The coronavirus gives a sense of helplessness. We try to do particular things to make ourselves feel more secure: sanitize hands, wear masks, stockpile toilet paper, avoid contact with people, get the opinions of qualified people, seek an accurate prognosis about the spread of the virus. But when it comes to completely stopping the threat, we do not know what to do.
Jehoshaphat felt a greater sense of helplessness. He was the King of Judah when his country was threatened by the vast army of his enemies. By normal measures, the situation looked hopeless. Jehoshaphat prayed to God, ‘we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do…’
However, despite the bleak outlook, he continued praying by saying to God, ‘…but our eyes are on you’ (2 Chron 20:12).
How did Jehoshaphat keep his eyes on God?
First, he remembered God’s power. He said to God, ‘You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you’ (2 Chron 20:6). The vast army of his enemies may have intimidated him, but Jehoshaphat knew about a greater power. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by things that are out of our control. So we need to remind ourselves of God who is in control.
Second, he resolved to follow God whatever the circumstances. ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence’ (2 Chron 20:9). We’re sometimes fickle followers of Jesus – we’re faithful when it suits us; when things are going our way. Jehoshaphat acknowledged the threats around him: sword, famine, and plague (or virus), but made the conscious decision to follow God, come what may.
Third, he trusted in God’s salvation. He cried out to God, ‘you will hear us and save us’ (2 Chron 20:9). Jehoshaphat trusted that God would win the battle on his people’s behalf. We don’t know how long the battle will go against the coronavirus. We don’t what the toll will be. But we do know that about the one who fought the greatest battle on our behalf. We know about Jesus, who fought the battle against sin and death at the cost of his own life.
You may not feel like you know what to do. But when you think about it, you do know enough. Over and over again, fix your eyes on God. Remember, resolve, and trust.