I can’t believe I’m writing this. I have too much to do. Two days away at a conference. Twenty-four hours of worship about to start tomorrow. Get ready for my message on Sunday (without googling one). Oh ya… be a pastor as well. Now this blog too?
But what I happened to read in my devotions today compelled me to write this in light of what we are about to launch into tomorrow with our Day and Night of Worship event.
It’s a message I should really be taking time to unpack and share as a sermon, but I can’t hold it back. The text is 2Chronicles 20. The king of Judah (Jehoshaphat) is about to have a ‘vast army’ come to engage with him. Alarmed, he goes to God. Actually, verse four says the whole nation of Judah sought God.
One of the Levites (tribe of priests) says is verse 15 that “the battle is not yours, but God’s” (that in itself is another message). That’s not the good part that jumped out at me. Read this…
“After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendour of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever.’
“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (vv. 21-22 NIV)
Here’s the thing: “Praise precedes promotion.” The victory came because they recognized that regardless of what things ‘looked’ like, it was God’s battle to win, thus their reason to praise Him.
Even more, the place where all the dead laid lying after the victory was called the “Valley of Beracah – the ‘Valley of Praise’.”
Oh man, I’m excited!!!! It does not matter what may be facing you in that valley right now… the movement against you may seem like a ‘vast army’… but it’s not YOUR battle… it’s HIS! And your role? You are called to praise… praise Him for His splendour, His holiness, His love that endures forever!
Tomorrow we are no different than King Jehoshaphat. We recognize that in order to move forward in victory, we will praise the One who has defeated the enemy, and will continue to do so.
In the valley we face, we will witness His praise!!!!
At least that’s how I see it,