King Jehoshaphat was stuck in a bad situation. Several nations had united to attack him and it was insurmountable. But he quickly led a fast and sought to inquire the Lord. Fasting is a sign of humility and dependence on God. It creates a spiritual climate where God’s presence can permeate your situation. You position yourself for God to act. Every one from Judah (men, wives, children and little ones) stood before the Lord while Jehoshaphat prayed and pleaded for deliverance. It was an anxious time. Have you ever been faced with a situation that threatened to tear your life apart? Do what Jehoshaphat did. Bring your whole family before the Lord in humility. Fast if you can and seek God’s help. God was pleased with Jehoshaphat and a prophet relayed a message to Judah:
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”
2 Chronicles 20:17
Can you imagine that? God told Judah to take up positions but no fighting would be required. I think it would have made me tremble. “You mean go out there and face them? Why can’t I stay at home?” God wanted to test Judah’s faith in God’s promise. They still needed to come out and take their stand. Even while they were afraid, God promised to be with them. How do you face your problems? Do you run away? Do you nurse yourself with a bottle of hard liquor? Do you distract yourself with television or food? Or do you face your problems head-on? God is with you! Do not be afraid or discouraged! God wants to give you the victory but you need to confront your problems directly.
King Jehoshaphat then did the most amazing thing. He focused on praising the Lord as part of his battle strategy!
After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 20:21
He appointed singers to praise God. Where did he place them? In front of the army! What kind of battle strategy is that? Putting musicians and singers at the front line must be the craziest strategy ever – at least in the world’s eyes. Thankfully, we have the eyes of faith. Eyes that see God’s provision and hand to win the battle for us. Jehoshaphat was so confident in the Lord. What about you? Can you sing praises to him in the midst of trials and danger? Will you give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever? You might see miracles happen right before your very eyes when you start praising the Lord for seeing you through the difficulties. Praise is a weapon that can annihilate Satan’s schemes. When a depressing thought enters your mind such as “I am unlovable or ugly or stupid…”, start praising the Lord by thanking him for his constant love for you. Praise negates the devil’s lies.
What was the result of Judah’s praise? God fought for them and they had so much spoils that it took three days to collect them.
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. …When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day.
2 Chronicles 20:22, 24-26
It says “the Lord set ambushes” against the enemy. It does not elaborate what God did but we know that God induced a mass confusion that made the enemies destroy each other. God fulfilled his promise – no fighting from Judah. God is a warrior and he will fight for us. He even gave Judah alot of spoils from the enemy. After God defeats your problems in your life, he can gave back much more than what Satan took away from you. After this monumental battle, Judah praised the Lord again at the Valley of Berakah (praise). After you have defeated your problems, write it down. Celebrate it. Share it with friends and family. Make it a Berakah event where you can be reminded of God’s deliverance. Victory starts with praise and it ends with praise!