– Inyang Okutinyang
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A Nation Seeks the Lord
In 2 Chronicles 20 we read of the little country of Judah. They were following God, and Jehoshaphat the king served God as best as he knew how. Then he was given the bad news that three armies had banded together and were coming against him. One of those armies alone was enough to take care of Judah militarily, not to talk of three! There was no United Nations Organization back then. When enemies came against you, that was it. So, what did Jehoshaphat do?
2 Chronicles 20 (NKJV)
3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
He didn’t take off and go to Moab, or try to compromise and make peace with his enemies. He chose to seek the Lord.
When hard times hit, when it seems like your whole world is caving in on you, what are you going to do? Are you going to jump up and start making phone calls all over town, or are you going to do what the Bible tells you to do and seek the Lord?
God wasn’t surprised by the armies that attacked Jehoshaphat, He knew about it beforehand. And God knows what He is going to do not only about the problems you have now, but also about the ones you are yet to have! But you will have to seek Him for His solutions. Most of the time when pressures come against us, we start calling people; we want to borrow money; we look to men for help, but none of these things help.
The story continues in 2 Chronicles 20:4-9, “So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD, and…they came to seek the LORD. Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD,…and said: “O LORD God of our fathers,…Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel,…And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us – sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine – we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save (or help).”
2 Chronicles 20 (NKJV)
4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and … they came to seek the LORD.
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD…
6 and said: “O LORD God of our fathers…
7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel…
8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying,
9 ‘If disaster comes upon us – sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine – we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’
See how Jehoshaphat is praying here. He brings the word of God, His covenant, before Him. “Lord, this is what You said when this house was built, this is why you had this house built; for Your presence and Your name to be in this place. So that when we stand before this place and we pray concerning anything, You said You would hear and help with certainty. No “ifs”, “buts”, or “maybes”, You will hear and You will help”!
Knowledge of God’s word is what gives us confidence in prayer. We need to take the word of God with us when we go to pray.
Psalm 91 (NKJV)
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in the day of trouble.
Scriptures like this will give you confidence when you pray in your day of trouble. Lillian B. Yeoman made this statement: “Faith is being able to step onto the aching void with nothing but the word of God underneath your feet.”
Don’t wait until you are backed up into a corner before you seek God and hold onto His word. Seek Him even when everything seems to be going fine, that way you’ll get good at it, and know what to do in the day of trouble.