2 Chronicles 20, Psalms 82&83

When Afraid

In our reading today we find Jehoshaphat was faced with an invasion from the nations of Moab, Ammon, and Edom. When Jehoshaphat hears of the impending invasion he is afraid but turns his attention to the Lord putting into practice the wisdom in Psalm 56:3&4.

It has been said that when faced with a problem, glorify God and don’t glorify your problem. Often times as we think and rethink the problem we face it grows in our mind to overwhelming proportions that spread beyond any resources we may have to deal with the problem. When this happens we end up fretting and defeated before the battle even starts. It is important that we break this pattern by turning to the Lord. His wisdom and resources are far greater than we can imagine.

One morning Elisha’s servant went out of the door of the house and found that the city they were living in was surrounded by the enemy. His response to the situation was, what are we going to do? Elisha prayed that God would open his servant’s eyes so he could see that God had an army surrounding the army of the enemy. We open our eyes of faith when we focus on God and not our problem. When we do that quite often a solution to our problem also comes in view.

In Genesis Chapter 21, Hagar found herself and her son in a life threatening situation. Driven away by Sarah, the wife of Abraham, they wandered in the wilderness until their water ran out. The best solution she could come up with was to wait and watch her son die. As she and the boy were crying waiting to die, God heard them and spoke to them. God told her to lift up the boy.  The Hebrew word translated “lift” means more than take him by the hand and raise him to his feet. It means to encourage and support and in this case refocus from the problem to the promise God had given to her regarding the child when she was pregnant back in Genesis 16. God’s plan had not changed. The circumstances had so overwhelmed her that she lost sight of God. Once God got her refocused He was able to open her eyes and she saw a well close by.

The world around us is constantly changing affecting our lives. Problems come up in our day to day lives and overwhelm us demanding that we take action now.  Often times when we act quickly it only makes matters worse. In times like these it is important to just stop and seek the Lord. Personally, I try to remember that the problem I am facing did not catch God by surprise. When all I am seeing is the problem, God sees the big picture and will guide me through it if I will let Him. I need to remember that His promises haven’t changed, but I have lost sight of them by focusing on my problem.   

When threatened with invasion Jehoshaphat turned to the Lord and the Lord brought the victory. This was written to be an encouragement to the exiles to encourage them and remind them that they had the promises of God and that He is in control. His promises are true and God is faithful.

May we be encouraged as well by Jehoshaphat’s example.

Pastor Dave