By Dr. Kelli Criss
Last week, we discussed King Jehoshaphat’s process for turning to God in the midst of war. To overcome his panic over the enemy, he admitted his fear of the unknown and his powerlessness. Shifting his focus from only the problem, he went to God with his own limitations. Today, our blog, God Is, emphasizes the content of Jehoshaphat’s prayers.
God’s attributes pervaded Jehoshaphat’s prayers as he submitted to God. King Jehoshaphat focused upon God’s sovereignty, power, faithfulness, grace, and justice.
Sovereignty and Power
God’s sovereignty and power supersedes all created things. No force in the universe is strong enough to stand against His power. All other power in our world is derived from God, who shares His power. King Jehoshaphat proclaims God’s sovereignty and power as he prays: “Are you not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in your hand so that no one can stand against you” (2 Chron. 20:6, New American Standard Bible). This power is spiritual. Today during the global pandemic, we ask God to fill us with His Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might so that we and those around us will become people who build a society in which justice, truth, mercy, and goodness prevail.
The faithfulness of God arises in Jehoshaphat’s words: “Did you not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham your friend forever?” (2 Chron 20:7, NASB). God made Abraham a promise in Genesis 12:1-6 and Genesis 17:1-8 to make him into a great nation, to bless him, and to bless all the world’s families through him. In the book of Joshua, God’s promise was fulfilled.
Moses said, “There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you” (Deuteronomy 33:26-27, New Living Translation). Unlike fickle human beings, God never wavers in His commitments due to boredom, fear, weakness, difficulty, or selfishness. How would our lives change if we truly understood God’s faithfulness? Would we be so frustrated and fearful if we knew that God would never break His promises because He cannot be faithless to Himself? Wouldn’t we have more peace if we could daily renew a complete confidence in God?
Grace and Justice
The grace of God also emerges in Jehoshaphat’s prayer as he proclaims, “We will stand before this temple . . . in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple)” (2 Chron. 20:9, New King James Version). God’s presence indicates a supernatural persevering love for us. That love confers such favor upon us. God’s love sustains us even if we waver in our love for God. Jehoshaphat focuses on God’s justice as he prays “O our God, will You not judge them?” (2 Chron. 20:12, NKJV). Judah faces an unprovoked attack. The nation seeks God’s justice in relation to the country’s undertaking the meritless attack.
Following Judah’s Example
As the world contends with our own fears and powerlessness during the COVID-19 onslaught, the faith community is being called to submit to God in prayer. We can follow the example set by Judah and King Jehoshaphat as they focused upon God’s attributes during prayer and fasting. Today, we can recall examples of God’s sovereignty, power, faithfulness, grace, and justice; meditate upon these examples; and share with those around us. We can extract these examples from our lives and from Scripture. Indeed, God has been faithful to mankind throughout eternity.
Next week, join us as we discuss how Judah waited upon God’s response to the nation’s prayers. We will explore God’s answer to King Jehoshaphat and Judah’s prayers. Resolving to wait for God’s response to their prayers enabled Judah to listen for a divine plan rather than relying solely on human intellect.