Who fights your battles for you? Do you try to bear up under trying circumstances and do the best you can all on your own, and when you genuinely have no idea how to handle your particular situation, worry and struggle yourself into ill health? Or do you bring your situation before the holy God of heaven and earth, humbly recognizing that He is fully capable of going before us to resolve the situation if we but ask?
”The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes.” (Deuteronomy 1:30)
While this promise was specifically to the Israelites in the Old Testament, it never ceases to amaze me how foolish we can be about the problems we face in life. God has certainly given us a mind as well as His Word, and He expects us to use these to determine how to solve the various problems we encounter in our daily life. Yet there are times when we are confronted with issues we truly cannot resolve, and it is then that we must recognize the ability of our great God to go before us to deal with the situation.
In 2 Kings 19:14-19, we are given an example of how to respond when we do not know what to humanly do:
”And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers [that the powerful king of Assyria was coming up against his nation], and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone.”
The powerful Assyrian army was coming up against Hezekiah, and they were known to be cruel. Hezekiah had a choice—he could “tough it out” and formulate the best plan he could to try to resist the coming onslaught for as long as he could knowing he would ultimately be defeated, or he could admit his inability to resist the formidable foe and bring it before the Lord. He made the right choice, and was rewarded by God:
“Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard.’…Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria:
‘He shall not come into this city,
Nor shoot an arrow there,
Nor come before it with shield,
Nor build a siege mound against it.
By the way that he came,
By the same shall he return;
And he shall not come into this city,’
Says the Lord.
‘For I will defend this city, to save it
For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”
And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword…” (2 Kings 19:20, 32-37)
Not only did Hezekiah not have to do anything in this situation, but in addition to solving the immediate problem, the Lord also allowed circumstances that ensured Sennacherib did not return at some point in the future to finish what he had intended! But what about us today? Can we respond just as Hezekiah did and bring our unsolvable problems before the Lord? The answer is that we certainly not only can, but ought to bring them to God!
Recently, I inadvertently got myself into a situation I simply could not see a solution to. I had done something with the most honorable of intentions that, because of time constraints and omissions, ended up being dishonest. I could not see a way to fix it without irreparable injury to a very precious relationship, so in desperation, I prayed to God to somehow fix it for me. I had no idea how He possibly could—there did not seem to be a solution—yet when it was over, He had resolved it in a way I had never thought of, and it involved no further action on my part!
Another time, I was feeling genuinely overwhelmed by a task of significant consequence that had a deadline the next day. There were several other issues that were also weighing upon me and I was afraid I would encounter significant problems when I finally did tackle it and would not get done on time. So I brought it to the Lord in prayer the day before and asked Him to go before me. The next day when I settled into the task, everything went smoother than it probably ever had before, it was correctly done in a very short time, and I even got two other pressing tasks very successfully completed that same day! I am convinced His divine power supernaturally and mercifully removed all obstacles.
While not all of our problems are as significant as an Assyrian army approaching in battle, God knows what is beyond our ability to resolve on our own, and He is willing to go before us. This does not mean that we are to sit back and refuse to do the obvious things required to solve our everyday problems. But when we are confronted with situations genuinely beyond our ability, we do not need to struggle hopelessly on our own or worry ourselves into ill health; we simply need to bring our problem before our almighty God and ask for His help!
Thank You that You are almighty; that unlike human beings, You really can do everything and solve any situation. Please go before us when we are terrified; please solve the problems we don’t know how to solve or feel unable to do anything about. In Jesus’ name, Amen.