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Devotional - week of February 23, 2014


OLD TESTAMENT EXPERIENCES OF GRACE

O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.  2 Chronicles 20:12

Hebrews chapter 11, the faith chapter of the Bible, tells about what many have accomplished by faith. Each of these works of God was a work of grace. It is by faith that we experience grace. The verse above is found in an example of an Old Testament incident of faith and grace.

The Moabites, Ammonites, and inhabitants of Mount Seir gathered together to go to Canaan and destroy the Jews. Someone came to King Jehoshaphat to tell him. The king was terrified because he knew that these three kingdoms together could destroy them.

He called for a fast. All of the tribes of Judah gathered at the temple. Jehoshaphat prayed. Second Chronicles 20:12 is a part of his prayer. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, a prophet, and he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the lord is with you’ ” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).

They obeyed. Verse 22 says, “now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” This was truly an incident of God’s grace because they did not know what to do but their eyes were on God. In faith, the Israelites did nothing but stand in a certain place, sing and praise. The Lord miraculously turned the nations against each other and the battle was over.

The New Testament teaches that there is a deeper work of grace than this when we permit God to do great works in and through our lives by living out our oneness with Christ.