is saying, “If anyone or anything threatens to take this blessing away from you, you let me handle it.”
When worries about money or shelter or food come like so many armies advancing to attack, Jesus reminds us that every hair on our head is numbered – God will provide for the needs of his children. God says, “This is my battle.”
When opposition arises to the Gospel and God’s Word doesn’t seem to have much effect, God promises, “[my word] will not return to me empty” (Isaiah 53:10). “This is my battle,” God says.
Most of all, when I struggle with guilt and I know three armies’ worth of good works will not make up for my sin, God promises, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God will give me eternal life in spite of my sin against him. That was his battle and he fought that battle on the cross where Jesus defeated my enemies – death and Satan. Now death can no longer keep me and Satan can no longer accuse me. All that is left for me is to enjoy the plunder!