Saturday Spotlight: Jahaziel

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Jahaziel said, “…the Lord says that you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this large army. The battle depends on God, not on you…You will not have to fight this battle. Just take up your positions and wait; you will see the Lord give you victory.” 2 Chronicles 20: 15-17a

 

It’s hard not to be afraid when everyone around you is panicking. Jahaziel was able to encourage his fellows because the spirit of the Lord had come upon him. He was able to share God’s message of encouragement because he was focused on God, not on Jerusalem’s enemies or on the feelings of those around him. He reminded his companions that the battle wasn’t dependent on their own strength. They didn’t have to do more than they were able to do—but they did have to do what they could. Although the outcome of the battle depended on God, the Judean army couldn’t just stay home and do nothing.

 

“Suit up and show up,” were Jahaziel’s instructions. That’s just what the army did. 2 Chronicles tells us that musicians were sent ahead of the army, singing praise to God. Their enemies were thrown into a panic and began attacking each other. The Judaen troops triumphed without having to shoot a single arrow or lift a sword. They did not, however, have a passport to inertia. They followed God’s instructions and showed up trusting the outcome to God.

 

“Suit up and show up” is good advice for us, too. On those days we don’t want to get out of bed because we know the day’s going to be a hard one, when we have to have that tough conversation with our spouse, aging parent or teenage child, when a problem at work has to be dealt with as best we can, or when any other challenge feels overwhelming, we can take a lesson from Jahaziel. We can direct our attention to what we think God would have us do and say. We can keep the focus off the enemy or problem. We can stop worrying about forcing the solution to come out the way we think it should. We can play our part, say and do what we think God would have us say or do, and leave the results in his very capable hands. Our battles depend on God, not on us.

 

Prayer:  Lord, this problem is bigger than I am, but no problem is bigger than you. Show me what you want me to do and remind me that you are with me.

 

Reflection for sharing:  When has God been there for you once you suited up and showed up?

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Meditations

But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)

 

All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.

 

It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.

 

I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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