We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. – 2 Chronicles 20:12c
I stumbled across 2 Chronicles 20 about a month ago. It describes the Moabites and Ammonites coming to wage war against Jehoshaphat and the people of God. With a vast, enemy army at his doorstep, Jehoshaphat calls his people to fast and seek the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:6-12 provides the words of a Jehoshaphat prayer which ends, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
This phrase has reverberated in my heart and mind since I read it. The sentiment is powerful … and it even rhymes.
A passage stuck on rewind in my mind frequently leads to something. I can’t get it unstuck until it becomes a Bible study, sermon series, or I share it with enough people.
I used 2 Chronicles 20 as a devotional during a staff meeting. I read it during a deacon meeting. During a Sunday evening worship service I referenced it during the prayer time and encouraged our people to read the entirety of the passage.
Within two days of that Sunday evening service, I received notes of appreciation for sharing the passage. I also started to receive pictures from congregation members who had the passage underlined in their Bible and even some marginal notes. I’m always fond of receiving such feedback. I truly love seeing the pages of well-read and well-marked Bibles. Yet, in this instance, I was a little perturbed. I thought, “How does everyone have this passage marked!” I own dozens of well-used Bibles but you will not find 2 Chronicles 20:12 marked in any of them.
Then I bumped into a church member who provided the clue to the mystery.
It turns out that one of my predecessors at First Baptist Sulphur Springs, Dr. David Hardage, preached from 2 Chronicles 20 in the days after the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
The marginal note on Dr. Hardage’s sermon, Responding to a Crises, includes 1) Seek the Lord in prayer 2) Come together 3) Worship God 4) Rely on God and His Word, and 5) Give Thanks.
I’m thankful for these powerful words. I’m thankful for well-read and well-marked Bibles.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of September 11, may we continue to heed this advice.