Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's Not About Our Strength...

The stories of the kings of Israel and Judah in the book of Chronicles and Kings always fascinate me. There are so many life/spiritual lessons to be learned - both positive and negative - from their examples. One lesson that rings true throughout almost every story is that no matter what the strength of a particular king and his army, God is the one who determines the outcome of the battles.

From the stories of the kings of Israel/Judah, over and over, God makes known that He desires their obedience and faithfulness - not their horses, chariots and armed men. God teaches them time after time that the battle is His to win or lose, not theirs. As in the story of Jehosaphat (2 Chronicles 20) when Judah is confronted with a vast hostile army, the word comes to them, "You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord...Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for Yahweh is with you."

Conversely, in the story of Joash (2 Chronicles 24), God uses a smaller and weaker Aramean army to defeat and plunder Jerusalem. The Bible says, "Although the Aramean army came with only a few men, the Lord handed over a vast army to them because the people of the Judah had abandoned Yahweh, the God of their ancestors. So they executed judgment on Joash."

From the world's point of view, I guess it would be best to be the biggest and strongest person in the room. Personally, I wouldn't know that. But I do know that from heaven's point of view, it is much better to be the more obedient and more faithful than the strongest, smartest or best looking.

King David said, "Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses, but we take pride in the name of Yahweh our God." (Psalm 20:7)

Unfortunately, I sometimes look for security in my own strength, ways and methods. I find it to be true that I have much more real security when I trust in the Lord and lean to His understanding, not mine.

I pray today that I have the wisdom to let the battle belong to God...

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