Ever feel helpless, like your troubles are too big to handle? Even kids do sometimes! So I was telling the grandkids the story of King Jehoshaphat’s army (2 Chronicles 20:1-30). An assortment of enemies had gathered together against God’s people and were going to attack. God’s people had an army but surely not with the equipment of those other armies, whose goal was world domination.
The grandkids could picture that Jehoshaphat’s army had the most heavily armed guys in front, as any army would. Then comes the king’s order (after he’d prayed) that the choir would be going out in front. The choir?! I asked the kids to imagine what the choir members might have felt about that … standing there in their choir robes instead of holding swords and shields.
Grandson Henry, taking on the role of an alarmed singer, went, “Say WHUT?! ”
And then we pictured the choir members whispering accusations at each other: “See, I told you I didn’t want to be in choir. Now look what you’ve gotten us into!” Ha!
This amazing account shows the singers leading the army and singing praise to God: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever” (v. 21).
Wouldn’t it have been fun to see their faces when the enemy troops started turning on and killing each other? The Lord’s army won without firing a shot.
Commentator Matthew Henry (1662–1714!) says that Jehoshaphat’s soldiers would have been joyful as they carried back the plunder: “Never was spoil so cheerfully divided, for Jehoshaphat’s army had nothing to do besides; the rest was done for them.” Of course! Even if you win a battle, you’d normally have to bury some of your own dead soldiers, treat the wounded, recover from exhaustion. These guys had none of that to deal with. Wow.
We know that praise is powerful. And that our big enemy would try to stop that. Here’s one modern-day example about the enemy’s aversion to songs about the blood of Jesus.
And yet who’d a-thought that this army with singers at the head would be effective? Soon after pondering this story, I happened to hear the classic rock song “(Theme from) The Monkees” (1966). Couldn’t help picturing Jehoshaphat’s choir using these words as their prelude—just as they began to march out (getting stares from the crowd), and before beginning their praise song:
Here we come,
Walkin’ down the street.
We get the funniest looks from
Ev’ry one we meet.
And after the enemy armies fell, surely King Jehoshaphat’s choir sang more praise on their return (see v. 27). Picture them finishing up with The Monkees’ final song line as their grand finale:
We’re too busy singing
To put anybody down.
God himself “put down” the enemy, right? There’s a lesson there somewhere!