Worship is a Weapon
King Jehoshaphat was 35 years old. For much of his reign he’d worked hard to protect the people of Judah from enemy invasion. But now he was to face his toughest challenge yet. Numerous armies, vast in number, were fast approaching with the sole intent of causing mass death and destruction. Terrified the people of Judah looked to King Jehoshaphat, who in turn looked to God. He gathers the people together and what do they do? They begin to worship.
“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 hands, and no one can withstand you.” 2 Chronicles 20:6
In the midst of real pressure and fear, the people choose to fill their minds and hearts with the truth of who God is. His might, power and strength. Corrie Ten Boom, who knew what it was like to confront pure evil in the concentration camps of the 2nd World War, once said, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.” Worship changes our perspective. It lifts the attention off ourselves, our problems, our limited and fragile thinking and shifts it on to the unshakable, faithful and all-powerful provision of our God.
“We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12
So the people of Judah begin to worship and God begins to speak to them. The decision is made to place at the front of the army a group of singers and musicians. Now if I was King Jehoshaphat and I had a vast enemy army approaching, I tell you what I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t place at the front of the army a group of skinny jean wearing, emotionally sensitive, metro-sexual musicians!! [Think Tom Smith!!] I’d want the biggest, hairiest and scariest looking people. I’d want to give the enemy at least the vague impression that we are a serious army up for a serious fight. But God’s ways are always different from ours.
And so at the front of the army Jehoshaphat appointed the men to sing and praise God. Picture them now ... lined up. One with a trumpet in hand. One with cymbals. One poor soul with a mere triangle. I can see them flinching. Terrified. One turns to the others and says, “here goes lads. This is it. The last time we’ll ever sing or play. We’re going to die.” And together they tentatively begin to sing,
“Give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever.” 2 Chronicles 20:21
They wait for the spears and arrows to come flying in but nothing happens. And so a little bit more confidently they continue. “Give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever.”
This time they look out and they see that the various enemy armies are beginning to turn on each other. With more passion they lift up the song of praise ... “Give thanks to the Lord...” Now a full blown war is happening between these enemy armies whilst the people of Judah watch on. Eventually the enemy armies end up killing one another.
“The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men of Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.” 2 Chronicles 20:23
Here we see the greatest military victory in Judah’s history and they had done absolutely NOTHING! Except ... worship. You see worship is a weapon. When we worship, God moves. He brings transformation to us, to circumstances and I believe to cities and nations. In worship we gather together united under this earth shattering truth that Jesus is Lord. And there is power in the name of Jesus. Psalm 149:6 says,
“Let the high praise of God be in their mouth, and a two-edge sword in their hand.”
When we worship and praise God, it’s like we begin to wage war against all that is wrong, with a two-edge sword. Worship draws us into the presence of God. It fuels, sustains, awakens, convicts, inspires, redeems and renews.
Whatever you are facing I encourage you to stand in the face of it and offer up praise to the name above every name. This doesn’t mean we’ll never face setback, hurt and pain. Things may not work out as we would love. But as we worship God begins to build his kingdom. He changes us. He re-aligns us to himself. So whatever is going on in your life ... remind yourself of this today ... worship is weapon.
Tim Hughes is the vicar at Gas St Church in Birmingham, U.K, a church which was planted out of HTB four years ago. He also leads ‘Worship Central’, a movement of worshippers with a passion to raise up & equip a new generation of worship leaders around the world. Tim used to be the worship pastor at HTB Church in London and before that was the worship pastor at Soul Survivor Watford. He is married to Rachel and they have four amazing children. Some of Tim’s songs include ‘Here I Am To Worship’, ‘Happy Day’, and ‘The Way’. We love you Timmy boy!