August 12, 2012
"The Warfare of Worship"
Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.
Today's lesson shows us how God used praise and worship to deliver His people.
First, let us look at the problem (20:1-4). Judah was faced with an
overwhelming enemy army for which they were not a match. The king's first reaction
was to be alarmed (20:3). It is natural to be afraid in the face of danger
and problems. But God has promised to be with us and to strengthen us and help us
in those times. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed,
for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My
righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). The king resolved to inquire of the Lord
(20:3) and the people came together to seek help from the Lord (20:4). Trouble
should force us to turn to God. Remember this Spiritual Principle: When you focus
on the problem, you lose the power; focus on God, not on the problem and He will
provide the answer.
Second, let us look at the solution. 1) The king and all the people
sought help from the Lord in prayer (20:5-13). 2) God's answer was
three-fold: a) Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the battle is not yours, but
the Lord's (20:15); b) Go face the enemy (20:16); c) stand firm and see the deliverance
the Lord will give you (20:17). d) The people worship (20:18-19).
Third, the deliverance: 1) The Warfare of Worship. a) "Believe in
the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you
shall prosper" (20:20). b) The king "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.' "
(20:21). c) The result was that the enemies turned on each other and destroyed
each other (20:23-25). 2) After the people saw that the enemies had destroyed each
other, they gathered in a certain valley which they renamed "the Valley of Praise"
(or "Blessing") to praise the LORD (20:26). 3) When they returned home, they
continued to praise and worship the Lord "for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice
over their enemies (20:27-30). Compare Ephesians 5:19-20. 4) At the end of the lesson, a word of caution
is given: "the people still had not set their hearts on the God of their fathers"
One example of the warfare of worship is found in the following story: A
village in the Austrian Alps, besieged by Napoleon' army, gathered in the village
church to sing the hymns of faith. As the army heard the sound of the hymns, they
thought that reinforcements had come. So the army left without firing a single shot.
When you are faced with danger or problems, will you focus on the problem or will
you turn to God and trust Him to provide the answer?