“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.”
King Jehoshaphat kept walking back to Jerusalem. He couldn’t shake the prophesy of Micaiah about King Ahab dying in this battle. “Why weren’t you fighting at the time?”
“My brother just received a gash on his leg before it happened. I pulled him to safety. When I turned around I surveyed the scene to see where I should go back to fight next. That’s when I watched one of their guys draw back on his bow and let an arrow loose over everyone’s head. That arrow had Ahab’s name on it from God as far as I could tell cuz that’s where it came down. Hit him square in his chest.”
Jehoshaphat shook his head. “It split right between that narrow slit in his armor.”
The remainder of that walk was conducted in silence.
Jehu met the king at his house. “God is not pleased that you allied yourself with Ahab. But He’s happy you took down the idols as you seek Him.”
King Jehoshaphat spent the following weeks setting up judges in every town in Judah. “Make sure you don’t take any bribes. You don’t answer to me, but to the LORD Himself. Amariah will be in charge of matters concerning the LORD. Zebadiah will focus on any matters I need to know about.”
One day a messenger arrived out of breath. “There’s a huge army heading this way. They’re from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir as far as we can tell.”
King Jehoshaphat stood up from his throne. “Declare a fast through all of Judah. I will seek the LORD’s counsel on this matter.”
Men, women and children showed up from every town. Jerusalem was filled beyond capacity when the king entered the temple.
The priests stood behind him. “LORD God, You drove out the inhabitants of this land You promised to Your friend Abraham for his descendants. You restricted us from attacking the Moabites, Ammonites and the people of Mount Seir. Now they’re coming for us to annihilate us. We aren’t strong enough to win against such a massive army of trained soldiers. Please come to our aid. Nobody can stand against You.”
The silence was broken by Jahaziel. His reputation as a man of God was well known. “This is what the LORD has to say to you, King Jehoshaphat and all the people of Judah. Go out tomorrow to the battle, but don’t worry about the outcome because the LORD will fight for you. You’ll find them at the brook by Jeruel. Don’t be afraid.”
When Jehoshaphat bowed his head so did everyone else. Some of the Levites sang praises.
The following morning found everyone ready to leave Jerusalem into whatever lied ahead.
King Jehoshaphat stood at the gate. “Don’t be afraid. Believe the LORD’s prophets. The battle is not ours, but God’s.”
He looked at the crowd. “Who will lead us into this battle?”
“Um, shouldn’t the king do that?”
Jehoshaphat shook his head. “If this was my war I would. Since God has promised us victory and said He’d fight for us we’ll let the Levites lead the charge with praise songs.
The Levites stepped forward singing, “Praise God who loves without end.”
Everyone followed the song’s praise.
Jehoshaphat pushed ahead when they reached the hill overlooking the valley the enemy was in.
The scout stationed on the hill saluted him. “Sir, you’re not going to believe this, but they’re all dead.”
The king smiled. “Tell me when you get to the part where I’m supposed to act surprised. What happened?”
“I was watching them get ready to fight. Then I heard singing behind me. Before I could tell where the music was coming from the men of Moab and Ammon turned on the guys from Mount Seir. Once they were wiped out they turned on each other until nobody’s left.”
The people spent the next three days picking up anything of value the soldiers left behind in what was named The Valley of Blessing.”
This is one of those fight scenes the folks in Hollywood would never dream up.
“It could never happen that way. Not in a million years.” They’d say.
That’s why God didn’t use Hollywood insiders to write the Bible. He’s too unpredictable that way.
About now you might be wondering why God stopped this massive army from wiping out the people of Judah.
The short answer is because He wanted to.
The longer answer is because they sought His advice on how to fight against them. King Jehoshaphat was one of the better kings because he did his best to abide by God’s laws and take down any idols anyone might want to worship. From there God stood up for them.
Jehoshaphat’s weakness lied in the fact he supported the northern kingdom too much. They never came around to following God’s decrees.
So, what enemy is coming against you today?
Do they seem insurmountable and invincible?
How long have they been breathing down your neck?
I have some advice for you. Stop looking at the enemy and look to the God of the universe who is waiting to help you overcome them.
Once the people of Judah were assured God was going to win this battle for them they took as unusual an approach to going out to battle as anyone I ever heard of. They sang a praise song before the fight.
Have you ever thought of doing that?
Two weeks ago I was facing some unexpected unemployment with growing debt. I sang the hymn It Is Well on my way home from church that Sunday. God has showed up in mighty ways ever since that experience.
I’ve read the end of the Bible. Guess what.
Our side wins in the end.
Don’t focus on the problem, my friend.
Focus on the God who promises to move mountains if we have faith the size of a mustard seed.
It actually works.
I’ll see you later. Wade