Day 2: God’s Battle

                As we have turned back to God, our enemies have turned on us and we have learned to stand firm on God’s word. Standing firm means to stand on God’s word and nothing else, believing that God will free us from our enemies. This means we trust his word and wait for his promises to unfold. We don’t want to be like Israel who Psalm 106:13 “soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.” John 14:15 tells us that we love God if we keep his commandments. God said in Malachi 3:7 “Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.” Our return is a realization of how desolate the church really is and the hold the enemy has on us. Our return to the word of the Lord helps us see the vast armies of darkness standing against us and the victory we will have over them. Yesterday we saw how Mordecai cried out to the Lord and how the “tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them.” Even though our enemies our vast, God has heard our cry and will deliver us and we will return to the land. As we take the land, we must stand firm even though the enemies are vast. We do not have to be afraid. Exodus 14:13 “Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”
                As we prepare to take back the land, we believe that our God is our deliverer, so we cry out to him. 1 Chronicles 5:20 “They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him; the battle was God’s.” In the following passage we see a description of what we are to do. The enemies attacked, they sought the Lord for help, admitted their weakness, depended on God for His answer as the battle was His. They were victorious because they obeyed! 2 Chronicles 20:12 “After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. 5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard 6 and said: “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’ 10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord. 14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. 15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” 18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.”
                This journey of taking back the land is one of war yet knowing all the while knowing that the battle is God’s. Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We do not have to fear the enemy as God goes before us to defeat them. As we saw in our introduction to Lent last Sunday, God’s plan was to take the land and no one could stand against them but they had to obey. As we have turned back to God, our enemies will be defeated before us just as God said they would be. We must trust in the Lord for his great deliverance. 2 Samuel 22:1 “David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said: The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me.”