Great Jehoshaphat! Praise in the midst of the crisis

I came across a great chapter in an old, worn book of my grandmother’s by Catharine Marshall, Something More: In Search of Deeper Faith. This Chapter is called “The Golden Bridge of Praise.” Marshall says:

“My first discovery was that I knew almost nothing about praise, neither what it was nor how to praise…The subject is menioned occasionally as a nice worship exercise, a sort of icing on the cake as a gesture to God, but praise as the key to answered prayer, no. That was a new concept altogether.”

She goes on to use many examples, but one in particular peeked my interest. She mentioned a passage in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 about King Jehosophat and the battle he won! It was so revolutionary, so exciting — that I’ve been parked in 2 Chronicles chapter 20 for several days!

2 Chronicles 2:2
Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, [b] from the other side of the Sea. [c] It is already in Hazazon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi).

At the beginning of this chapter, we see that a vast army has come to attack Jehosophat. Pwat! Out of thin air — enough men to annihilate his nation and destroy everything he holds dear! And what made it worse — these were a people that the Israelites spared when they entered the promised land!

I can relate to this! I am bebopping along in my day when “Pwat!” out of the blue something hits me upside the head that rocks me to the core! My husband and I have had several such experiences — a layoff, job changes, several farm crop failures, several difficult pregnancies. Things we just thought spelled “the end” of life as we know it.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but God taught us these principles spelled out so clearly in 2 Chronicles. Let’s just look at verse 3.

2 Chronicles 20:3
3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.

Here are the tings I see here:

1. Jehoshaphat was alarmed. He was scared! He was upset! He was in turmoil! He couldn’t think straight! He was choked up to the core! In the NIV version we only see this word used thirteen times. It is used in times of ultimate upheaval — even the upheaval at the end of the world.

  • Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

2. “Jehosophat Resolved to inquire of the Lord” Jehosophat determined that he was going not to overanalyze, not to overthink, not to reason, but to inquire of the Lord. He determined. He decided! Don’t panic– ask God. I want you to see the other three places this word is mentioned.

  • Daniel 1:8
    But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
  • Psalm 17:3
    Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:2
    For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Wow! A determination! A decision! When I am in the midst of crisis I will resolve to “inquire of the Lord!”

Great Jehoshaphat! I think so! Even more exciting stuff tomorrow…

Lord, when I am tempted to panic! Let me inquire of you! I resolve to seek you amidst my alarm! Thank you Lord for your blessings and that you’ve given me a place for this message that weighs on my heart daily! It was burning and shut up in my bones! Bring the people here who need to hear it! Keep scoffers at bay! Thank you Lord for giving me the peace that passes all understanding! Amen.

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