P.S. This is part two to the inspirational story named “Flying Over Mud”.
We finally arrived at Vimy Ridge in France, a memorial where Canadians valiantly faced the enemy during World War I. Besides the impressive monument, we were surrounded with fields of grass, fenced with electric fencing, and decorated with signs bearing grim warnings: “No entry. Undetonated explosives”. They were live remnants of the First World War, still present, still undetected. And in order to protect the innocent tourists, fences and warnings had been placed.
There were living creatures wandering around these undetonated mine fields, however: Sheep! Since it would be impossible to cut the grass without putting whoever ran the lawnmower in danger, sheep were placed in these fields, and their sole purpose was to graze to their heart’s content. And in doing so, to keep the grass at a reasonable length! The sheep were the groundkeepers of these fields! It was amazing to see them out there in that dangerous field, yet none of them seemed fazed by the potential danger underfoot! They were literally walking on bombs without putting their lives in danger!
Did any of them ever get hurt? Not for a very long time. And the sheep who did detonate a bomb or two only did so when they were startled.
In life we also walk over potential landmines, things like disease, financial throes, discord, rejection… Is it possible to walk through these unhurt?
King Jehoshaphat had his own share of potential explosive material. How would any of us like to face not only one huge army, but three, united for one purpose: Our complete destruction! Explosive material beyond anyone’s imagination!
King Jehosaphat did not panic. After all, he knew he could count on God, and after consulting his best Friend, he received the following message: “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17, NIV2)
How would this be possible? Facing huge armies of Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites, and without any form of real defense against them? That’s a treat as impossible as walking over minefields without exploding! Jehosaphat may not have been a sheep, but victory was his nonetheless! That’s what faith does. It gives us assurance beyond the minefields we are facing, no matter how many mines have been buried.
The next day, King Jehosaphat and his people did the impossible. They faced their foe with songs of praise. Quite an unusual weapon, don’t you think?
“After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 20:21, NIV2)
They had not even yet defeated their enemy, and they were already thanking God in love songs!
Do we feel like praising God when facing calamity? Truth says that victory can only be obtained by trusting God. Praising Him is a vocalization of a faith that is firmly rooted in our Heavenly Father. The result is far beyond imagination: “As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.” (2 Chronicles 20:22-23, NIV2)
Only after the Israelites voiced their trust in God through psalms and praises did God show up and performed the impossible. King Jehosaphat never had to lift a finger. The enemy destroyed each other in front of those who were praising God!
“When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.” (2 Chronicles 20:24, NIV2)
If we too want to experience God fully, we need to put away our doubts and worries and start relying solely on the One who can truly make a difference in our lives.
It’s quite interesting to see the end result of true faith: “The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 20:29, NIV2)
Trusting God will not only give us victory. It will also give us the opportunity to be His witness!
Walking unharmed in a mine field is possible after all! It all depends on Who is the recipient of our trust!
(To access the entire “Facing Unimaginable Odds” devotional series, please click here.)