March 18, 2020 In the days of King Jehoshaphat, God’s people, Judah, was facing certain doom from intractable enemies who had banded themselves together, set on bringing about the total annihilation of God’s Chosen Ones. The first three verses of 2 Chronicles 20 reads on this wise: Some time later, the Moabites and the Ammonites, along with some of the Meunites attacked Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was told, A large army from beyond the sea, from Edom, is coming to attack you. They are already at Hazazon-tamar! (that is, En-gedi). Frightened, Jehoshaphat decided to seek the LORD’s help and proclaimed a fast for all Judah. (2 Chronicles 20:1–3, CEB) Please note in the verses quoted above that the king was frightened. Oft times, we as saints are taught to deny the presence of fear when, indeed, this is the case. Again, the Bible blesses us with a transparency that, if we embrace it, frees us from presenting a facade that minimally does not truly reflect authenticity—to others nor ourselves. Although we should never celebrate or bask in fear, if processed properly, fear can lead to positive actions that culminate in beneficial results. Scripture reveals to us that this leader, who when gripped by the strong emotion of fear while confronted with a set of circumstances far beyond his ability to control, decided to seek out the help of the Lord. He did so by proclaiming a fast for the entire nation. When we sacrifice, God hears! I challenge each of us on this day of prayer and fasting, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, to give God our fears. The king mentioned above was overwhelmed by the size of the combined armies of his enemies, compounded by the fact that he was not familiar with their path of attack. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states: “The enemy forces attacked by means of a little-used route.” Doesn’t that sound familiar in the context of today’s world crisis? It seems that the more we hear about the coronavirus (COVID-19), the experts, along with us, are confounded by what we don’t know. Nevertheless, our comfort is in the fact that we serve a God who does know! As we pray and seek God out today and throughout this process, for however long He elects to allow it to be, may we be reminded of the comforting words of ultimate victory given to King Jehoshaphat by the man of God: Pay attention, all of Judah, every inhabitant of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat, Jahaziel said. This is what the LORD says to you: Don’t be afraid or discouraged by this great army because the battle isn’t yours. It belongs to God! (2 Chron. 20:15, CEB) Let us declare together that Today is a day of NO FEAR!
Hallelujah! Yours in His Service, Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr