Summary: A study to encourage the People of God to depend on Him when facing battles.

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” [1]

Exaudi – hear us Lord. The world rests upon Your commandments, O God. It is Your faithfulness to the world which provides stability for the commands You have given, O Lord. It is Your wrath which hides Your commandments from us. It is Your promise, Lord, which enables us to keep those commandments. Lord, do not hide your commandments from us. Teach us to keep your commandments. Make Yourself known to us, O Lord. Exaudi—hear us Lord.

He was a man of action, a king who was threatened by enemies. Forced to go to war, this man of valour spoke the words of our text. He had gathered his people around himself for counsel to decide what should be done. He needed plans and programs immediately; he needed decisive action. In the face of the looming threat he takes an astonishing step; he proclaims a fast and openly prays before the people. His actions are so very peculiar in this day when we have grown accustomed to swift action and stern resolve. However, his plans and his programs melt away. His program becomes prayer; his decisiveness becomes deepest despair and humility. Before the people he prays, and at the conclusion of his prayer he makes an amazing confession before the Lord he petitions: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

That’s really a magnificent proposal for action, isn’t it? Wouldn’t we be enthusiastic if in a decisive hour some national or provincial leader should dare stand before us and confess, “We don’t know what to do?” That would be some admission! Even within the church we would be astonished by such an admission. What pastor could survive the firestorm arising from such an admission?

We know better than that. With us, programs and plans do not melt away into prayers; rather, among the faithful the fires of enthusiasm transform them into flying banners and shining symbols of things that are good and proper. With us, determination does not change into humility, but rather into an incontrovertible testimony to our own strength and courage. With us prayers become programs, supplications become demands; and at the end of the program the name of God must be called so that He too may be pressed into service of the program, compelled to approve of the brilliant plan, forced to accept our personal determinations. Then the official “party line” of the church is finished, just as we like to hear it and have already heard it a thousand times before.

HUMILITY — Jehoshaphat is perhaps most often remembered by those familiar with the Word of God for making a disastrous alliance with the enemies of God. Though he was a godly man who was often commended by the Lord, he allied himself with Ahab through marriage. This alliance led him into several disastrous ventures which brought him and the nation to the brink of destruction. Perhaps it would be well for us to remember Jehoshaphat for another trait which is rare among men of wealth and notoriety—humility.

Jehoshaphat seems often to have received God’s commendation, always after the divine chastisement and rebuke had been inflicted, however. The mark of a godly man is not that he never does anything wrong, but that when rebuked by the Lord he receives that rebuke with humility. He does not exalt himself by resisting the rebuke of the Lord, but instead he receives it as that which is intended for his own good. David testifies,

“Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness;

let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head;

let my head not refuse it.

Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.”

[PSALM 141:5].

The words could well have been applied to Jehoshaphat, for he humbly received the rebuke of God’s servant.

The wise man, David’s son, has written:

“Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;

reprove a wise man, and he will love you.”


How true the words of the Wise Man:

“Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor

than he who flatters with his tongue.”

[PROVERBS 28:23]

You may remember the account of the death of Ahab and how Jehoshaphat barely escaped with his life. Upon his return to Jerusalem, this noble king was rebuked by Hanani, the prophet of God for his foolish alliance. Following this period of near disaster and divine rebuke, Jehoshaphat moved his kingdom Godward through appointing judges and administrators to insure that justice was accomplished and to oversee the peoples.

The chapter begins with the words, “After this.” The words point to an event that serves as the backdrop to our study. The kingdom was beset by armies from the Moabite and Ammonite kingdoms. The vast enemy hoards were advancing rapidly. Decisions would need to be made quickly; an immediate response was required. Would the people of God risk defeat through meeting the foe with their own army which was in need of being rebuilt? Would the people of God sue for peace at the likely cost of cruel servitude to these pagan nations? Would the people of God attempt some stratagem to avert disaster? The situation was desperate and the very real threat demanded action—now.

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