by Sheri Schofield
Warm summer breezes sweep the ripened grass in the meadows, and all along the roads, sunflowers gently nod. The cheerful golden manes around the brown faces dot the landscape when most other wildflowers are done for the season. From first light until dusk, the sunflowers face the sun, following its orbit across the sky, never wavering in their devotion to its warmth.
King Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, reminds me of the sunflowers. He was at home in Jerusalem minding his own business when a messenger came to him with troubling news. The kings of Moab, Ammon and Edom were marching on Jehoshaphat’s kingdom of Judah. Three nations! How could Judah withstand such an onslaught?
Jehoshaphat was alarmed by this news, and his immediate response was to turn his face to God for guidance. He sent out orders to all his people that they should fast. When the people heard the news, they left their towns and rushed to Jerusalem to seek the Lord together. King Jehoshaphat, who met them in front of the Temple of the Lord, led them in prayer.
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you . . . If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague, or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us. . . We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:6, 9, 12, NIV).
The Lord answered Jehoshaphat immediately. The Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel, a man from the priestly tribe of Levi. He said, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them . . . You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NIV).
The next morning, Jehoshaphat chose some good singers and told them to march in front of the army singing praises to God declaring his unfailing love. Now that is confidence!
As they neared the enemy encampment, the choir began to sing. At the first notes of praise, the Lord caused the invaders to start attacking each other! By the time the choir, the army, and the king arrived, not one enemy could be found alive. God had saved all Judah in a spectacular manner.
Have the cares of this life surrounded you? Do you feel overwhelmed? Then look toward Jesus. Cry out to him, “Lord! I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on you!” Like the sunflower watches the sun above, keep your eyes on the Son of God. All deliverance and freedom is in him. He will come to your rescue!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked our for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1- 2 NIV).
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.
Join the Conversation: How do you keep your eyes focused on Him?