2 Chronicles 20:15b - The Lord's Battle and Our Prayers and Praise.
2 Chronicles 20:15b - The Lord's Battle and Our Prayers and
2 Chronicles 20:15b (KJV) Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason
of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
2 Chronicles 20:15b (NIV) Do not be afraid or discouraged
because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.
Seek the Lord. When you see big problems on the horizon, seek
the Lord before you do anything else. What does that mean? It means
to do what Jehoshaphat and Judah did. They remembered who God is
(v.6), what He did in the past (v. 7) and what He said He would do in
the future (vv. 8-9). It means to trust Him and keep your eyes on
Him by faith (v. 12).
Hear the Lord. God always has a special word for those who turn
to Him for help. When you face a battle, spend much time in His
Word and in prayer, for then He will give you that needed word of
Praise the Lord. The battle was won by the singers, standing in
the most dangerous place of all--between two armies. But they sang
the Lord's praises and routed the enemy. The choir praised God after
God gave the word (v. 19), before the battle (v. 21), and after the
victory (vv. 28-28), a good pattern for us to follow in our praise.
In Hebrew, Berachah means "blessing" (v.26). Even a valley can
become a place of blessing if we learn how to praise the Lord. "Prayer
changes things" is a familiar saying that is certainly true. But it is
also true that "praise changes things." Why? Because true praise
changes people, and God can work in and through people who praise Him.
True praise involves faith, hope, and love, the strongest weapons in
the Christian armory. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren
Wiersbe re 2Ch. 20]
As a believer in Jesus you can come boldly into your heavenly
Father's throne room and seek his help and mercy. King Jehoshaphat did
just that. His nation was in obvious jeopardy and he immediately
sought God's help in a public manner, calling together all of his
people to fast and pray.
His prayer had six essential parts:
(1) He acknowledged that God's intervention was the only way
their nation would be saved;
(2) He acknowledged how God had helped them over and over again;
(3) He admitted God's complete sovereignty over the situation;
(4) He praised God;
(5) He took comfort in God's promises;
(6) He placed his dependence on God alone for the deliverance of
Because of Jehoshaphat's prayer, God spoke through Jahaziel,
assuring the people that they should have no fear--the battle would be
God's, not theirs. But it all began with a humble prayer. God always
listens to his children when they humbly turn to him in prayer. [The One
Year Bible for New Believers re 2Ch. 20:5-17]
I suppose we all know that it's appropriate to thank and praise
God for His goodness even though we sometimes forget. This passage,
however, points up an unexpected aspect of praise. We can praise before
we experience His goodness. We can praise before we receive what we
Threatened by a massive invasion force, Jehoshaphat called on
all of Judah to look to God. The king himself led in prayer,
confessing Judah's lack of power and expressing total reliance on God. In
response God spoke through the Prophet Jahaziel and promised victory.
"The battle is not yours, but God's," the prophet proclaimed. "Stand
firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you. Do not be
afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the
LORD will be with you" (v. 17).
Immediately after receiving this word from God, the king and the
people fell down to worship. And then in a "very loud voice" some of
the Levites stood up and began to praise God.
The danger was still ahead. The invading army still threatened.
But God's people began to praise Him before the promised victory was
The next day God did provide victory. Ancient armies were often
composed of a variety of peoples, some hired as mercenaries and others
engaged as allies. In this case God caused the various peoples who
composed the invading force to annihilate each other before Judah's army
even arrived! The praises that resounded over the slain enemy were so
loud and heartfelt that the place was given a new name: Beracah, the
"Valley of Praise."
One day when final victory is won, as we stand with Jesus in
God's eternal kingdom, our shouts of praises too will be loud. Yet we
too are called to praise now.
When we're afraid, we're called to praise.
When we're discouraged, we're called to praise.
When we face any enemy, we're called to praise.
And praise we can! For we too have the promises of God. You too
can "go out and face [difficulties] tomorrow." You too can know that
"the LORD will be with you."
And this, the assurance of God's presence with us, is cause for
praise. Praise even before victory. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]