As events in 2014 become more dismaying for Christians, I find myself relating to an ancient group of people from the kingdom of Judah. Three powerful nations made an alliance with each other to invade and conquer Judah by force. Their armies were already marching toward the capitol city of Jerusalem when word came of the impending invasion. The people of Judah knew they would be no match against their enemies in a military battle.
But instead of leaving their homes and searching for hiding places, they prayed and fasted. Then they came together in Jerusalem to seek the Lord and ask Him to show them what to do. King Jehoshaphat stood in the temple court before the people who had assembled there and prayed on their behalf. He acknowledged the Lord God as the God of their fathers, the God in heaven who rules over all the kingdoms, and the one who possesses great power and might. He reminded God that Israel had shown mercy to their enemies in times past. He remembered the words of King Solomon when the temple was dedicated: “If calamity comes upon us. . . we will stand in Your presence before the temple. . . and cry out. . . and You will hear us.” He acknowledged their inability to fight the enemy armies. He admitted that they did not know what to do, but he proclaimed that their eyes were on the Lord. All of the people of Judah stood before the temple in family groups, praying and standing with their children and their little ones. As they waited, God sent a message to them through a member of a priestly tribe. The message was, “Thus saith the Lord unto you, ‘Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’” They were told to go out and meet the enemy the next day, but they would not need to fight against them. Then the King and all the people bowed down before their Lord and worshipped Him, knowing that He had heard their prayers. The next morning, appointed singers went out before the army. As they began to sing and to praise the Lord, a series of amazing events took place out of sight of the Judean army. The Lord caused ambushes to be set against two of the invaders—the Moabites and the Ammonites. Assuming that the ambushes were coming from the Meunites, the first two armies attacked the Meunites and destroyed them. Then they attacked each other until all three of the enemy armies were destroyed. When the military men of Judah arrived at the site where they had been instructed to go, they saw only dead bodies. Their only task was to collect the plunder their enemies left behind. As the year of 2014 unfolds, Christians are finding many of their beliefs and rights under siege as they face a number of formidable enemies. We are no match for their strength and we do not know what we should do. Our first thought is to set up a counter attack, but that would mean scattered groups of Christians against thousands of well-organized enemies. Our second thought is to give up and quit trying, because the enemy is strong and too entrenched. But, somewhere between unproductive frenzy and paralyzing fear, there is a wiser course of action, like we saw in the response of Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah. This course starts with fasting and seeking the Lord. It involves times of repentance, Bible study, and prayer, both in our homes and in our churches. It involves Christians standing in unity with other Christians, repenting of our sins and encouraging each other to trust our Mighty Lord without fearing our enemies. It involves pouring out our hearts before the Lord and pleading with Him to save our children and our homes. Are you prepared to seek your Heavenly Father about what to do to save your children and little ones from being seduced by the world systems? Do you desire for the Christian foundations of our nation to be restored? Oh, Lord, guide us by Your Spirit! (2 Chronicles 20:1-30)