“Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!” 2 Chronicles 20:21b
What a celebration of praise it must have been that day! Israel had been attacked by several armies and there was not a thing they could do about it. There was absolutely no way to win this battle. King Jehoshaphat simply called the people together and cried out to God for help. He stood before the people that day and declared a prayer to God. He simply told God what is true, but often is forgotten by people when they are in crisis. He said God, there is no one like you and no one can stand against you, and whenever we face a calamity we can always come to you and honor you. We can cry out to you and you will hear us and rescue us. He said, God we don’t have a clue what to do, but we will put our trust in you, and that was it.
A Word From the Lord
As he finished praying a man standing among the people received a word from the Lord. He stood before the people and said, do not be afraid or discouraged for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Go out tomorrow and fight against this massive army. When the king heard this he simply did the only thing he could do at the time, he worshiped the Lord. Pretty soon others joined in with him and before you knew it they were having an all out spontaneous worship session and the Levites led the nation into a night of praise and worship. They had no other agenda and they expected nothing to come from this, it was simply an act of love and adoration for God. A moment to give him thanks before they went into battle the next day.
A Song In The Day of Battle
The next morning as the army began moving into their ranks to begin marching into battle the king had an idea. The worship must have been so good the night before he consulted with his people and then appointed singers to walk in front of the army on the way to the battle. The song they sang? Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever! I don’t know about you, but I don’t think thats the song I would of thought of singing at that moment. The song was simply an outward expression of what was in their hearts, and they fully intended to go to battle that day, but something really strange happened. When they began singing that song the armies that had come to fight against them got confused and started fighting themselves. They literally killed everyone that had come to fight that day and when Israel got to the battlefield all of their enemies were dead. Not one person was alive.
What is the Outward Expression of Our Hearts?
It is impossible to be thankful and selfish at the same time. When you give God genuine praise and thanksgiving you forget about yourself and your situation. These people could have used this opportunity to throw a pity party and blame everyone and everything for the tragic events in their lives. Instead they chose to be thankful. What comes out of us in times of trouble reveals the true nature of what is really inside of us. It may be hiding during seasons of blessing, but trials can bring the darkest areas of our heart to the surface. How do we teach ourselves to respond like these people? It begins with a grateful heart. Pride responds with entitlement because at its root it makes us believe we deserve more. Humility responds in gratefulness and appreciation for all that has already been given.
The Day of Your Blessing
The day of blessing begins when we teach our hearts to be thankful. Not in an effort to get something from God, but to give in response to what he has already done. He doesn’t owe us anything else. When people were thankful in scripture God poured his blessings and favor upon them and they knew he was with them even during trials of their faith. Thankfulness opens a window of blessing and favor that invites God’s presence to surround us with joy and contentment. These people didn’t even have to lift a finger, once they began singing a song of thankfulness, God confused their enemies and gave them a victory without them ever needing to fight. Each one of our battles will be won a different way and that means there are times when he will require us to fight. The battle is not the real fight, but learning to be thankful is the real battle, but once we do, it becomes the day of your blessing! When the praises go up, the blessings come down. That is your day of blessing!