2 Chronicles 7:14 — “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 20:9-12 – “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.’
“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. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession You gave us as an inheritance. 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.”
Psalm 32:5 — “Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.’ And You forgave the guilt of my sin.”
John 16:33 – “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Ephesians 6:10-18 – Put on the Whole Armour of God
There is, at this time in human history, a tremendous amount of anxiety in the world. It is palpable – you can feel it. It is helped along way too much by our Chicken-Little media, who never stop telling us that the sky is falling. Climate change is killing the planet, they shout. They call for governments to do something, and governments oblige by passing laws that cause pain to the taxpayers without any gain against the so-called ‘foe.’ We see this repeated in the issues of inflation, pandemics, threats of famine and war, and everything you can think of in between.
Media programmers dish out the fear, then peddle retail therapy as an antidote. You may have noticed that all television programming is now even more heavy-laden with heavy-handed commercials. (And the pharmaceutical commercials are some of the worst!)
While it would be easy to dismiss these programmed fears as a means of selling airspace, the truth is all this fear arises from the real issue of judgment. Our world is now under judgment from the LORD God. The sword of judgment in the form of war or of plague or of famine, as we read in the 2 Chronicles 20 text a couple of minutes ago, is now at our door.
The people of the ancient kingdom of Judah, in the time of King Jehoshaphat, were experiencing something similar to what we moderns are facing at this time. The political face of the whole world was changing. While we face world changes coming from the new elite power – the globalists – the ancients were dealing with the regime change from the Assyrian superpower to the new superpower – the Babylonian Empire. The northern kingdom of Israel had gone into exile during the time of the Assyrians. Now the Babylonians were threatening the southern kingdom of Judah.
Not only that, but the nations surrounding Judah, which had never been exactly friendly, were now being downright hostile, and battles and skirmishes were breaking out daily with the threat of an all-out attack coming from the combined forces of Edom, Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir – all nations which the Israelites were supposed to have destroyed when they entered the Promised Land and which nations they failed to wipe out.
With one wicked king after another on the throne in Jerusalem, many of the people had lost faith: faith in their king, faith in themselves, and worst of all, faith in the LORD God. Within just a few years of the death of King Solomon, people were setting up Ashtoreth poles in honor of Astarte, the lewd Canaanite goddess of fertility, and making sacrifices to Moloch, the idol god that demanded child sacrifice.
These false idols were worshipped alongside the LORD God Almighty. It seems the Jews had forgotten the first commandment God had given them through Moses: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and place no strange gods before the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Even though the previous administration of King Asa had kept the LORD’s commandments, so many before Asa had not, and now it was beginning to look very bleak for the people of Judah. God had had enough. He was bringing judgment on a nation that had turned its back on Him for far too long.
Finally, when a vast army of their enemies came against the people of Judah, their king, Jehoshaphat, resolved to ask the LORD what they needed to do to be saved. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for the whole country. All the people were to observe this fast and then gather in Jerusalem to seek the favor of the LORD God.
The people came from every town and village to Jerusalem to stand with Jehoshaphat as the king sought to beseech the LORD. Then King Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD to pray.
Now, the Bible doesn’t say, ‘you could hear a pin drop,’ but I think it is safe to say that every breath was held, every voice was stilled when Jehoshaphat began to pray. And this is what he 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 not one can withstand You. 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? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for Your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether 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.”
I’m going to interrupt the narrative here to perform a Berean text comparison with 2 Chronicles 7:14. (Note: The Bereans were ancient believers who searched the Bible to corroborate Bible Truth.)
To do this, we go back to Chapter 7 in 2nd Chronicles where we find King Solomon finally had finished building the first temple. At that time, Solomon prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and praise, after which the LORD God, Himself, appeared. The LORD said to Solomon, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a temple for sacrificers.” (Notice – the “r” on the end of sacrifice.) The LORD continued to speak to Solomon, saying, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among My people, if My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
And now, a century later, here was King Jehoshaphat seeking the LORD’s Face, asking for deliverance from their enemies and asking for their attacking enemies to be judged. Then, humbly, the king prayed this beautiful little prayer: “LORD, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you, LORD! I propose that this is the exactly perfect prayer for all believers to be praying at this time of great fear in the world. We don’t know what to do, but God knows.
