The New Testament often uses the image of the Christian life as a battle, a fight, a war. I don’t know about you, but I know I’m facing many battles my life right now. This passage is one that God has used to encourage me in these challenges, and I hope it encourages you as well.
Imagine a fight pitting nation against nation, one army outnumbering the other two to one. This is the scene in 2 Chronicles 13. Abijah of Judah (who’s name means “my father is the LORD”) draws the battle lines against Jeroboam of Israel (“he who fights”battles”), who rebelled from the kingdom of Judah and established a separate kingdom. Jeroboam has led Israel into idol worship, while Abijah kept Judah centered around worship of God. Jeroboam’s forces number 800,000 mighty men, against Abijah’s 400,000 chosen men. Notice Abijah’s words to the opposing warriors before the battle:
“Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.” 2 Chronicles 13:12 ESV
Judah faced a militarily hopeless situation. They were outnumbered, outmatched, and outgunned. But they had something their enemies didn’t- the true God fighting on their side. Real faith in God give a deep confidence that goes beyond the surface of any situation.
The battles we face aren’t against people (Ephesians 6:12) but they are no less real than the battle the people of Judah faced. When we experience difficulties, we have a choice: to focus on the situation, or focus on God. It’s a matter of trust. Abijah focused on who God was, and was able to confidently say “God is with us” rather than focus on the 800,000 enemies that brandished their blades before him.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7
Where will you choose to place your focus this week? On your situation or on God? On fear or on faith?
(To be continued…)