Monday, October 31, 2011

God First, Man Second: 2 Chronicles 20:6-12

“LORD, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’ “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:6-12

I heard an evangelist speak from this passage just last week. I won't review his points here, but it struck me as another good passage of scripture that highlights the distinction between God and man and how the order is important. Even King Jehoshaphat got that.

Don't get me wrong, I know this king is generally one of the good kings of Judah. But he doesn't always strike me as the sharpest tool in the shed. After all, he hung out with the evil King Ahab of Israel and allowed himself to be used by Ahab. (You can read about that in 2 Chronicles 18.)

Back to this story, Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah are about to be attacked by 3 big armies, so he prays. Always a good decision. This prayer he prays shows he gets it. He places God first, ackowledging that we are dependent on God.

Even when he starts to sound a bit accusatory, he is still showing that we are hosed without God's help.

So who is God? He is the ruler with all the power.

Who is man? We are the creatures who depend on God. We can't save ourselves, nor should we try.

Have your prayers ever looked like this when you needed something? What do your prayers usually look like?

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