Sometimes when we pray, we have the temerity, the hubris really, to tell the LORD God what to do to rectify a situation. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Will be done,” not “My will be done.” When we tell the LORD of the Universe what to do and how to do it, we are presuming for ourselves a much greater status than anyone of us is entitled to. We are puffing ourselves up to a higher level than we deserve.
The great King Jehoshaphat prayed, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
As our world devolves into what is prophesied to become the most wicked period of history, the best we Christians can do, at this time, is to keep our eyes firmly, squarely upon our Saviour. We may not know what to do from moment to moment, but we have our eyes on You, dear Jesus.
As we who are ‘born-again’ await the next step in Bible Prophecy – the Blessed Hope of the Rapture — one thing I’m hearing quite a lot these days from committed Christians is that they, and I’ll say we because I’m included in this group, are wrestling with the horror of the guilt of past sins. We wake up in the middle of the night remembering how the sins of our early days affected those around us, and the guilt washes over us like a mighty sea. This process then begets the question, “Am I really ready for Jesus?”
If you are going through something like this, please know that it is Satan trying to pull you off-center – away from the LORD. His strategy appears to be that if he can plant enough doubt in your mind and soul, maybe he can get you away from Jesus. Okay, here’s the rub – Satan hasn’t got a chance!
You may be under siege from the evil one, but take heart, Christian, for Jesus has overcome both Satan and the world (John 16:33). Count yourself among the blessed remnant if the devil is after you, for it means you are on the right side of history – His story. And while it is uncomfortable for a while, you, mature Christian, are equipped with every piece of armour you need to deflect whatever doubt Satan can throw at you. Ephesians 6:10-18 – Put on the Armour of God – the Sword of the Spirit, the Helmet of Salvation, the Shield of Faith, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Sandals of Peace, and the Belt of Truth which is the Gospel of Jesus Messiah.
As we strap on these six key pieces of Christian armour, we do well to remember that God has forgiven us the GUILT of our sin, as well as the sin itself. Psalm 32, verse 5, King David prayed: “Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.’ And You forgave the guilt of my sin.” It is humbling to know that the LORD God of the Universe has the power to take away not only our sins but also the guilt that their remembrance can trigger.
In another psalm of David, 103, we read these wonderful words in verses 8-12, “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
These Old Testament verses are New Testament Gospel – the Good News of Jesus Messiah. Our sins are forgiven when we confess and repent of them and then acknowledge that the LORD is God. He loves us with an everlasting love. He doesn’t leave us naked in a world of evil but clothes us with His righteousness and strength.
In these closing days of human history, we need always to remember that fear of the world, fear of the future, fear of our past sins – all this and Satan, too, are vanquished, that is overcome by keeping our eyes on the LORD at all times.
Verse 21 of 2nd Chronicles tells us that Jehoshaphat put musicians at the head of the army marching against the enemy to sing to the LORD and praise Him for the “splendour of His holiness.” They went into battle proclaiming, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His love endures forever.” And they won!
Beloved of Christ, Jesus has already won the battle for you when He took your sins and mine to the cross and shed His precious blood to cover them, to blot them out forever and ever. He did that so we would be made ready to live with Him eternally. There is coming a day when He will come for us, His Church, when He will call us “up hither,” when dead Christians will be resurrected and when we who are alive will be taken up with them to meet the LORD in the air, and all our bodies will be changed in the twinkling of an eye (1 Thessalonians 15).
Are we worthy of such a glorious future? No, not in ourselves. But Jesus has made us worthy in the eyes of our Great God for this magnificent life to be opened to us.
While we wait for our Blessed Hope, we may not know what to do, but as long as we keep our eyes on the LORD, we know we’ll patiently endure (Rev. 3:10) for Him, with Him, and in Him. OUR EYES ARE ON YOU, JESUS! Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen and Amen! Maranatha!