Standing Alone

2 Chronicles 28:10-11: “Now you are proposing to subjugate for yourselves the people of Judah and Jerusalem for male and female slaves. Surely, do you not have transgressions of your own against the LORD your God? Now therefore, listen to me and return the captives whom you captured from your brothers, for the burning anger of the LORD is against you.”

Observation: Israel had just won a decisive battle against Judah and was in the process of hauling spoil home, including some 200,000 captured Judites and all their possessions. At that moment, Obed stepped forward to remind Israel that they have sins of their own to deal with, and that they had won this time because of God’s judgments against Judah. Wonder of wonders, Israel, the conquering army, completely shifted gears and took excellent care of the captives before repatriating them to Judah.

Application: This is an astonishing incident. Obed was an obscure prophet; he is not spoken of elsewhere in Scripture. But think of it! This one man, Obed, came before a conquering army, and changed the course of history. Rivers of adrenaline must have been flowing through the army: they had just killed 120,000 Judites and captured another 200,000. They had risked their lives in war and been victorious. Surely the sounds of battle were still ringing in their ears when this lone guy, Obed, stood before them. 

I suspect the reason we hear nothing more about Obed is because the story isn’t about him in particular. Rather, its intent is to reveal the remarkable power and authority of one righteous man when he is filled with the Holy Spirit and speaks what God has given him to say. 

Through this I am reminded how critical it is that I hear and obey God’s voice even when I find myself standing alone. My strength and courage don’t come from within or from having a horde of friends backing me. It is God who is sufficient. If I have heard His voice and go forward in the strength and confidence of the Holy Spirit, then I, too, will see lives changed for the good. James 3:18 puts it this way: “And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

Prayer: Father, there have been times when I have stood like Obed, and I have seen You bring a result I could not have imagined. Fill me afresh today with Your Holy Spirit so I can hear You rightly and, after hearing, walk out whatever it is You tell me to do. I pray for the peace of God to reign and rule in my heart today and for Your kingdom to touch the earth today in my sphere of influence.

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