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But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. And now, here's James. Well, jump in Jehoshaphat, James. I mean, you tell me today on Purging Prayer we're going to talk about Jehoshaphat and something really practical that we can learn from him, especially when we're up against something that seems overwhelming. So let's jump in. Oh, ouch. Jumping Jehoshaphat.
That was a rough handoff. Do you ever wonder where that phrase comes from? Jump in Jehoshaphat? I'm pretty sure Robin used to say that to Batman back in the day, didn't he? You may be right. Holy mackerel, Batman. He said a lot of things.
But it actually occurs in the novel The Headless Horseman by an Irish-American novelist in the U.S. way back in like the 1860s. And we're going to use that phrase today just because it's memorable and it'll help us remember to do something. But before we get there, let's go a little deeper into Jehoshaphat or Jehoshaphat's story.
And Robbie, what do you remember about him? Well, he was a king, right, in Judah, one of David's descendants, and really in his own way an ancestor of Jesus, right? That's exactly right.
Yeah, keep going. So he was a good king, and actually he was a very good king. He made some mistakes, but basically he led a huge reform in Israel and turned the nation back to God. But it wasn't always easy for him, was it?
No, no, that's right. And that's what we want to look at today. It was one of those difficult times.
2 Chronicles 2 tells us about this moment when armies from a number of nations are about to invade Jerusalem, and it's a vast army, an overwhelming force compared to what Judah had. So do you remember what he did? Here's a hint. It's a little like Winston Churchill and what Winston Churchill and Lord Halifax did before the evacuation of Dunkirk during World War II. Do you remember what they did right before that? Yeah, he called for a national day of prayer.
That's right. And in this case, not just prayer, but prayer and fasting. And people came from all over Judah to join them, even Scripture tells us, even wives and children and their little ones. So imagine that. And Jehoshaphat stands up in the middle of this national prayer meeting where the people are gathered, and he prays this amazing prayer.
Do you remember a little of that? Well, basically he says, don't let them do this, God. We're powerless against them if you don't help us. Then he says, you know, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you. And, you know, I love that. That's it.
That's it. I mean, what a great prayer to pray. Not only when we're up against something, but every day.
I don't know what to do, but my eyes are on you. Because ultimately, we want what God wants for us, right? And that's another way of saying your will be done. But after Jehoshaphat prays, something amazing happens. One of the priests there is moved by the Spirit of God and basically says, you're not going to have to fight, get ready to go, suit up, march out against them. But God has got this. And then they all start worshiping God because of this message. They receive it by faith, and Jehoshaphat falls on his face before God and everyone else does the same.
Wow, that's so cool. And that very next day, early in the morning, they march out, right? Right. I mean, first thing in the morning, and after checking with the people, as they're marching out, Jehoshaphat puts a group of men in front of the army, and you know what they're doing, right? They're singing to God and praising him.
That's right. And I'm sure that took some faith, right? I mean, they're praising God in advance for what he's going to do. You know, he's always going to take care of them, and they're standing right in front of the front lines as they march out.
I mean, that's just it. They're standing in the front lines, praising God, and they're going to battle. And it hasn't happened yet, you know.
I mean, the victory that they're hoping for, that they believe, because God has told them is coming, hasn't come yet. And I think we can really learn from that. How often do we take counsel of our fears and tell God all about our worries and kind of stay camped out there, you know?
We grab them back again. But what if we followed this example and praised God in advance for his faithfulness, for who he is? It doesn't mean that things will always work out the way we want them to, because they have a definite word from the Lord at that moment. But if we recognize that we're in God's hands and just, you know, faith life that way, there's no better place to be.
Oh, that's so good. You know, I think if you combine that with praying, you know, I don't know what to do, but my eyes are on you. I love that prayer. And then look forward to God with faith when you face a problem and praise him for his faithfulness. And no matter what, when we face it right, it's going to be better, because we'll be walking into it with him.
Right, right. And the author of 2 Chronicles even tells us what they were singing in front of the army as they marched out. And that was, give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever. Isn't that a great thing to pray to? Lord, your love never ends. I'm going to trust you for that.
I'm going to thank you for that. And of course, they'd already been assured God was going to win the battle for them, and they wouldn't have to fight. And when they get there, the invading armies have turned on each other, they've wiped each other out. And there are all these items of value that the armies leave behind, and it takes them three days to collect it all. So it's this incredible victory.
But on the fourth day, after they've been picking all this stuff up, they're so grateful, they meet in the same place, and they praise God again. And then they give the place a special name. Do you know what they called it? What is it?
What's that? The Valley of Barakah, which means the valley of peace, or the valley of blessing. Wow, that's a pretty incredible name in itself, right? If you think about it, because the very place that they were fearful of becomes the place of praise, right? This place of blessing. And isn't that just like God? I mean, I mean, haven't we all been there where, you know, he brings the good out of a situation that we never thought was possible?
Yeah, that's exactly right. And notice, what changed that whole situation was prayer, seeking him in prayer. And, you know, as we go to prayer, we can think of times when God has helped us in the past, and we can build on that, and praise him in advance, not just for what he's going to do in the future, which is awesome, according to his word, for his people, you know, but for who he is. I mean, all of this is really about worship and going to God, not just as a last resort, but as a first resort, before anything happens.
Right, a first resort. I like that. And you're so right. I mean, it really makes a difference when we pray that way, and because we're just about out of time, why don't you lead us in prayer? Lord, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you. You are so good, Father. We ask that you lead us, that you help us to follow, that you bless our listeners, and Father, we thank you for your goodness, that your love endures forever. We look forward to it today. In Jesus' name, Amen. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website, jamesbanks.org, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 14:10:49 / 2023-01-28 14:14:45 / 4