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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Praise and Worship Suspend Unbelief (2 Chronicles 20:21-22)

 "After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever."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."

Singing sharpens your focus; it suspends unbelief, fear, worry, and despair. It is impossible to fret while you are singing praise to God. The children of Israel were in extreme circumstances. The Moabites, Ammonites along with some Meunites approach Jehoshaphat and the southern tribe of Judah to make war. They are out-numbered and unprepared for war.

King Jehoshaphat proclaims a fast and leads the people to seek help from the Lord. In response the LORD sends Jahaziel to King Johoshaphat with a prophetic word, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's." With such a promise the people burst out in loud singing. Singing praise to the Lord expresses faith in the Lord. Singing praise to the LORD turns your attention from your circumstances upward to the LORD.

A familar modern hymn reflects this truth:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of this world will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

When God gives a promise there's nothing really to do besides sing praises to God. Singing characterizes powerless people who cling to God in faith and in desperation. Henry Blackaby says that the first indicator of a revived people is joyful singing. Do you have a singing and joyful heart or is your heart filled with worry and despair? Remember, you can't sing praise to the LORD and worry at the same time. Open your mouth and sing!

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
1 Kings 22:36-40; 2 Chronicles 19:1-1; 2 Kings 1:1; 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
  • What had God promised would happen to King Ahab in 1 Kings 21:19 and what actually happened to him?
  • Why does the Lord send Jehu to rebuke King Jehoshaphat?
  • Describe King Jehoshaphat's reign.
  • What does King Jehoshaphat's fasting proclamation and prayer in 2 Chronicles 20 reveal about his view of God and himself?
  • Why were the people able to sing as they faced the enemy?
  • What does this teach you about facing your own enemies?
Psalm 46
  • Describe the difference between how the circumstances of this Psalm begins and ends.
  • What difference does a high view of God have in the midst of difficult circumstances?
Psalm 47
  • What does praising God do to the spirit of the one offering praise to God?
Psalm 48
  • What difference does the manifest presence of God make in the city of the Great King?
Turning truth into prayer
What are you focusing on and worrying about? Turn Psalm 47 into a praise offering to the LORD. Praise Him until He becomes larger than your problem.