Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17 ESV)
What a scene. Dads and moms holding children in their arms listening to king Jehoshaphat pray while the soldiers’ chants and horses’ stampede roar in the background.
Then God speaks. What God said to Judah is his message to you today. God gave two resounding negative commands:
Do not be afraid. Twice God tells his people not to be afraid. The word afraid here means to be in awe of, to revere, to respect. God is telling them not to give the enemy too much credit. This great horde is not so great after all. How can God’s people do this? For the battle is not yours but God’s. In other words, give God more credit than you give your enemy. Whatever you’re facing isn’t bigger than God!
Do not be dismayed. To be dismayed means to be broken, shattered, devastated. Dismay is fear gone viral, fear run amuck. Dismay is panic on steroids. Dismay happens when your mind devises the worst possible scenario for the challenge you’re facing.
Notice God’s message to his people: You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf. God’s answer for their fear and dismay is his power. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you. God’s answer for their fear and dismay is his presence.
Why are you fighting a cosmic battle with human weapons. Your predicaments do not threaten God’s power nor thwart His presence.