2018-03-13 / Columns

Are You Not… Did You Not… Will You Not

By Pastor Larry Light

King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah were outnumbered 3 to 1. Three armies - the Moabites and Ammonites and Meunites - came to make war against them. The enemy is referred to as “a vast army.”

King Jehoshaphat was alarmed, but did something very wise. He “resolved to inquire of the Lord.” He proclaimed a fast for Judah, gathered the people together and they sought God’s help. Jehoshaphat stood up in the temple of the Lord and began to pray: “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven?”

Phrase #1: “are you not.” Jehoshaphat acknowledged and affirmed who God really is. “Are you not” the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand. No one can withstand you. When life crashes in on us and we become alarmed and afraid, the best thing we can do is to turn to God above and cry out to Him for help. Turn to the One who can be your security in your times of insecurity. Jehoshaphat continued praying.

Phrase #2: “did you not.” Jehoshaphat began to recall how God had helped them in the past. O our God, “did you not” drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? Here’s another insight. When tough times come, remember the times God has helped you in the past. We can find encouragement from previous victories. They become stepping stones for the next battle. Jehoshaphat also reminded God about His promise to give them the Promised Land. O our God, “did you not” …give it forever to the descendants of Abraham? Recall God’s promises when the enemy of your souls seeks to displace the blessings God wants you to have.

Phrase #3: “will you not.” Jehoshaphat then appealed to God’s character. O our God, “will you not” judge them? 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 upon you. When we appeal to God’s character, we lean into His mercy, His grace, His goodness and His favor. The turning point in a battle is when we implore God to intervene in our situation and circumstance. God supernaturally defeated the enemy. The enemy soldiers turned on each other.

Three simple phrases: “are you not,” “did you not” and “will you not.” The first acknowledges who God is. The second helps us remember all He has done for us and what He has promised us. The third appeals to His character to come to our aid.

2 Chronicles 20:15 says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Let Him fight your battles!

Larry Light, Pastor, New Hope Community Church, Walton; 607-865-5436. Sources: Rick Warren, 2 Chronicles 20.

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