There came a point in my life when I needed Jesus so much more I’d intentionally seek Him anywhere I could. One of those areas was music, so I began to listen to only Christian music. I thought it would only be for a few weeks while I was walking through the valley, but I’m coming up on a year of listening only to Christian music.
Then my worship life changed when my former worship leader explained worship in the Old Testament, and how the worshipers were always placed in the front of, before, the army. This was so mind-blowing to me, so I searched scripture, and sure enough there it was in 2 Chronicles chapter 20.
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was told that a great multitude was going to come against Judah. This information terrified Jehoshaphat, so he declared a fast for the people of Judah and sought the Lord for help. He stood among the people of Judah and proclaimed the power of God to God. He begins with, “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one can withstand You ( 2 Ch. 20:6)?” and he ends with, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do. but our eyes are upon You (2 Ch. 20:12).” And in between those verses, Jehoshaphat reminds God of His power and sovereignty.
So they stood and waited for the Lord. Then the Spirit came and began to speak through a guy named Jahaziel, and God told the people not be dismayed or afraid, because the battle was not theirs and they wouldn’t have to fight. The battle belonged to God. God told the people to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. When they heard this, they worshiped.
When the time came for battle, the king stood before the people and told them to believe in the Lord and they will be established. Jehoshaphat then appointed singers and musicians, the ones who would worship the beauty of holiness, and sent them out to battle before the army. They were singing, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever,” and as they were singing, God set ambushes against their enemies and they were defeated. Just like that.
Something powerfully crazy happens when we worship; when we seek God for help, declare His power toward our situations, and when we praise the beauty of holiness; worshiping the beauty of the perfect God that we serve. We remind Him of His power, not because He needs to be reminded, but because we are told to come boldly to His throne and present our case to Him. The people of Judah never engaged in the battle, they didn’t even see it, because the battle was not theirs to fight. They had to position themselves in the Lord and let Him fight it.
Psalm 149 is a perfect worship psalm. In the first half, we see worship as giving God the glory He deserves; worshiping the beauty of holiness. In the second half, we see the battle-fighting kind of worship, “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgement- this honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 149:6-9)
Guys, this is the glory of the saints. It is OUR glory to inflict vengeance. Our glory to use the praise of God in battle. That is how God fights our battles for us. Our praise goes up to Him and His glory, the manifestation of His presence, comes down from heaven. We position ourselves in the Lord; first with thanksgiving, even though it’s hard to be thankful in hard times, we thank Him because He is still good and deserving of our praise. And we stand, with our hearts open, in surrender, expecting Him to do something. We tell Him all of our troubles and ask Him to take them. We put all of our trust, hope, and faith in Him. We position ourselves in this manner and see His salvation.
So my eyes were opened to the power that’s in our praise and worship. During rides in the car I’m fighting my battles. While I’m curling my hair I’m fighting my battles. While I’m baking I’m fighting my battles. Our worship is a weapon!
There is so much to worship and I encourage you to study it, but I’ll leave you with this: If through praise and worship God defeated Judah’s enemies, what more will He do for you?
Love, Sarah Lynn
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” – Psalm 100