I venture to say most of us welcome 2020 with cautious optimism.
We enter the New Year with news of human loss, tragic events, and global disasters.
We read of the spreading wild fire in Australia, massive floods in our neighboring country, typhoon in Philippines, unrelenting riot in Hong Kong, protest in India, strike in France. The world is chaotic.
The world is changing. It would never be the same after Brexit. The global ethos is shifting with the rising sentiment of anti-establishment, the dispensing with political correctness and the distrust of globalization, free trade and foreign migrants. Added to this is the fear of a global financial meltdown, unrecoverable climate change, nuclear threat, tariff war, recession and job losses.
2020 casts a long shadow of chaos, changes and challenges.
There was also a time when the people of God faced a vast invading army that threatens to change the history of Judah forever.
We read in II Chronicles 20 of three nations that had been nursing long history of hostility suddenly moved against Judah. They were the Moabites, the Ammonites and the Menuites.
The threat is real and imminent. King Jehoshaphat was told, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (II Chronicles 20:2).
The enemies are at the doorsteps. King Jehoshaphat was shocked. His response was more shocking.
It makes no sense by any conventional human standard.
Instead of readying his army to defend the country, he readied his people to fast and join him in prayer.
“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah” (II Chronicles 2:3).
The King, the priests and the people had the faith to believe, “For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (II Chronicles 20:15).
Subsequent event proved that to be true. In a supernatural act of God, the enemies were defeated, put in disarray and driven out of Judah.
What is most noteworthy is the encouraging statement of King Jehoshaphat to his people in II Chronicles 20:20
“Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld.”
2020 may present to us the “Moabites” of problems, the “Ammonites” of anxieties and the “Menuites” of uncertainties.
But let’s hold on to II Chronicles 20:20.
Let’s welcome 2020 with II Chronicles 20:20
Then and only then, we can confidently say, “Happy New Year!”