Navigation: This page ''
---> Main Page ---> Author. Contact. About Page.

"The battle belongs to the LORD"
Jehoshaphat and II Chronicles 20

II Chronicles 20 contains a well-known episode in the life of the nation of Judah. The people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir gathered a huge army to invade Judah, but the forces of Judah were too small to resist it. However, Yahweh God delivered them. As many remember it, the army of Judah went out led by singers singing praise to Yahweh, and the massive enemy army was defeated. The moral of the story, many believe is: when we have a challenge, then if worship God, He will give us victory in the challenge. More worship = more victory.

But I believe that interpretation is wrong in most situations, and not from Yahweh God, but from the thinking of man (and perhaps woman too!). This becomes clear when we look at what the Scriptural account tells us.

On hearing the threat, King Jehoshaphat brought the people together to fast and call upon Yahweh their God. He led the prayer (v.6-12). Then the Spirit of Yahweh came upon Jahaziel, who said the now-famous words (v.15,17), "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. ... You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance Yahweh will give you. ..." Jehoshaphaat did that. He appointed men to sing praise to Yahweh, and put them at the head of the army, singing "Give thanks to Yahweh, for his love endures forever." As they began to sing, Yahweh set ambushes for the enemy, and the three sections began to fight among themselves, until they were all dead. When the Judean army arrived, they found only dead bodies. All the nations around heard of this and respected ("feared") Yahweh.

In interpreting this, let us examine what Jehoshaphat prayed, and what Yahweh told him to do, and what was not said.

The moral of this for us is not "Worship, and we will get blessing" but "Do not fear being at the end of our tether, because, if we are truly the people of Yahweh God, and trust Him in our extremity, He will act to deliver us within His Plan. And, by the way, we will spontaneously respond with worship." Worship is a response, not a requirement.

For a more systematic exposition of this, see the page on Worship - A New View.

This page is offered to God as on-going work. Comments, queries welcome.

Copyright (c) Andrew Basden at all dates below. But you may use this material subject to certain conditions.

Part of his pages, that open up discussion and exploration from a Christian ('xn') perspective. Written on the Amiga with Protext.

Created: 13 August 2015. Last updated: 22 August 2015 changed title, link to worship.html. 25 May 2016 corrected Edom to Moab.