“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Leading with Praise

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord,for his love endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 NIV

The enemy was formidable. An army composed of the men of three of Judah's greatest foes were closing in. Judah's army was puny in comparison. They didn't have a chance.

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At least, you might say, they had an army. No matter how outnumbered they might be, there was still a chance. Right? So,the army strategist plans, you put your best fighters in front with the hopes of scaring off the other army - doing enough damage that they leave. A long shot, but it's something to try.

Or maybe you run. Surrender. Give up.  Hopefully they'll be nice - let you off with your lives. Better than losing everyone. Slavery is better than death, right?

But that's not what Judah, under the direction of their king Jehoshaphat, does. After seeking the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:1-13), he gets his army together and puts the most powerful folks in front. 

No - not the mighty warriors or the brilliant military strategists. He sends the praise band to lead them.
 Did you catch that? Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army. So they met the vast army with praise in the front.

So counterintuitive, don't you think? But it worked - because nothing is stronger than the Lord. And how often do we forget that?

We give it our all, but we still fail, because we put OUR strength ahead of His. We take the lead, when it is the Lord who should be in front. We try to be the copilot, but God doesn't just want to help. He wants to do it all for us.

He used singing to defeat the Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites. He used 300 men with trumpets, torches, and jars to destroy the Midianites. And of course, marching and shouting took down the walls of Jericho.

Logically, none of these examples make sense. And that's the point. If they were logical, why would we give God the credit?

We didn't do it. He did. That's what happens when we lead with praise to Him.


How hard is it for you to let God take the lead - to not depend on your own skills, talents, and/or power? How well do you do with praising Him in the midst of struggle? Turning to Him, and letting Him do it (whatever "it" might be), is the wise decision.

Comment below, and/or stop by Living by Grace and we can chat a bit!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength


  1. God's strategies are comfortable to our human thinking. Something within us tends to think more or bigger is better. But instead He often strips of us of things we value most to show us what is most valuable.

  2. SO true, Wanda. When we are weak, He is strong. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. AnonymousJuly 25, 2012

    Not only does God work in unusual ways, He has an amazing sense of humor :). Angie

  4. He sure does, Angie! Thanks for stopping by!


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