Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord

As we conclude our 7th month of this strange space with work but no official "job", of living with a stack of boxes ready for what might be next, of not feeling normal life and at the same time feeling like new normal is much better than anything we knew previously... I sometimes laugh and sometimes cry at this juncture.

I was asking the Lord at the beginning of the month, "Is there anything we're missing? Am I supposed to be doing something, praying something, confessing something, searching something?" Sean has been hard at work getting Big Oak off the ground but we still don't have a salary we can live off. I was scratching my head wondering about stones unturned, asking "why, if we are in obedience, are we still on this stretch of the road?"

My dear cousin Heather sent me a letter that spoke deeply to my questions and in it mentioned the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20 saying, "this was a riveting and wonderful illustration to me of a man who flung Himself to the mercy of a God who is capable of saving...and God did." (If you want some deep truths written eloquently and transparently her blog is

I read the story of Jehoshaphat and it has been the theme of July.
Some men came to Jehoshaphat and told him that there were armies coming against Judah. He knew they didn't have a prayer. "And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah." 2 Chron. 20:3

Jehoshaphat knew his place and he knew the One to appeal to when he had no hope of victory in himself. Next, this king humbles himself in front of his nation. He publicly prays, "O Lord God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven, and do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in your hand is there not power and might so that no one is able to withstand you? Are you not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham your friend forever?" 2 Chron. 20:6,7

He goes on to say that God will hear and save, acknowledges that they have no power to defeat their enemies, and asks the Lord to claim His victory. I love that Jehoshaphat first proclaims who God is, what He has already done and then asks the Lord to intervene.

The Spirit of the Lord comes down and says, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow go down against will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you."

In reading these passages I acknowledged that I obviously have no power to even orchestrate the smallest details of my life...and felt the Lord was telling me I may stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.
What humbled and convicted me was what Jehoshaphat does next. He bows his head with his face to the ground, and led the people in worshipping the
Lord. Instead of hiding under a table, cowering, "I'll wait for the Lord right here...knees shaking!" he "positions" himself in praise. He sends praisers and singers ahead of the army and they were saying,
"Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever."
Jehoshaphat was active in his waiting, never forgetting where victory would come.

"So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped. When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuable on the dead bodies, and precious
jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much." 2 Chronicles 20:24-25

Judah's enemies had destroyed each other before Judah was even on the scene. The battle was won and Judah arrived in time to gather the spoils and enjoy God's victory. No one could say it was Judah's victory. It was God's alone; a prophecy fulfilled, a humble plea answered and a miracle for all to witness and celebrate.

Reading through Jehoshaphat's story I was first relieved, "This isn't my battle to win. I'm in over my head and the Lord will do what needs to be done", and
then convicted to bow my head to the ground as we lead our family in worshipping;
"Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever."

1 comment:

  1. Great words, Shilo! Thanks for sharing.

    After a year of living out of boxes ... wondering when and where the Lord would lead ... yesterday, we believe, the Lord showed us our new home on the island.

    Praying for details, but excited to WORSHIP and PRAISE His name, as we walk in this miracle.

    Praying that the Lord reveals the details to you and Sean, very soon.


    Laurel :)