Jump Start # 2436
2 Chronicles 20:12 “O our God, will You not judge them? For 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.”
Our verse today is part of a prayer. It’s how a prayer ended. It comes from the heart of a king. Things were dark. Trouble was coming. He needed God’s help.
The background to this is simple. Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah. He was one of the good ones. A coalition of foreign powers, including Moab and Ammon had joined to attack Judah. Judah would not be able to stand against such powerful and numerous enemies. Their only hope was in God. The king lifts up his heart and pleads to God for help. He is honest and he is humble. The prayer was heard and Judah was saved. The enemy turned on themselves and Judah was spared. God, once again, saved His people.
I have to believe that there is much more than a historical reason for this being in our Bibles. It’s faith building. We often stand in the shadows of this king. It’s not Moab that we fear, but cancer. It’s not Ammon, but it’s the darkness of the future. And, like this king, we access the situation and come up with two conclusions.
First, we are powerless. The problem seems larger than us. It’s something we’ve never had to face before. The treatments, the costs, the sickness, the pain—the changing of our lives. The inconveniences. The appointments. The forms that must be filled out. We wonder, why can’t things just be like they once were. Why do I have to go through all of this. I just want this to go away and leave me alone.
Second, the king admitted, “we do not know what to do?” Neither do we. So many decisions. Which one is the right one. Go for treatment or go for surgery? What if the surgery doesn’t work? Or, there are the decisions with aging parents. Keep them in their home and provide in house care or find an assisted living facility? Which is better. What if the money runs out? What if our parents don’t want to leave their home? “We do not know what to do?”
I love the honesty of this king. Much too often we try to fake our way through situations. We pretend that we know what to do, when we really don’t. We put on a brave face and charge ahead. But since we really do not know what we are doing, is that the best course of action? What do you say to a prodigal? What do you say to a member who is addicted to porn? What do you say to someone who has been arrested? We do not know what to do.
The way some act, you’d think that there is never a situation, nor ever a time when they are caught off guard. They always know what to do. They have an answer for everything and everyone. And, probably reading this passage, they’d have a solution for Judah’s king. All Jehoshaphat could do was pray to God. He knew that God would know what to do. He knew he could trust God. He knew God was good.
Our verse ends, as this prayer ends, “Our eyes are on You.” Our hope is in You. I’d like to hear more prayers end that way. We wonder sometimes if we even need God. It seems that we have everything figured out and we know what to do. A little of “Our eyes are on You,” reminds us of our place and His position. It helps us to realize that He knows tomorrow, we don’t. It helps us to understand that He is moving and working in places that we cannot see, nor can we understand.
Immediately, Jehoshaphat’s prayer is answered. Assemble before your enemy. Go, but you will not fight. The battle is the Lord’s. Do not be afraid. And, it’s those words that you and I need to hold close to our hearts. Do not be afraid. Sure the enemy is many. Sure the problem is serious and grave. But don’t be afraid. Our eyes are upon the Lord.
This ought to be the prayer of parents. We are not sure what to do and the problems before us are serious. However, our eyes are upon You. This ought to be the prayer of the shepherds of a congregation. There are problems before us. We are not sure what to do. Our eyes are upon You. This ought to be how all of us pray. Problems around us. We are not sure what to do. However, our eyes are upon the Lord.
God can see what we cannot. God can do what we cannot. When hope seems lost, lift up your eyes. Our eyes are upon You…