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Thursday, June 14, 2012
Chronicles 20:20-24 Thought/Prayer: Go to See the King. Topics: 2 at end.
“And they rose early in the morning, and went forth towards the wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in Jehovah your God, and ye shall be established; believe his prophets, and ye shall prosper! And he consulted with the people, and appointed singers to Jehovah, and those that should praise in holy splendour, as they went forth before the armed men, and say, Give thanks to Jehovah; for his loving-kindness [endureth] for ever! And when they began the song of triumph and praise, Jehovah set liers-in-wait against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, who had come against Judah, and they were smitten.”
In scripture, it is comforting to see when God’s people react in smart ways when there is trouble. Here the Israelites are up against the armies of Moab after the Moabites invaded Judah. They are naturally needing some strategies to go against this enemy. They are in need of direction, or a plan.
Wisely, here is what they did: they came together and sought help from the best source of help ever, the Lord Himself, through the king. They came to their king in Judah, Jehoshaphat, and asked him to help them. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for all of Judah. And King Jehoshaphat himself prayed to God.
This might not seem like a very unusual thing – in the Old-Testament days of many kings, it was usually the king who made the military decisions, along with the military leaders. Kings would even risk going into battle themselves.
Here, people from every town came to the king. How fortunate they were to have a king who was a man of prayer. What better leadership can a king employ than to pray? If I had been a citizen of Judah at that time, I probably would have been very proud of my king for being a man of God.
In today’s world, there are fewer kings; but we have our national leaders. How is it that we can come before them with our concerns and ask for prayer? Can we even do that?
There are many many differences in the nation of Judah and our nation today. Access to our leaders is more convoluted, we might say. We have to either telephone, write, FAX or e-mail those who represent us in our nation’s capital or our state capitals. The process of getting an audience with our leaders has many layers. But we can get them to lend an ear if we persevere and follow the established frameworks.
But even though we can’t just go “see the king,” (and I’m sure there were many safeguards even in the Old Testament for keeping kings safe), we can still communicate our concerns to our leaders. And we can pray – and we can pray that they will pray! If God answers our prayers for our leaders to pray, we have accomplished in some fashion the same goal as the Israelites did with Jehoshaphat.
Lord, help us to pray for our leaders, to be smart about this when trouble comes along either for us individually or for our nation. Since we can’t just travel a few miles to “see the king,” help us to present our cases to him through the available means we have. Help us to do this for pro-life causes when they lie heavy on our hearts because “enemies” go against us just as the Moabites did against Judah.