TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, January 30, 2019:
Unable to help oneself; weak or dependent; without aid or protection; powerless; incapacitated.
Some came and reported to Jehoshaphat that a great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea. Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord.
II Chronicles 20:2-4.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Have you ever felt totally helpless? Can you remember facing a situation or emergency in which you were completely powerless? To say the least, it is a sobering experience for anyone to go through.
Jehoshaphat faced a moment like that. The good king was confronted with dangerous news. Three different armies had joined their forces together with the goal of defeating Israel.
He was told that “a great multitude” of attackers were already on their way. What was the King’s response? Verse three tells us that he was afraid. That makes perfect sense. He was outnumbered and no doubt felt utterly powerless. The scripture does not tell us that he was afraid and ran away. It does not tell us that he was afraid but still charged headlong into battle.
What the scripture says is that he was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord. That was a perfect response to a helpless situation. The king knew this was not the time to give up or the time to take action motivated by fear. Instead, he held a prayer meeting and asked others to pray. Jehoshaphat confessed to God that he and his people were powerless (II Chronicles 20:12).
You hear the helplessness Jehoshaphat shared in his words as he prayed, "O 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." The whole situation then changed because God had been brought into a hopeless situation and now God was in charge.
God’s answer in II Chronicles 20:15 was, “Listen all Judah 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’”
What an encouragement this was for Jehoshaphat. When we feel helpless and everyone seems to be against us we need to do as Jehoshaphat did. Pray and give the battle to God. Because Jehoshaphat trusted the Lord he did not even have to fight in the battle. God told him, “You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord.”
As Jehoshaphat set out for the battle he said to his army, “Listen to me, Judah and the people of Israel. Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld.” Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise Him for the splendor of His Holiness as he went out at the head of the army, saying, “Give thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever.”
When Jehoshaphat and his army arrived at the battle sight, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground. They knew that God had given them the victory. They gave God praise for the victory and returned joyfully to Jerusalem.
God will always be there with you to bring victory when we are willing to trust Him and give our battles to Him.
Jehoshaphat knew not only where to turn to for help but who to turn to and give the praise. Jehoshaphat led all the men to the temple of the Lord to praise the Lord. II Chronicles 20:28-29.
We all need encouragement when we feel helpless. At such times it is extremely valuable to recall how the Lord worked out situations for us and others in the past. Our faith is strengthened when we take His track record into account and remember God’s promise to be with us. “Give thanks to the Lord for His love endures” II Chronicles 20:21.
Our memory verse for this week is found in I John 5:13.
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Help me to never forget nor take for granted what You have done for others in times of helplessness. Keep my eyes upon You especially in times of despair and helplessness and seek Your help. I give You all the praise for the victories You have given me.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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