Monday, January 14, 2008

Killer Voices

Enemy forces joined together and marched toward Judah in massive force. Multitudes of capable warriors were only miles away, ready to pounce on the weak, unsuspecting nation. King Jehoshaphat received very bad news from the JIA (Judah Intelligence Agency): "We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do" (2 Chronicles 20:12). "Jehoshaphat feared" (v. 3).

When it seems defeat is inevitable, it always helps to remember these words from this same story: "The battle is not yours, but God's" (v. 15). Sure, Jehoshaphat feared. But the verse doesn't end there. Fear was the initial reaction, not the course of action. "Jehoshaphat feared, AND SET HIMSELF TO SEEK THE LORD."

By doing so, the king set in motion a series of events that required the direct involvement of God to explain the outcome. I love the outcome. "Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated" (v. 22).

Talk about the choir knockin' 'em dead! "When Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude (the enemy's camp or stronghold); and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped" (v. 24).

No, their singing was not that awful. Their God is just that powerful! Jehoshaphat and Judah understood something that we too easily forget: "You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow, go out against them, for the Lord is with you" (v. 17).

Look back at the first paragraph and read the first verse I quoted (v. 12). I must confess I didn't quite finish that verse. Hear the end of that statement now: "but our eyes are upon You" (v. 12).

When a people turn their fear into faith and choose to submit the situation totally to God instead of surrendering in defeat or sulking in despair, God rolls up His sleeves. And if you want to see God blow your socks off in the way that He works, keep your sword in your belt, and belt out some "hallelujah's" -- sing His praises -- and see His power!

There are so many keys to the victory that Jehoshaphat and Judah saw that day. Sure, when they "stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high" (v. 19), God moved in power and might. But before they stood to praise, they bowed their faces to the ground in God's presence and worshipped Him (v. 18).

What enemy has you in sight? What force greater than you leans heavily upon you? Remember what the true enemy of your soul wants you to forget: "The Lord is with you," and "the battle is not yours, but God's!" Oh, and remember this as well -- You have a killer voice whenever you sing God's praises.

Be warned, devil -- I'm about to become a one-man hallelujah choir!
Perry Crisp

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