Do you have a battle cry? When faced with great opposition, what is your response?
Last week we talked about 3 things that you should say before the battle begins. If you haven’t read that, go check it out as we talked about the verses directly preceding the passage we’ll be getting into today.
Just to give you a quick background, the army of Judah (led by Abijah) and the army of Israel (led by Jeroboam) are about to have an intense battle. They are standing across from each other (Abijah standing on Mount Zemaraim) and words have been spoken.
The Final Words
O people of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed! (vs. 12)
It’s as if he is giving the Israelites one final word of warning… almost as if to say “repent! We don’t have to do this!” Jeroboam still did not listen. He still thought he knew better.
Side Note: Have you ever fought against God?
I think it’s important to note here that earlier in this passage Abijah reminds the army of Israel of the covenant God had made with them.
I’m amazed time and time again at God’s faithfulness to the covenants He makes. One of my favorite passages in scripture is Ezekiel 16. It is a vivid image of God’s covenant with Israel despite their EXTREME unfaithfulness.
You can be in covenant relationship with God and still fight against Him. Are you doing that today? Friend, you can’t win- and what’s more there is SO much grace waiting for you when you run to Him in complete surrender. He is faithful when we are not.
If this is you, put down your sword today and discover even more deeply God’s incredible covenant love.
Let’s Get Back to the Story:
The final warning had been made. But it didn’t matter…
Meanwhile, Jeroboam had secretly sent part of his army around behind the men of Judah to ambush them. (vs. 13)
He attacked. Jeroboam thought he was being sly. He thought he had this in the bag. But what did the army of Judah do?
The Battle Cry
When Judah realized that they were being attacked from the front and the rear, they cried out to the Lord for help. Then the priests blew the trumpets, and the men of Judah began to shout. At the sound of their battle cry, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel and routed them before Abijah and the army of Judah. (vs. 14-15)
Woah! Guys this is so exciting and there are so many implications to this story!
Confidence in the Lord
Abijah and his army had SO MUCH confidence in the Lord!
Their first reaction when they realized that they were SURROUNDED was to cry out to the Lord for help.
But their confidence doesn’t stop there. When I read that the men of Judah began to shout and blow their trumpets, I had to ask why? I believe they fully trusted that it would be God that would deliver them from the attack.
So why did they shout?
Why did they blow their trumpets?
I am not a bible scholar by any means, but I believe it was an act of faith. David Guzik called it a “shout of faith” in his study guide of the text.
I think they believed God would give the victory… and let us not be fooled… we always act on what we believe.
Being a Part of the Lord’s Work
Did God move because of their faith?
Would He have given the victory even if they didn’t blow the trumpets and shout their battle cries?
I don’t know.
But what I have found to be truly amazing is that God chooses to invite us into what He is doing.
He INVITES US to be a part of what He is doing!
Woah! When you consider who God is, it is truly amazing to see His desire to include us in His plan. To include us in the victory He wants to give. And oh does He give the victory!
The Israelite army fled from Judah, and God handed them over to Judah in defeat. Abijah and his army inflicted heavy losses on them; 500,000 of Israel’s select troops were killed that day. So Judah defeated Israel on that occasion because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
Did you catch that? The Israelite army FLED. They ran. They were defeated.
And the victory was given to those who trusted in the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
- When you are being attacked from the front and the back, what is your response?
- Do you have the confidence to blow the trumpets and shout in the face of great opposition?
- Do you recognize that it is God alone who gives the victory? And do you trust Him for that victory?
Trust the Lord! He will give you the victory!
Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook where I’ll be discussing this post live! And of course, a letter from my heart to your inbox goes out every Saturday. Have you signed up?