“For we are powerless before this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” 2 Chronicles 20:12
If I’m honest, I’ve used this phrase a lot this year: Lord, I don’t know what to do. This year has left many questions for our family, as I’m sure you would say the same for yours.
Here are a few of my own statements from the year:
- I don’t know what to do about our future.
- I don’t know what to do about anything anymore.
Maybe you have similar broad ones or maybe you have specific ones like:
- I don’t know what to do about my health or a loved one’s health.
- I don’t know what to do about my broken family.
- I don’t know what to do about the friend who’s been gossiping about me.
In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat had a great multitude coming against him. He had his own “I don’t know what to do” response when he found out.
It takes a lot of gusto for a leader to confess before the people that he doesn’t know what to do.
In this moment of honest confession, his weakness hits a brick wall, and only God’s strength can break through it.
I can only imagine the fear and thoughts Jehoshaphat must’ve had since his last time on the battlefield ended in a near-death experience.
But this time, Jehoshaphat knew where he had to look. He had to turn his eyes on God.
After he spoke to the crowd, Jahaziel stood up and spoke to them and said, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s…Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow, go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.” (2 Chr. 20:15, 17).
- Don’t fear
- Don’t lose courage
- This battle is God’s battle
- You still have to go out and face your enemies
- The LORD — Jehovah Himself, the self-existent One — is with you!
After this, Jehoshaphat begins to pray and all of Judah and Jerusalem worship and praise Jehovah. They were preparing their hearts for what was about to come.
(Since we don’t always know what’s coming our way, how are we preparing our hearts daily?)
Facing The Multitude
Even though God said that it was His battle to fight, He told them to go out the next day and face the multitude. They had to prepare, so Jehoshaphat discusses who should lead the army with the people.
They still had to show up. Sometimes all God wants us to do is just show up.
So who is going to lead them? Um, it’s a no-brainer, Jehoshaphat. The commander in chief, the military captain, the strongest men should be in front. This just makes sense to me.
Instead of sending the most equipped men to lead, he sends the temple singers to the frontline. The worship leaders led the army to fight.
They didn’t know how this thing was going to play out, that’s why Jehoshaphat had to consult with the people first. Because if it went south, the least equipped (according to humanity) were at the frontline and he would have a lot of explaining to do!
So picture this: An army led by people praising Jehovah, the eternal One, and when they finally arrive to meet the multitude, everyone is already dead. I can only imagine their relief and sense of joy (and confusion) upon their arrival!
The multitude (Moab, Ammon, and Mount Seir) killed and destroyed one another! By the way, this happened while they were singing (v. 22). Don’t tell me there’s not any power in singing about the goodness of our God!
When God said, “You will not need to fight in this battle”, He wasn’t playing. They didn’t have to raise a single sword. God took care of the multitude in a way that didn’t make sense. They didn’t know how they were going to win the battle.
I don’t know about you, but when things don’t seem to make any sense, I know God is up to something.
Blessing Upon Blessing
But this isn’t the end. Judah was blessed with an abundance of spoil (jewelry and goods). There was so much to collect that it took them three days to gather it all.
On the fourth day, they reached a valley and named it, The Valley of Berachah, which means blessing. (I find it interesting that they’re in the valley after such a mountaintop experience.)
It keeps getting better. Then God gives peace and rest to Jehoshaphat and the entire country of Judah!
Because Jehoshaphat had an honest confession of “I don’t know what to do”, he was given guidance and direction. He trusted in what God said and the entire country benefitted.
Their material needs were taken care of and their souls were full of peace and rest, which is so great, but ultimately it was about seeing God for who He is. They saw the goodness of God.
Victory In Jesus
I don’t know what specific multitude you’re facing today, but I think it’s safe to say that 2020 in and of itself was/is a great multitude.
If your multitude has left you with “I don’t know what to do” statements, remember to turn your eyes to God and sing of His goodness. You never know how He’ll give you victory over your multitude!
“Most importantly, we can praise God that Jesus Christ has fought the battle for our salvation and to rescue us from the judgement of God that we so rightly deserve. This makes us more than conquerors in Jesus Christ, because He fights the battle and defeats our foe, and we share in the spoil.” (David Guzik)
- What “multitude” are you facing today?
- What “I don’t know what to do” statements do you need to lay at the feet of Jesus?
- If you’re in the valley right now, choose one verse to memorize and recite out loud to help redirect your perspective in the valley.
Lord, we thank you for who You are. We thank You for what You’re showing us through the multitude and through the valleys. May we be people who are constantly humbling ourselves before You and before others. May we be honest with You and not hold back when it comes to our struggles. Lord, you are the Self-Existent One, the Eternal One, who knows our future. We place our future in Your hands and release whatever power we’re trying to hold onto. Lord, I am powerless but You are powerful! Even when we don’t know what to do, help me keep my eyes on You.