“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
2nd Chronicles 20:12
I’m continuing my study through “Prayer and the Word of God” by Cynthia Bezek. This morning one of the scriptures I looked at covered the story in 2nd Chronicles chapter 20 of Jehoshaphat and his response when the armies of Moab, Ammon, and Meun massed together to come against Judah.
When Jehoshaphat gets word of this vast army coming against them and already at En Gedi, only about 50 miles from where he was in Jerusalem, he calls all of Judah to fast and come together to seek help from the Lord. The people gather and Jehoshaphat stands up at the temple of the Lord in front of the new courtyard and prays out to the Lord. Jehoshaphat reminds the Lord of what he heard prayed out and confirmed by the Lord at the dedication of the temple. He points out to the Lord that in response to their trouble he and the people are at the temple crying out to him and he reminds the Lord of the promise that he will ‘hear us and save us.’ The final line of Jehoshaphat’s prayer resonates powerfully with me – “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
And then “All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.”
Wow! I found sources that say a well-trained army can travel about 40 miles on foot in one day. This large army was just a bit over a day away. At a time when every human response would be to run or hide or take up arms and prepare for what was surely coming in hours, the people of Judah stood in great vulnerability waiting on the Lord.
I’m often in this ‘I don’t know what to do’ place. Sometimes I feel more vulnerable in this place than at other times, but no matter the level of risk, I so want to be more like the men and women of Judah as led by Jehoshaphat. The format of their prayer is potent – thinking back on the provision and promise of God; reminding him of what he has done and promised; and then waiting until his answer comes. The faith of their prayer is incredible – standing vulnerably; waiting to hear.
By the way, God came through for the people of Judah in big ways. I don’t know exactly how long the people of Judah stood and waited, but within hours God answered. God spoke through Jahaziel son of Zechariah, one of the men who was standing and waiting. And God’s primary message was to continue to stand and watch what he would do: “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”
There is more to this story and the more is wonderful! But today my heart needed to be reminded of the power of acknowledging my lack of wisdom and where to keep my eyes in those times of not knowing!
Oh Lord – I’m praying today in one of those “I don’t know what to do” times. A time when I’m not even sure what to pray! But I can pray into your promise that you will generously give me wisdom when I ask – Lord I need wisdom. And I can speak Paul’s prayer over the Philippians that my love might abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight – Lord I need more love, but love that operates in knowledge and depth of insight. And now Lord I wait because I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on you!