by Laura Keeley
Focus: Like King Jehoshaphat, we have hope because we know that God is on our side and, despite problems, God will be with us.
Background: 2 Chronicles 20
In 2 Chronicles 20 we read that the Moabites and Ammonites gathered a vast army to fight the people of Judah. The people of Judah were worried and alarmed. They were vastly outnumbered. Their situation appeared hopeless. The people of Judah came from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem to seek God’s help.
King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah—children too—gathered together and prayed to God for guidance and protection. Jehoshaphat ended his prayer with these words: “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
Jehoshaphat knew that their army couldn’t fight this battle alone. Without God, things were hopeless. They had no chance of defeating this huge army that was getting ready to attack them. They needed help that only God could give. So Jehoshaphat led his people to God, the place of hope. And God answered them. God told Jehoshaphat that the battle was not theirs; it was God’s. God would give them the victory.
The next morning Jehoshaphat and his men went out to meet the great army. But when they came to the place where the army was camped, they found only dead bodies. During the night the armies had fought against each other, and everyone was dead. There was no one left to fight the Israelites.
God was with King Jehoshaphat and his people. They probably thought their situation was hopeless. But with God there is always hope.
God is with you too. Sometimes we might feel that there are times when we have no hope. Those are times when, like Jehoshaphat, we don’t know what to do. What Jehoshaphat did, though, is a good idea—he kept his eyes on God. We can do that too. We can do that because God will never leave us. This doesn’t mean there won’t be times when we get hurt or times when we are sad. But it does mean that God always has us in his hands, just as he had the people of Judah and their king. Stories like this give us hope. The God who rescued Jehoshaphat is our God too.
Sing “Don’t Be Afraid” by John L. Bell (Lift Up Your Hearts, 429)