“…Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
‘Give thanks to the LORD for his love endures forever.’ “
2 Chronicles 20:21,NIV
Several years ago, during a college football game, the marching band started their victory celebration a little too early. As the game clock was winding down, they ran onto the playing field while the last play was unfolding. Unfortunately for them, the play succeeded, a touchdown was scored and their team lost. Why was the band on the field at such a crucial moment?
At a critical moment in the life of Judah, the armies of Moab gathered to attack Jerusalem. King Jehoshaphat responded to the fear of that assault by calling the people to worship. As they sought the Lord, He responded and said “the battle is not yours but God’s…tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15,17)
Strategically, we would expect Jehoshaphat to gather his generals and plan their defense against such a powerful enemy. Yet, instead of plotting a military response, he chose to send the band onto the field! As they began the march to meet the enemy, Jehoshaphat sent out the singers and worship band at the head of his army to lead the way. Preceding the warriors were the worshipers!
God wants His people to see life and all its challenges from His perspective and face their foes with His power. Therefore, worship becomes the starting point for living godly, victorious lives in the joy of the Lord. Before we make all our plans, before we march out to do battle, before we become discouraged by the strength of our enemies, why not turn our attention to seek the Lord in worship?
QUESTION: What good would it do to follow the pattern set by Jehoshaphat, singing and praising the Lord, as we go forward to do His will? What can you do to praise Him and give thanks when you are inclined to be anxious and fearful?