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The Power in Praise: A Most Unconventional Warfare

In all of history, this had to be one of the most unconventional ways to try to defend a country under siege. Who ever heard of an army being led by a group of singers and musicians? But sing and play they did! Here is the true account from the Bible's book of 2 Chronicles, chapter 20.

Word was rushed to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, announcing the swift approach of a vast army from Ammon, Moab, and Seir, three kingdoms that had formed an alliance against Judah. Jehoshaphat, knowing that his own army was no match for the invaders, turned to God for help. He proclaimed a time of prayer and fasting, and people from throughout the land poured into the capital to take part.

Then, in the midst of all the people, Jehoshaphat prayed. "O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in Heaven? You rule over kingdoms and nations, and power and might are in Your hand. None can withstand You." As the king continued, people's spirits were strengthened. "We know that in the time of calamity, whatever peril it may be, if we stand in Your presence and cry out to You in our distress, You will hear and save us. We have no power against this great army that comes against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You!"

Then a young priest named Jahaziel prophesied with a loud voice, "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!" God had heard and come to answer their prayers.

"You will not need to fight in this battle," God's message through Jahaziel continued. "Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you!"

King Jehoshaphat bowed to the ground in worship. The crowd followed the king's lead, while the priests raised their voices to praise the Lord.

The next morning as the troops made preparations for battle, King Jehoshaphat encouraged them. "Believe in the Lord your God, and so shall you be established. Have faith in His prophets, and so shall you have good success."

The king consulted with the people, and it was decided that singers should lead the troops into battle. That daring step of faith showed that they believed God would fight for them.

"Praise the Lord for the beauty of His holiness," Jehoshaphat instructed the singers as they took their position. "Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy endures forever." They were thanking God in advance for the victory He had promised the day before.

No sooner had they begun to sing and praise than God "set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated."

The Bible doesn't specify what those "ambushes" were, but it does explain that the men of those three invading kingdoms began to fight among themselves. First the men of Ammon and Moab rose up against those of Seir, and when they had destroyed them, the two armies destroyed each other.

When the army of Judah came to a promontory overlooking the battlefield, they saw only dead bodies on the ground. No one had escaped.

Jehoshaphat and his men gathered so many valuables from the bodies that it took them three days to collect them all.

On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, which means "the Valley of Praise," and there they blessed God. Then they returned home with joy, for the Lord had triumphed over their enemies.

The fear of God came on all the neighboring kingdoms when they heard how He had interceded for Judah, and "the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around."

What an amazing testimony to the power of faith, prayer, and praise--and that same power is available to us today. Whenever we face a problem that is too big for us, if we pray with our whole hearts and believe the promises God has given us in His Word, we can then go on the attack against whatever it is that threatens to undo us, praising the Lord and thanking Him by faith for the victory, and He will intercede for us.

Praise is the voice of faith. If you really believe God has heard your prayers, you will start praising Him for the answer, even before you see it. When you're tempted to get down and discouraged, remember the power of praise and look to God.