Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 18-20; 1 Kings 20-22; Psalm 21
We have seen over the last few days how our God is the God who provides. When Elijah needed a place to hide, God provided safety by Kerith Brook. He sent ravens to bring Elijah bread and meat every morning and every evening. Then God allowed the brook to dry up because He needed to use Elijah in the life of a widow and her son, who were about to eat the last of their food. God showed up and provided more than enough. Then the widow’s son died and God heard Elijah’s prayer, raising her son from the dead.
When Elijah needed to prove to the nation that there is only one true god, God provided evidence of His existence and His power. He provided fire for Elijah’s sacrifice and He provided the much needed rain for His people. When things got rough for Elijah, God came through again, providing His presence to remind Elijah that He is always with us and that we can always trust Him. In today’s scripture, we find the faithfulness of God providing victory for His people over and over again.
“…the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15b).
As I read through the accounts of the Kings of Judah and Israel, it is encouraging to me how often God fought the battle for His people. All they had to do was position themselves – committed fully to Him – and sit back and watch the victory.
When Judah realized that they were being attacked from the front and the rear, they cried out to the Lord for help. Then the priests blew the trumpets, and the men of Judah began to shout. At the sound of their battle cry, GOD DEFEATED Jeroboam and all Israel and routed them before Abijah and the army of Judah (2 Chronicles 13:14-15).
This is what the Lord says, “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them…But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and WATCH THE LORD’S VICTORY. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” – (2 Chron. 20:15b-17).
But the Israelite army looked like two little flocks of goats in comparison to the vast Aramean forces that filled the countryside! Then the man of God went to the king of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says: The Arameans have said, ‘The Lord is a god of the hills and not of the plains.’ SO I WILL DEFEAT THIS ARMY FOR YOU. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
The two armies camped opposite each other for seven days, and on the seventh day the battle began. The Israelites killed 100,000 Aramean foot soldiers in one day. The rest fled into the town of Aphek, but the wall fell on them and killed another 27,000. – (1 Kings 20:27b-30a).
Some time later, however, King Ben-hadad of Aram mustered his entire army and besieged Samaria. As a result, there was a great famine in the city…
Now there were four men with leprosy sitting at the entrance of the city gates. “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” they asked each other. “We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”
So at twilight they set out for the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there! FOR THE LORD HAD CAUSED the Aramean army to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. “The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us!” they cried to one another. So they panicked and ran into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys and everything else, as they fled for their lives… (2 Kings 6:24-25a; 7:3-7).
In the 39th year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Yet even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the Lord’s help but turned only to his physicians. So he died in the 41st year of his reign (2 Chron. 16:12-13).
You may face a giant battle ahead of you, but the Lord says, “Do not be afraid! Stand still and watch the Lord’s victory.”
You may feel outnumbered, but the Lord says, “I will defeat this army for you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
You may have lost all hope but the Lord can cause the enemy to panic and run – The Lord can provide for your needs.
You may be fighting a battle against disease or sickness – do not rely ONLY on physicians but seek the Lord’s help as well.
And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us! (1 Samuel 17:47).
The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord (Proverbs 21:31).
Position yourself, sit back and watch the victory!
How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord!
He shouts with joy because you give him victory.
For you have given him his heart’s desire; you have withheld nothing he requested.
You welcomed him back with success and prosperity.
You placed a crown of finest gold on his head.
He asked you to preserve his life, and you granted his request.
The days of his life stretch on forever.
Your victory brings him great honor,
and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty.
You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord.
The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling. – Psalm 21:1-7