9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.2 Chronicles 16:9a ESV
Life is filled with both intentional choices and incidents that appear random, yet God’s sovereignty paints each scene.
31 As soon as the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; God drew them away from him. 32 For as soon as the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33 But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.”2 Chronicles 18:31-33 ESV
Jehoshaphat sought wise counsel while Ahab rejected it. Jehoshaphat intentionally cried out to God while Ahab disguised himself and trusted man’s advice. A “random” shot found its mark and ended Ahab’s reign.
Both Jehoshaphat and Ahab were in the battle, but they had chosen differently how to respond to it. So also, following God’s leading does not necessarily keep us out of the battle, but it does mean we have someone walking with us, hearing our cries, and fighting for us.
3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. 5 Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand.2 Chronicles 17:3-5 ESV
Jehoshaphat understood that he could not rule or live by his own gut responses, self-defense, or human logic. He had to remove sinful habits from his life and kingdom and set his face toward God.
12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians.2 Chronicles 16:12 ESV
Earlier in Chronicles, Asa lived out the opposite side of this truth. He did not seek God, but turned exclusively to human intervention to resolve his issues. This is not a statement against modern medicine, but rather an indictment against those that reject God. No amount of human effort or wisdom can bring about something contrary to God’s plan. We see this time and again.
12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”2 Chronicles 20:12 ESV
Following God does not mean an easy life. Jehoshaphat had daily challenges as the ruler of a large nation. No doubt, the stress he faced weighed heavily on him. He faced the front lines of the battlefield more than once, he got sick, enemies came up against him. He kept coming back to his need to rely on God. His eyes kept their focus, and he called all his people to follow suit.
No matter the setting, our eyes can be sure of their proper focus.
Father God, teach me to hold you steadily in my line of sight. May no situation of life win my focus. Thank you for being constant and for fighting my battles and responding to my cries. Make it clear which wisdom belongs to You and which to this world. Even when I don’t know what to do, my eyes are on You. In Jesus name, amen.