I confess that another four weeks of quarantine sounded overwhelming. I sat down to read my Bible with my children. Within five minutes, one child had managed to pull a cracker out of the trash and was eating it, while spilling crumbs all over the place. He wanted nothing to do with the cracker yesterday, but after I’d discarded it, he found nothing more appetizing. I got up to vacuum his crumbs and clean the other trash he’d managed to pull out. Then I noticed the ice cream we’d left out on the counter…
I finally returned to the Bible. Jehosaphat. King of Judah, that’s the southern kingdom, post David fyi. 2 Chronicles 20. I tried to read more and explained it to my children.
“Jehosaphat was the King of Judah. That means he was in charge of all these people. He wore a crown. All these people were coming to get them! They wanted to take away their land! And their houses! But what did Jehosaphat do? He was in trouble. What should we do when we’re in trouble or afraid? He prayed! That’s what we should do when we’re in trouble, right?”
“Mommy! Come here! I see something!” My daughter saw a squirrel. As I looked, I smelled something terrible.
“Who pooped?” I asked.
“That’s my baby broder,” said the three. I went to change the baby’s diaper. Technically he’s one, but until another arrives, he’s the baby.
Eventually, a few points stood out to me in the passage that I found quite relevant for our times today.
1. Jehosaphat prayed
Jehosaphat didn’t know what to do, but he prayed, “O our God…we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You” (2 Chronicles 20:12). I also didn’t know what to do with another four weeks of quarantine. Sure, two weeks was doable, but another four? I needed to pray as Jehosaphat prayed. “Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on you.”
2. God told them not to fear
The Lord spoke through someone to Jehosaphat. “and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15. I too needed to remember that this “battle” or struggle, was not mine, but the Lord’s.
3. God told them to stand firm
The people were required to do something. They were to “station themselves,” or other versions say “take up [their] positions” or “stand firm” (2 Chronicles 20:17). “You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17). Recently, my husband and I were not agreeing on something and cabin fever had gotten the best of us. We finally went to the Lord in prayer about the issue. Oh what a difference that made! I needed to take those concerns to the Lord in prayer. I needed to let the Lord fight the battle. I needed simply to station myself before the Lord. Others might be stationing themselves in nursing homes, in hospitals, grocery stores, etc. While still a great many of us are stationed at home, seeking the Lord through prayer and reading His Word. One thing quarantine can’t keep us from doing is praying and seeking God! And it can’t keep God from moving either! While poopy diapers and squirrels might momentarily distract me, I need to continually station myself before the Lord.
4. God’s Name was glorified!
When we follow God and trust Him with our battles, He is glorified. “And the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel” (2 Chronicles 20:29). Everyone saw the greatness of God when Israel [Judah*] trusted God and obeyed Him. Whatever we’re battling, God can be glorified through it when we turn to Him. Whether it’s loneliness, depression, homeschooling, or simply feeling overwhelmed. We can seek God in our trouble, trust Him to fight the battle, take our positions, and watch Him be glorified.
I don’t know about you, but I needed that word of encouragement today! Praying you’re encouraged as well!
*Sometimes Israel referred to the northern kingdom. Other times it referred to the northern and southern kingdom. Still other times, like here, it simply referred to the people of God.