Sunday, April 18, 2010

It may be a knockout

Fear. Its potential to invade arises with change. When either something unwanted walks onto our fairly predictable path or when something we know and love is stripped away, fear stands as if an invited guest.

Second Chronicles 17-20 has caught my attention the past two mornings. And if you are tempted to believe that ancient writings have no place in modern culture, I pray you reconsider after meeting Jehoshaphat. That's right, Je-hosh'a-phat. A name that has never graced the popularity lists for babies--at least not in the States--but one that carries a legacy of faith.

After my time in this text, I regretted not having a platform this Sunday to preach--uhhh, I mean teach. Chapter 20 is rich with lessons of faith. But for today I will give us one upon which to meditate.

Jehoshaphat reigned as king of Judah--the southern kingdom of God's people at this time. And he loved the Lord and made strides to reform the people towards faith. Then it happened that a "great multitude" marched to attack. And when Jehoshaphat heard of the imminent battle, fear took up residence in his heart.

And his response reflected his faith.

He "set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah...and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord." (20:3) Fear propelled him into the arms of his heavenly Father--the only place of ultimate refuge.

As his prayer of intercession came to an end, his final words could easily serve as our own when war appears to be on the horizon, "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." (20:12)

Read that verse again...out-loud.

War is coming. A multitude approaches. It has the potential to crush me. It towers over me. And I hold hands with fear. But that is not the will of my Father. He instructs me to fear not. Why? Because He is with me and will never forsake me. Fear not. So. Though I have no power against this Goliath, my eyes are upon the One that does. Be my strength, o Lord. And empower my feeble hands with Your unmeasurable might.

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