“O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chronicles 20:12, N.K.J.V.)
Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah, Israel’s southern kingdom. One day he received a report that a massive allied army of Moabites and Ammonite had marched into Judah (2 Chronicles 20:1-2). Knowing that God was Judah’s only hope against such overwhelming forces, Jehoshaphat proclaimed a time of national fasting and prayed for God to fight for his people (2 Chronicles 20:3-12). The words of our text verse were how he closed that prayer.
God responded to Jehoshaphat’s prayer by delivering Judah from the hand of the invading army. God accomplished that victory by having the enemy soldiers become so confused that they actually started killing one another (2 Chronicles 20:13-23). The army of Judah didn’t even have to do any actual fighting. They simply collected all the spoils from the dead soldiers (2 Chronicles 20:24-29)..
Admittedly, God doesn’t always provide such supernatural victories. For that reason, I don’t want the focus of this post to be upon the victory itself. Instead I want it to be upon Jehoshaphat’s great statement, where he says to God “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
I grew up watching the popular television show MASH. The term “MASH” is an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, and the show was centered around the doctors and nurses who worked in the 4077th MASH during the Korean War. Even though the Korean War itself only lasted from 1950 to 1953, MASH the show aired on CBS from 1972 to 1983. Yes, the show lasted about four times longer than the war it depicted.
One episode from MASH’S final season is a real standout. It features the actor Patrick Swayze (before he became a bigtime movie star) playing a young soldier named Gary Sturgis whose wartime injuries make him a patient at the 4077th. When surgeon “Hawkeye” Pierce does some routine bloodwork on Sturgis he discovers that Sturgis has leukemia. That begins a dilemma within Pierce as he tries to decide whether or not to tell the young man about the fatal diagnosis. Pierce’s initial reaction is to keep the diagnosis from Sturgis so that Sturgis can best enjoy what time he has left, but Sturgis finally confronts him and forces the news from him.
Later, as Pierce is sitting alone in the camp’s mess hall, chaplain Father Mulcahy walks in and strikes up a conversation. Pierce explains what has happened and expresses his doubts that he did the right thing in telling Sturgis. He says to Mulcahy, “I wish I could believe I did the right thing.” Mulcahy’s response is, “A doctor is still just a human being. All you can do is follow your instincts.” To that Pierce says somewhat angrily, “My instincts are to cure him” and gets up and slowly walks out of the mess hall.
What do you do when you have no control over what is happening? What do you do when you can’t make happen what your instincts are telling you needs to happen? You throw up your hands and do what Jehoshaphat did. You say, “Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are upon You.” You see, God doesn’t expect you to perform miracles or do the impossible. He just wants you to cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. Leave the outcome of the situation with Him, and trust Him to do the right thing regarding it. I won’t try to predict what that outcome might be, but whatever it is, it will be God’s responsibility because you left the deciding to Him.