Receiving Bad News
“A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the sea. . . Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD. . .” (2 Chron 20:2-3).
Have you ever had someone bring you really bad news? It was so bad that when you heard it your stomach immediately became upset. You went into a crisis mode. I once received a letter that brought such fear upon me I could hardly stand up.
This was the situation for King Jehoshaphat. He had just been informed that his country was going to be attacked by an army much larger than his. However, instead of panicking, he immediately turned to the Lord by calling for a time of a fasting and prayer. The people from every town in Judah responded.
King Jehoshaphat prayed and reminded God of His promise to Israel. Then he asked God for strategy. “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” At the end of his prayer it says they waited on God’s answer. It came through the prophet, Jahaziel son of Zechariah. He said, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s'” (2 Chron 20:15-16).
God supernaturally wiped out their enemies that day. They didn’t even have to fight. God caused the enemy to fight themselves. However, the one thing they did do that began the ambush was when they began to praise God on the battlefield. “As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated” (2 Chron 20:22-23).
Jehoshaphat immediately did four things in response to bad news. He called for prayer, he called for fasting, he asked for God’s strategy, and he began his battle by praising God in the midst of the battle.
Maybe you’ve just gotten some bad news. If so, follow the example of Jehoshaphat. Pray. Fast. Ask. Praise.