Words That Encourage God…
I love football! I’m not sure I’m what you call a rabid fan, but I am a noisy one.
The pageantry and tradition; the competition and my regional attachment is what draws me to the teams I follow.I’ve been to quite a few games. I’ve watched live games in the NFL and college. Nothing like a Saturday night in Death Valley (Sorry Clemson, that’s in Baton Rouge).
But even when watching on TV, I display my team colors proudly and proclaim my opinions with excitement. I tend to get emotional.
My physical limitations forbid me to participate on the field as does the fact I’m not on the roster. But I am invested in the game. I want my team to win as if I were out there playing.
I do all I can… which is cheering. When my team scores or holds the opponent on 4th and goal, I express my excitement…loudly! If our opponent has success, I plead for better results.
Its all I can do. I’m helpless beyond verbal support. Does it help, perhaps when I’m in the stadium…some. Today I’ll talk about where my pleas and praise have a more profound effect. Where words Encourage God…
encourage; To prod, to entice, to suggest that someone does something that you delve to be good.-MacMillan Dictionary
Bad news arrived today. Invading forces are coming…fast! They have advanced to Hazazon Tamar, tomorrow they’ll be here. Families and Homesteads keep fleeing into the city. Jerusalem is crowded with people and fear.
The King has called everyone to prayer and fasting. Young and old, warrior and priest. We march to the call as infantry should, heads raised high and shoulders straight. We’re few but still proud because tomorrow we’ll fight for the last time. Tomorrow we die.
Its a numbers game really, Three Large Powerful Armies against one small militia. I’ll give a good account, but I suspect we will be swept off the field in short order. The enemy is Large and Brutal.
Our families will have it worse. Slaughter, rape and slavery lie in their future. Our foe is merciless, descendants of Lot’s incest and Esau’s rebellion. They have been plaguing my people since we crossed the Jordan. Tomorrow they will rid themselves of us.
The Temple is not a bad idea I guess, been awhile since I prayed, I never fast. I’m a soldier… a warrior, I depend on nothing but my unit and my training. Little time for prayer, no time for the Temple. But today is different, tomorrow I die.
Jehoshaphat is praying…not bad. The King sounds like he’s challenging God. He’s calling Him on His promises. He’s reminding Him of His power. Wow, I didn’t know prayer was supposed to be like this. I think I’ll join in…Wait, who is this interrupting?
Jahaziel? He’s a Levite, isn’t he? A young Levite at that. What’s he saying? We’re gonna win? Do not fear? The battle is not ours but God’s? Man that’s stretching it. Well, It’s hope, I’ll give him that. Now let’s get some rest, big battle tomorrow…
Slept surprisingly well last night…I didn’t expect that. I was feeling better about today until I got the Orders this morning. The musicians and choir will lead us into battle, then there’s us. Who gave that stupid order? How will the archers be effective? What about the Cavalry? How can the choir run interference? Perhaps the enemy will laugh themselves to death.
The music is splendid. Makes this marching to battle almost pleasant. Almost like dancing…actually I’m beginning to understand why the Choir is out front. Wait, something is happening…
What’s that smoke? Who’s that screaming? That’s the sound of battle but we haven’t engaged. I can still see the musicians. They are singing out some melody, I tell you. I think I’ll join in, “praise the Lord, his mercy endures forever,” But who’s fighting the enemy? “Praise the beauty of his holiness.”
Okay, just over this ridge and we should see the enemy. Whoa! Look at all the dead! Tens of thousands! I don’t see anyone alive! The choir has kicked into another gear! We’re gonna live by God!
How did this happen? We won before we got here. It’s impossible! But here we are. Thank you Lord, for saving us! And look at all that spoil.
It took us three days to move all that loot. It’s more bounty than we’ve ever hauled in. More than I’ve ever seen! What looked like disaster became victory. It started with Jehoshaphat and continued with the choir. Hmm…Prayer and Praise. Mighty powerful weapons in an impossible battle.
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21 KJV)
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3 NIV)