By Lisa Liedenfrost
Here is an example of a king that did it right when faced with danger and fear.
“It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat” (vs 1). The king is told of the precarious situation in verse 2. He gives his reaction, which was fear (who wouldn’t), then his immediate action of going to seek God and getting everyone else to seek Him. “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah” (vs 3).
Verse 6 Starts his prayer to God. The first part of his prayer is a series of rhetorical questions that is stating Who God is, focusing on His attributes of power and might. “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” He then states God’s past actions of faithfulness to them, their connectedness to Him and His promises to them. “Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us- sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine- we will stand before this temple in Your presence and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save'” (vs 7).
It is not until verse 10 that Jehoshaphat finally presents the situation to God in great detail. “And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir … here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit” (vs 11). Then in verse 12 he requests God to do something about all of it. “O our God, will You not judge them?” But attached to this is an acknowledgment of their position. “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
The last part of the statement is where he transfers it all up to God, “but our eyes are upon You.” They demonstrated a complete reliance on God and also an acknowledgement of where their help was going to come from.
Now it is God’s turn. Here is the answer in verse 15: “Don’t be afraid, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” And later in verse 17, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you…do not fear or be dismayed.”
The king’s response is to bow down and worship (vs 18).
This is doing it right when faced with a very difficult and overwhelming situation, and we can learn a lot from it. The situation can be changed and you can still keep the particulars. When a hardship has come that causes you to fear what do you do? Immediately seek the Lord. Then in your prayer declare what you know about God. This helps set your mind above with a right perspective. Here are some possible verses.
“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, who makes all things who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself” (Is 44:24). “For I know that the Lord is great, and our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the Lord pleases He does” (Ps 135:5).
Then remind yourself of God’s past faithfulness to you and your connectedness with Him. You are His child and He has redeemed you and you are to cast all your care upon Him (I Pet 5:7). Present your situation to Him in great detail. Request that He do something about it. Acknowledge your powerlessness, then transfer it up to Him with “our eyes are upon you.”
Then watch Him act knowing that this is no longer your battle or burden but God’s. No matter which way he takes the matter, it is in His hands. You may repeatedly approach Him on an issue but eventually you must be yielded to how He chooses to answer knowing it is for the very best. If God jack knifes the car in a different direction, be ready to go there with Him. It will be ok, because He is the driver.
“So, our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us” (Ps123:2b).
“For since the beginning of the world, men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him” (Is 64:4).
“Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you” (Is 46:4).
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27).