2 Chronicles 20:1–15 – The Battle is Not Yours
Do you feel like you are in a battle that you can’t win? Things are coming against you and fear has overtaken you? The good news is the battle is not yours!
It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:1–4; 14–15).
This Word is for you. God said, “This Battle is mine!” Go ahead and give God a shout of victory. He has this one. “This isn’t your fight. This battle belongs to God.” God has this!
Have you ever got caught up in a fight that just wasn’t your fight? When I was a teenager this would happen all the time. If my friend was going to fight, then it was my fight too. I might not fight, but I would be there to talk trash. I would get involved in battles that weren’t mine to fight. As I got older, I realized that that is one of the stupidest things to do. Yes, I said stupid.
In 1 Kings 22, King Ahab convinces King Jehoshaphat to join him in a battle with Syria that wasn’t his fight. This was Ahab’s fight against Syria, but Jehoshaphat joins in, and it cost Ahab his life and almost cost Jehoshaphat his life too. Maybe, that is when King Jehoshaphat learned his lesson. He wasn’t one to back down from a fight, but he wasn’t one to go looking for one either. He has grown up and matured. But now, the battle has come looking for him.
It is More Than He Can Handle
There are three coming against him. The Moabites, the Amorites, and Mount Seir are joining forces and coming against Judah and King Jehoshaphat. If it was just one, he could take them. Maybe even if it was two of them, he could handle it, but when it is three of them coming at once, it becomes a battle he can’t win.
Are you in a battle you can’t win? It seems like it not one thing, but multiple things coming against you all at once. If it was just my kids then I could handle it. But my parents are sick, and the bills are adding up, and there’s talk of job cut backs, and the car broke down, and now I can’t sleep because of the fear of it all.
You feel like you’re drowning in fear and depression, and you can’t pull out of it. Everything is coming against you all at once. Then the preacher tells me to Handle it, and I don’t think I can. Do you know what I’m talking about? When the battle seems too big to win? This is what Jehoshaphat was up against and it caused fear to overtake him.
So what do you do when fear overtakes you? Fear will cause you to run from everything. That’s why when the stress of everything in life piles up, that people walk out on their marriage, family, church, and even God, but fear can also cause you to run to God too. That is what Jehoshaphat did. When the battle came to him and fear overtook him, he ran to God. He fasted and called all of Judah to fast as well. He prayed and sought the face of God. Some of us need to start fasting, praying, and seeking God instead stressing.
“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? (Go ahead and remind God who He is. It isn’t that God has forgotten, but declare it, so that you know who God is.)
Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? (Now is reminding God of His promises. You gave us this land, not for a little while, but forever.)
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 out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ (Now watch this.)
And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them— here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:6–12).
This Isn’t Our Fault
You wouldn’t let Israel invade Ammon, Moab, or Mount Seir. We would have handled them then. We would have taken care of them one at a time but You wouldn’t let us, and now they’re here all at once coming against us. We don’t know what do, because it’s too much for us.
Have you ever done the right thing, and you get attacked? You did what God told you to do and the battle came to you anyway. You held your tongue, you gave your tithes, you got involved in the church, you changed your life, and you followed Him. But now the battle has come after you and it’s bigger than you can handle yourself.
Listen, I have prayed this prayer before God, You moved us to this place to Pastor. I wasn’t looking to moving to Indiana. I’m a Texas boy. I followed you. And now my family is under attack and it is bigger than me, and I don’t know what to do.
I have realized, if it wasn’t my fault and it’s too big for me to handle, then it isn’t my battle. It’s not my fight. This is God’s battle and if I trust in Him and let Him fight His battle, instead me trying to fight it, God can handle. He will handle His own battle.
And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:15–17).
You Don’t Have to Fight it, but You do Have to Face it
Face them, but don’t fight them. You can’t run from it, and you won’t need to fight, but you do have to face them. You stand up against them, and I’ll do the fighting for you. Don’t run and don’t back down, but let Me do the fighting.
Now watch what Jehoshaphat does,
“So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated” (2 Chronicles 20:20–22).
My praise is how I fight. He said, “If I have to face it, then my worshipers are going before me.” If I have to stand against them, my praise is going to lead me. If my God is going to fight it, then I know He going to win. So, I can go ahead and start praising Him.
Watch this! When they began to sing and praise, the Lord began to fight. Someone needs to get this deep inside of you right now. You are facing a battle that God is calling His, and He’s ready to fight. Somebody needs to start the ambush in this place. This fight isn’t mine, but God’s! This is how I’ll fight, not with fist, and not with my words, but with my PRAISE!
I need to show you this, because you need to know why God is making you face a battle that He is fighting.
“So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped. (Because verse 23 described the battle. The enemies coming against them, turned on each other.)
When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much” (2 Chronicles 20:24–25).
You have to face it, because there is blessing that is bigger than you can imagine coming after the fight. Are you ready for the blessing? Then praise Him for the victory! When the dust has settled, there’s a blessing that’s waiting for you.