(Say THAT three times fast. I’ll wait.)
This isn’t your typical battle plan.
The Lord had told Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, a VAST army was coming to attack him and his people.
Jehoshaphat was a man devoted to God. And in the face of this massive battle, Jehoshaphat says to his people, “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”
And then, instead of putting his best soldiers up front–instead of loading them up with weapons and armor–Jehoshaphat puts singers out in front of the army to lead the way.
These singers were not armed with bows and arrows; they were armed with praise and thanksgiving, saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”
They were thanking God AHEAD of the battle! They didn’t know for sure what the outcome would be. They didn’t know how many casualties they might suffer or how long the fight might last. And they didn’t have to because they weren’t thanking God for results.
They were thanking Him for WHO HE IS.
He is love. He is the only one whose love is described as unfailing over and over in scripture.
No, this isn’t your typical battle plan. But it worked. “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men…who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”
The vast army was DEFEATED with praise! Not one soldier had to engage the enemy by traditional means! The sovereign Lord responded to His people’s rightly-postured hearts.
(I wonder if our US military knows about this strategy…)
We can’t always make a 1 to 1 correlation between what God did one time in history to what He will do every time in history. We can’t say from this text that God WILL or MUST respond to us if we sing and praise as we walk into our own battles.
But we can say He MIGHT. He’s done it before. He might do it for us, too. Either way, is He not worthy of our praise?
If you’re facing something huge–something vast–start praising Him, not for what He might DO but for who He IS.