What if the way we see people behaving in the Bible long ago is a message about how we are supposed to behave today?
Not all of it is good, of course, so you can’t just open to a page and say, “There! See? It’s in the Bible. I’m gonna do that!”
You might just find yourself like Kind David, on a rooftop, lusting after someone else’s wife.
Or beating a man to the point of killing him, like Moses.
Or flat out lying and cursing your best friend, like Peter.
When we continue reading those stories, we find out God is in the redemption business. He’s awfully good at making masterpieces out of our messes. But that’s a point for another day.
Today, I’m interested in what we see people in the Bible doing when they really need God’s help.
Have you ever really needed God’s help? Me too.
I stumbled across a story in the Bible last week that is sticking to my ribs and continues to sustain me as I hunger for God’s intervention.
In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat finds out that he is going to be under some serious enemy attack. Three different groups are coming at him, together.
He doesn’t have much time, he needs to prepare his troops. But instead, he prays. Then he asks everyone in the country to fast, then he gathers them all for a meeting so they can pray together. In his public prayer, he reminds God, the community, and himself of all the promises God has made and all the ways He’s saved them in the past. Right then, a man in the crowd who came from a long line of priests, starts sharing a message from God.
This man starts talking on behalf of God, telling the people that this is God’s war, and even though they can see the enemy coming from over a far-away hill, tomorrow when the battle begins, they won’t even need to fight.
Here are the words that have been resonating in my head from that speech. It’s today’s memory verse: “March out boldly tomorrow— God is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17 (MSG)
I’m not sure what I would have thought had I been standing in that crowd, but today, in this modern time, I need the reminder that when I show up, God will show up. When we do what we know we’re supposed to do, God will do the rest.
King Jehoshaphat also appeared to believe this message. The next morning, they walk to the front lines, with singers leading the troops in songs of praise.
“At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies… to start fighting among themselves.” (2 Chronicles 20:22 NLT)
The enemies all killed each other while the king and his people stood there and watched!
I need God’s help every day, in the little things and the big things. How about you? Before I ever write a single word for my work, before I have a tough conversation with my kids, before I step out bravely to help someone I don’t want to help — or forgive someone I don’t want to forgive, I need to talk to God. I need to remind Him and myself that He’s here and He’s on my side.
You can do that too. God’s always listening, so you always have His ear. You never know, you might just hear Him remind you that this isn’t your fight. You are standing in the middle of the battle field simply so you can watch the Lord’s victory.