We often refer to worship as singing slow songs that glorify God, but how we live our lives is also a form of worship. If you read 2 Chronicles 20 you can see how the tribe of Judah used worship as a weapon to defeat their enemies. Jehoshaphat (the king of Judah at the time) was scared when he heard a large army was planning to attack Judah, but despite his fear,
he went to seek God first and declared a fast throughout Judah. All of Judah gathered together and Jehoshaphat declared who God is, and put God in remembrance about the things God did for their ancestors. Jehoshaphat ended what he was saying by acknowledging the weakness of Judah on their own, but also declared they are keeping their eyes on God. After he was done, Judah stood still before God and a prophetic word was released in the gathering by a man named Jahaziel:
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 nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NKJV
When they received this word, they bowed down, worshipped and sang loud praises to God. The prophetic word had not come true yet, but they started to praise like the victory was already won. In the moments after receiving a prophetic word it can be easy to get excited, jump, shout and say we trust God to bring the word to pass.
But when the battle actually comes, some say (or show with their actions), “God thank you, but I got it from here, I need a sword, not a word.”
But Judah continued to put God first as they went into battle.
“After consulting the people of Judah, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang, “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!” At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.” 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 NLT
Judah could have fasted, prayed, praised and when the battle came, they could have pulled out their swords, sent the singers to the back, and trusted in their own strength to win the battle. How scary would it have been to be one of the singers appointed to walk ahead of the army? The people that are supposed to attack you have swords but you’re on the front lines of the battle with a song on your lips! It would have made more sense to have the army go first since they had “real” weapons like their enemies.
Instead Judah let a posture of worship be their weapon of choice. As they put God first with their praise, they saw God work on their behalf.
How often in our lives do we, pray, fast and say we trust God but then run around and exhaust ourselves trying to figure everything out our own? Or the opposite and take no steps of faith to change what is going on?
God’s instruction to Judah was to go out to the battlefield, and position themselves even though they were told they would not need to fight in the battle. When Judah decided to use worship as their weapon they did not run around and try to figure out how they would win the battle on their own. They also did not sit around and do nothing. They were obedient and did what God told them to do.
Is worship your last resort or your weapon or choice?