Jehoshaphat was one who was able to fully appreciate the victory of salvation. God responded to the king of Judah and obliterated the enemy army without a single soldier in the Judean army having to lift a finger. And it is the same for us. In the battle against Satan and sin, the only thing required of us is to trust that God will get the job done and to give him all the glory when the victory is won. That sounds pretty straightforward, but, as we also learn from the life of Jehoshaphat, it is often a lesson we learn slowly, and often have to re-learn.
King Jehoshaphat was a mixed bag. At times he displayed godly wisdom and a clear-sighted vision of what God requires of the king of His chosen people. At other times he lapsed into human folly and sought to make Judah strong through ill-advised alliances. However, in the Chronicler’s account of Jehoshaphat’s “battle” against Moab and Ammon, we see in this mixed-bag king one of the most clear and memorable confessions of dependence on the Lord.
A messenger had come to come to Jehoshaphat with bad news: an vast enemy army was fast approaching and Jerusalem and all of Judah would soon be under attack. How we respond to bad news says a lot about the condition of our heart and the firmness of our faith. It is easy to panic when things suddenly spin out of control and we realize we are face-to-face with something that threatens our comfort, joy, or even existence.
But those who understand and believe in the sovereignty of God are not shaken – they respond like King Jehoshaphat. They seek out God, they humble themselves, and they pray. Above all, they remember, as Jehoshaphat did, the promises of God and they believe that God will do as he says.
God had promised the land of Canaan to Israel and he had promised to step in and take action when his people cried out to him. A vast army of allied-kings wasn’t going to derail God’s promise. Jehoshaphat knew that and so he threw himself at the feet of Almighty God and confessed his complete dependence and utter incapability to deal with the bad-news army knocking at his door.
For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
2 CHRONICLES 20:12
That is a beautiful confession of faith, and one we can take upon our own lips as well.