In 2 Chronicles we read the account of a miraculous deliverance and victory for the people of Judah and Jerusalem over a vast army coming to make war against them. Jehoshaphat was king of Judah at this time. When Jehoshaphat was told of this army advancing toward them, he proclaimed a fast for all of Judah, and the people came together to seek God’s help in their time of desperate need (2 Chronicles 20:2-4).
When they had assembled at the temple of the Lord, Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly and interceded for them with a prayer that emphasized God, and His power and might. By contrast, the prayer also emphasized the weakness and inability of His people to face the threat that was advancing toward them. Jehoshaphat’s prayer is recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:6-12, and his prayer ends with the words: “… For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” (2 Chronicles 20:12).
As God’s people, we will at times be confronted with overwhelming circumstances in our lives. In these times, we too will be faced with our own “great multitude” of troubles that are coming against us. We will look around at our own resources and abilities to see that we cannot face the situation on our own. We will realize that our only hope is the same as the people of Judah and Jerusalem saw at this time of dire need in their lives, which is to look to God, our Strength, to take our burden to our sovereign and omnipotent God in prayer, and to wait for His answer and His deliverance from the overwhelming troubles that have come into our lives.
Continuing in this passage of 2 Chronicles, after Jehoshaphat had brought their urgent need for help to the Lord in prayer, he and those in the assembly waited for God’s answer. Then we read that the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, who was a Levite and a descendant of Asaph. He spoke to the assembly of the people saying:
“Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).
After receiving an answer from the Lord with encouragement and instructions on what to do, Jehoshaphat bowed before the Lord with his face to the ground in worship and gratitude, as did all of the people in the assembly. Some of the Levites also stood up and praised the Lord with loud voices. The account of events then continues as we read beginning in verse 20:
They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. (2 Chronicles 20:20-23)