“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: FEAR NOT, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.” ~ 2 Chronicles 20:17
FEAR NOT: God will FIGHT for You!
God will fight for you! What a message! Our job is to show up, to go to the battlefield, but God will secure the victory for us! FEAR NOT!
To understand the context in which this promise comes we must examine the passage of Scripture from which it is taken: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30. Our text is a message from God (through Jahaziel, the Levite) to the Hebrews in Judah in the reign of king Jehoshaphat.
Without provocation, the Ammonites, the Moabites and the Edomites had gathered themselves together to war against Judah. When king Jehoshaphat heard of the huge army coming against him and his people, he was afraid. How could his little nation resist this horde of enemies?
Jehoshaphat then did something that is instructive to us: he determined to seek the Lord: he proclaimed a fast throughout the land and gathered the people (including the children, 2 Chronicles 20:13) together for prayer, to ask God’s help (2 Chronicles 20:3-4, 13).
While their enemies gathered for war, the people of God gathered for prayer.
Jehoshaphat prayed a beautiful prayer (2 Chronicles 20:5-12), and in closing his prayer he made this humble, but insightful, statement:
“…for we have no might… neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” ~ 2 Chronicles 20:12
In other words, “we can’t do it, but we look to you, God, because we know you can do it”.
It is AFTER this, as the people waited on Him, that God sent His message of encouragement through Jahaziel.
The lesson for us is this: When we face problems (big and small), like king Jehoshaphat, we must FIRST humble ourselves and seek the Lord.
As simple as that prescription seems, as many times as we have heard it, that is not our usual response. When facing problems we often respond by looking to our own ‘wisdom’/’knowledge’ and relying on our own resources/strength.
Sadly, we often turn to God only when we have run out of options: we call on God in the middle of the battle when we realize defeat is imminent.
However, we would do well to follow Jehoshaphat’s example instead. Scripture tells us that there is an enemy assembled against us, and that that enemy is in the spiritual realm
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” ~ Ephesians 6:12
We can’t fight that enemy with our own wisdom and strength; if we are to prevail we must rely on God’s wisdom and God’s strength. God must fight for us! And He will! But first we must humbly seek Him, we must look to Him: the victory over the enemy does not come while warring on the battlefield, the victory comes while praying on our knees. It is in seeking God that the victory is won.
Likewise, we will win our battles by first seeking God in prayer, long before the battles begin.
FEAR NOT, God is on our side. FEAR NOT, we who seek Him, we who walk with Him, we will win.
In closing, the Hebrews won the battle: God made the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites war against each other until every man in their army was dead. The people of Judah only went on the battlefield to collect the goods (food, clothes, weapons, tools, cattle, even valuables) their enemies left behind. And there was so much stuff that it took them three days to collect it all!
When God fights our battles for us, our enemies will always leave behind a blessing for us to enjoy. 🙂
This post is a part of a series on several of the “FEAR NOT” sayings in the Bible.