by Kimberley Sasan
2 Chronicles 20:1-24
Since I was about 15 years old, I have been singing in church. More than 20 years later I am still sining His praises in church. These past 20-some years, I have seen and experienced the power of praise first hand in many ways. Miraculous things happen when we sing and declare His praises together. And something so amazing happens in our hearts when we choose to praise Him right on through whatever fears and doubts might be holding us back.
One of my favorite examples of this is a story of Jehoshaphat. He was king of Judah at the time and the Bible tells us that God was with him. There were 3 armies that gathered together and declared war on Jehoshaphat. This is some scary news and it certainly terrified Jehoshaphat. So He turns to God (there’s a lesson for us in those words alone), and says, “Oh God in heaven, YOU are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. YOU are powerful and mighty, and I know that no one can stand against YOU…we do not know what to do, but we are looking to YOU for help.” (v.6,12)
God answers him and says, “Do not be afraid…for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (v. 15) God tells them that He’s got this and, in fact, they’re not even going to have to fight. He tells them to just stand still and watch the LORD’s victory.
The next day as they’re marching out to battle, Jehoshaphat turns to his army (to give them a pep talk no doubt) and says, “BELIEVE in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm.” (v. 20) Can I just tell you that most days that’s all I need to remember. Believe in HIM and then stand firm! He is the solid Rock on which we stand and as the hymn reminds us, all other ground is sinking sand.
Back to the story, here comes my favorite part…
As they’re marching, Jehoshaphat decides to get some singers together and have them walk in front to sing a song to the Lord and praise Him. I’m a singer. So if I had been there, that would have been me, and I can tell you that singing just might have been the very last thing on my mind in that moment. BUT Jehoshaphat’s words would be resounding in my heart and mind…”Believe…stand firm!”
I just love that the Bible gives us the very words to that song…
“Give thanks to the Lord;
His faithful love endures forever!” (v.21)
The Bible tells us that at the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies that were coming against them to start fighting among themselves. By the time Jehoshaphat’s army arrived at the battle field, all of their enemies had been destroyed. “Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.” (v.24)
That right there is the power of our praise. God is able to do the impossible. All that He asks us to do is BELIEVE, stand firm, and keep lifting our voice in praise to Him. He win’s the battle for us every time.
Think with me for a moment about what that particular song might have sounded like. Can you hear it? Can you hear the song coming from the hearts of a group of people lifting their voices together in unity despite whatever fear and doubt they feel? It probably wasn’t much different from the sound I’ve heard so many times these past 20 years, standing in front of congregations of people doing that very thing…singing and praising right through their fear and doubts…believing in the God who promises the VICTORY. g