Music and singing are not often thought of as tools of fighting a battle, especially by armies. In the reading for today 2 Chronicles 9 – 22 there is a king, Jehoshaphat, who sets the musicians at the forefront of a battle.
I use to think that musicals for a movie, even a theatrical play, were somewhat ludicrous. However, in recent years I have began to see the power music has over life. Our lives are musicals when you stop and think about it. I do not know a single individual who does not enjoy music of one kind or another. I heard music all my life. I grew up with my Dad playing guitar, a grand father who played the fiddle (that is a a violin, for you city, society folk).
Music has a way of building a mood, good or bad mood. It can encourage, make fearful, distrustful, suspicious, doubtful, angry; or discourage, bold, trusting, full of faith, and loving. There are even certain kinds of music that can cause one to go crazy; at least in my estimation.
The passage of Scripture I have in mind is,
“And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.’ And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, ‘Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.’ And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.” 2 Chronicles 20:20-24 (KJV)
A vast army made up of Ammon, Moab, and Seir; nations whom the LORD had told Israel to let be as they were journeying through the wilderness from Egypt; were not attacking in joint effort to conquer Judah, and king Jehoshaphat. This king was a good king who made several mistakes, but forsaking the LORD was not one of them.
Jehoshaphat’s first act when he realizes they are being attacked is to call on the LORD for help (20:3-13). A Levite named Jahaziel receives a message from the Spirit of the LORD;
“Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, ‘Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.'” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17
Notice in those verses that the LORD, speaking through his prophet, says, “Ye shall not need to fight this battle…”. It was God’s battle, and then all Jehoshaphat did was arrange a choir to sing praise unto the LORD and the beauty of His holiness. It would seem that to do this in faith they would have gone out without a weapon, except the singers.
In the Bible the LORD thinks much of music and singing. We find the Song of Moses (Exodus 15); the Song of Deborah (Judges 5); and then there is a whole Hymnal in the center of the Bible called The Psalms. There are songs in the Revelation.
Many of us face stress, distress, fear, in various forms and for many reasons. If we would apply certain music to our lives that is some battles that we can overcome. Music that praises the LORD, and glorifies Him will lift our hearts from fear to faith; and a battle is won.
The people of Judah went out against Ammon, Moab, and Seir believing God would give them victory. A choir went forth singing praises to the beauty of holiness of the LORD, and the invading armies turned on one another. Not a single weapon was raised by Judah that day; not a soul was lost of Judah; because they trusted in the LORD for their deliverance.
Are you fearful today? Are you distressed? Does the battle you are facing seem too much for you to handle? There is nothing too big for God. Trust His Son Jesus Christ, and you will need not fear anything ever again.
For the Christian singing means being filled with the Spirit,
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5:18-21 (KJV)
-Tim A. Blankenship