Summary: Our God is limitless. He can change the situation.
We read in 2 Chronicles 20: 12, “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee”.
Some one has said: “When you are at the end of your rope tie a knot and keep climbing. Don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t give way, and don’t give out.” I love the gospel song entitled, “It ain’t over until God says it’s over” because it reminds me that in the Christian life we face many obstacles. And many things we run into we are forced to face things and we just don’t know what to do. We run into detours, dryness, dead locks, dead ends, and disasters—and for some of us it seems we do so on a regular basis. Many times that is the experience of our lives, and the need of our lives is to just find a way to get through these times of uncertainty. We can wait, we can wonder and wander, we can keep watch and keep worshipping, but still we don’t know for sure what to do. Have you ever felt this way? Maybe there’s some one here this morning who says I have many things that I know I need to take care of but those things cost money that I don’t have and is actually way beyond my means and I just…don’t know what to do. Or maybe it’s, my son or daughter, my child is running rampant in the streets doing what he or she wants to do and I can’t control him or her; I’m afraid almost every night that I’ll an alarming phone call that they’re in jail or worst yet even dead…and I just don’t know what to do. If this is the case, let me tell you that we are the first to be faced with this type of problem. We have here in our text a king by the name of Jehoshaphat who can tell us a thing or two about getting into a situation where you just don’t know what to do. Now, among God’s blessings, Jehoshaphat’s obedience and passion for God brought
security for his kingdom.
King Jehoshaphat was Judah’s fourth king after Solomon’s kingdom was divided. The Chronicler here is quick to tell us if kings were either good or bad as measured by their obedience to the law of God. Often we are also told of their spiritual influence and effect on the nation. In the 17th chapter, verses 3 thru 4 of 2nd Chronicles we are told that “the Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father David’s earlier days and did not seek after the Baals, but sought the God of his father (Asa), followed the commandments and did not act as Israel did” This commendation is followed by a statement that God established his kingdom and blessed him with riches and honor (v.5). The king is given a supreme compliment, which says that Jehoshaphat “took great pride in the ways of the Lord and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah (v.6). King Jehoshaphat incorporated the law of God, that to obey became his passion and pride. The account goes on (vv. 8-9) to tell how Jehoshaphat sent officials (scribes perhaps) throughout Judah teaching “the book of the law of the Lord.” Among the good kings of Judah, during this time in history there was no king godlier than Jehoshaphat. He was a good king and there was no doubt that he loved God and made sure that his people knew what it meant to be children of God. But here is the sad part, when we get to chapter 18 verse (1), “Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab.” That’s right, the good king Jehoshaphat made a great mistake, he aligned himself and all of Judah with one of the most evil kings in the entire Bible, Ahab. You remember him don’t you? The wicked Baal worshipper whose wife, Jezebel, tried to kill all the prophets of God (1Kg 18:13)! Jehoshaphat was a good king but he had human traits like the rest us, he allowed the spirit of pride, prestige, and power to take over and later on down the road the prophet Jehu confronted him with this question, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD and so bring wrath on yourself from the LORD?” This reminds me that there is an issue today, here in America that has reach the Supreme Court which is a spiritual issue and unfortunately there are Christians standing on both sides of this issue and this very same question can asked today. And I won’t go any further with this except to say we need remain obedient to God and not follow the world’s consensus. Eventually King Jehoshaphat was restored, and when God restores us it doesn’t mean that life from that point will be a bed of roses. As long as there is a devil, there will always be a battle that has to be fought—but here in the text I believe God is reminding the king that battle was not his, the battle belongs to God Himself. The allied army of the Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites was invading Judah. You can’t tell me that King Jehoshaphat didn’t wonder a little bit about whether or not he was fully restored and this invasion was punishment for his previous indiscretion against God. We are all like this I believe, when trouble comes our way we tend go back over a sin that we committed previously and conclude that it must be because of this sin that I’m going through what I’m through. But this is not necessarily true because sometimes God allows trouble to come into our lives to let us know or remind us that He really is the only answer to the trials and tribulations that we face. Sometimes God gives a test, to see if have really repented and to see if we really rely on Him and on not ourselves or someone or some thing else. And what better test than the test of being overwhelmed, have you ever overwhelmed? What do you do when you’re overwhelmed? Do you run to Oprah to see what she has to say about it? Do you get on the telephone and tell all your frenimies about you’re personal business and gamble with your reputation? Or do you just give up, give in, give way, and give out? Well, we can take a lesson from Jehoshaphat this morning because the very first thing he decided to do was proclaim a fast. He gathered the people together for prayer, that’s right he sought the Lord! He prayed a prayer that we ought to pray when trouble comes, “O our God (because we’re in this leaky boat together) …we do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon thee.” Oh, if all of America were to pray this prayer right now, we wouldn’t be trying to define or redefine the institution of marriage after all these years, we’d have an answer to the gun issue and abortion because really, without God we don’t know what we’re doing or what to do. That’s why David said, “the Lord is my Shepherd” because His is to lead and mine is to follow. It’s not hard, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, it’s as simple as can be—just follow the Lord and do good! Look at the text, in turned out that all the king had to do was call on God. He didn’t have to go to the Supreme Court to acquired their collective opinions. He didn’t have watch the Oprah network or seek Dr. Phil’s advice. He didn’t have to write to Dear Abby or anything like that, all he had to do was call on God, the Creator of all things big and small and that was good enough. Now, I was taught in seminary to keep your introduction short, however, I purposely decided to break the traditions of the elders this one time and I do have three briefs points on what to do when you don’t what to do, and my points are derived from the prayer of this good king Jehoshaphat, what do you do when you don’t know what to do.”