Meridian Star

September 7, 2013

From the Shepherd’s Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     “And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid or dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.'” — 2 Chron. 20:15



The exact middle verse of the Old Testament is 2 Chronicles 20:15. It is God’s answer to the King of Judah, King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah.

They were threatened by a great army that surrounded them. In fear, they committed themselves to pray for God’s help. Like Jehoshaphat, we feel threatened by threats to our lives and families. Most of the time, our threats seems indestructible. No human solutions can be found.

    The citizens of Jerusalem committed themselves to prayer and fasting, calling on God for help. Many of our prayers are crying unto the Lord because we face something we cannot handle alone. We call for God’s help and place ourselves at His mercy. Our only hope of a solution will be a Divine answer.

    God’s answer is recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:15: “And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid or dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.'” God’s answer is a victorious perspective on a hopeless situation. God says, “Don’t be afraid and don’t worry. This battle is not yours. This battle is Mine.”

    Just realize the power of this answer to a besieged King and people. What God is saying to them is to not give this problem another thought. Let God have it and all will be resolved. How great would we feel today if all our problems could be taken away? What would we talk about if we didn’t have a complaint or worry?             What choices would we make if we could be free to live life unencumbered?

This answer of God to Jehoshaphat is the exact middle verse of the Old Testament. It is the theme of the entire Old Testament. Throughout the history of man’s seeking God in the Old Testament, man seems to fight the constant battle with sin in our lives and our world.

    In everything, we need to understand that God is never expecting us to be the answer to all that threatens us. God wants us to understand, He will fight out battles for us. All we need to do is trust.

    If this is the theme of the Old Testament - that God will fight our battles and we need not be afraid or dismayed - the New Testament is the solution. With Jesus coming to pay for man’s sin, we can hear a resurrected Savior say, “Don’t be afraid and don’t worry. The battle is not yours. The battle is Mine.”

    Truly, all believers can celebrate, “We are more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us.” (Romans 8:37)



    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www. psdbc.org.