James Nisbet Commentary - 2 Chronicles 20:12 - 20:12

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James Nisbet Commentary - 2 Chronicles 20:12 - 20:12

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘O our God, … we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.’


I. Human helplessness in the presence of overwhelming foes is an everyday experience—more especially to the Christian worker. His foes are so real and so strong, and his resources apparently so few and so poor: just a few words out of a Book, a few truths that men might doubt, a few experiences of his own about which he might be mistaken. But to him comes the message which the prophet brought to Jehoshophat: ‘The battle is not yours, but God’s.’ Think of the foes which Christianity has to face—not merely the known vices, but the contented ignorance, the don’t-care indifference and the stolid irresponsiveness of the people. The army of Judah had no foes to compare with those that confront Christianity to-day. These enemies avoid a pitched battle: they hide themselves in a thick fog, and we do not know where to find them. No wonder the clergy feel discouraged.

II. But, after all, the resources of the Christian are not limited by what men see.—At the back of the praying man are tremendous resources, invisible, it may be, but real. The praying man is the strongest fighting man. Prayer never lost a battle. Discouraged and depressed, the Christian rises from his knees with fresh hopes and renewed energy.


‘Needs and perils, beyond human aid or self-help, are God’s opportunities. They bring home to us our weakness and dependence. By them God invites the appeal of trust, and so makes His relationship to us, as our Almighty, pitying Father, felt. Moral education could scarcely go forward but for the trials of human life. The Apostle Paul saw this so clearly that he gloried in his infirmities as occasions for the display of Christ’s power. Whatever brings the reality of Divine aid nearer to our feeling lifts us into communion with God, and is cheaply purchased by the strain which the presence of want or danger puts upon us.’