|Photo credit Kristen Hatcher|
You’d think a force of 400,000 valiant warriors would be enough to guarantee a victory, but the enemy had 800,000. Outnumbered two to one by a superior fighting force, things weren’t looking good for the army of Judah.
But instead of raising the white flag, Abijah, the army’s king, took a bold stand.
“Don’t you know that the Lord God of Israel gave us this land?” (2 Chr. 13:15) he shouted across no-man’s land to Jeroboam and his army. “You turned your back on him, but as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him.”
Then he issued a final warning: “Do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you shall not prosper.”
You’d think, after making such a declaration of trust in God, things would have gotten better. But they didn’t. Battle conditions went South faster than a college kid on Spring Break.
While Abijah was telling the front half of the army what he thought of it, the back half was sneaking around behind him to set up an ambush.
“When Judah looked around, to their surprise, the battle line was at both front and rear.” Like a bowl of M&Ms in a room full of toddlers, they were not only surrounded, but about to be consumed.
But if brave Abijah and his army were going down, they were going down with God’s name on their lips.
“They cried out to the Lord, and the priests sounded the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout.”
Guess what happened next?
“God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. And the children of Israel fled before Judah, and God delivered them into their hand.”
Five hundred thousand choice men of Israel fell slain . . . “and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the Lord God of their fathers.”
I don’t know about you, but some days I feel like Abijah and his army. Surrounded by things that seem too powerful to overcome in my own strength, I have two choices: surrender or stand.
You face the same decision. Will you surrender to the emotions and circumstances that threaten our peace, safety, and well being? Or you we stand on the promises of God’s Word and trust his power to meet your needs, defend your cause, and deliver your soul?
When the battle grows fierce around us and the enemy squeezes hard on all sides, there’s only one true option for the children of God. We must stand our ground, cry out to the Lord, and watch for his deliverance.
Are you facing a challenge that seems impossible? I pray God will give you the faith to stand, cry out to him, and wait for the victory.
To help Abijah's message stay with you today, here's a musical reminder. If you're reading by email, click here to hear Petra's "The Battle Belongs to the Lord."