2 Chronicles 20:20
So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.
A covenant is an agreement between at least two people with attached conditions and consequence. It also called contract or testament. We praise God for His goodness, kindness, forgiveness and blessings. We also praise him for who He is, for His integrity, faithfulness, His unconditional love and care. We also praise God on the basis of our covenant with Him. This type of praise is out obligation, our reasonable service, because no one can praise a father like His own children. This kind of praise is likened to a way a son will support and sing the praise of His father because of their relationship. This kind of praise would command God’s presence and blessing the way the cry of little baby would the attention of his mother. This kind of praise was portrayed in the 2 Chronicles 20. God is enthroned in the praise of His people and not in the praise of the world. Everybody can praise God and should praise God but God’s attention is more focused on the praise of His children because of our covenant with Him.
From the scriptures we saw that the opposition army were far more than the Jehoshaphat’s army. In other words, they were overwhelmed by the mere thought of what was coming against them. But Jehoshaphat being covenant minded approached the lord with terms of the covenant. This where a lot of Christians miss out on opportunities for breakthrough. Only a covenant minded person can give covenant praise. Covenant praise is the praise you give to God on basis of your divine relationship with him in spite of your challenges. You choose to praise notwithstanding the looming crisis. In the book of Habakkuk above, the prophet said in spite of the fact that everything was falling apart, he chose to rejoice in the Lord, in the salvation of the Lord and in the strength of God. Why? Because in a covenant relationship, the strength of one is the strength of the other and the problem of one is problem of both parties involved in the covenant. Because we are in a covenant relationship with the Lord no matter what we are going through, the strength of the lord and his saving power they are at our disposal and will save and preserve. The power that created light in the midst of darkness, made dry ground out of the sea and separated the firmament is yours because of your covenant relationship with God almighty.
One of the ways to release that power is by singing of your covenant with Him and his faithfulness to his covenant. The words of praise song in 2 chronicles 20 were ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.’ Remember, the words of Blind Bartimeaus when he wanted to get the attention of Jesus, he cried out saying ‘have MERCY on me son of David’. We have a covenant of mercy (Grace) with God and when we sing covenant songs we bring the mercy of God on the scene. The reason why the praise of Christians is different from that of non Christians is because of the relationship that exist between the Christians and Christ. We are the body and Christ is the head. There is no praise like covenant praise. It rings through every fibre of God’s being and commands His response.
Isaiah 49: 14 -16
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.
From now on make your praise intentionally covenant praise. Praise God on basis of His mercy you received at salvation and the father –child relationship you have with Him and based on the finished work of Christ. I want you to know that you have the same relationship Jesus Jesus has with God the father. Jesus brought you into that relationship through His substitutional work at the cross. We now have a new and living way through Christ Jesus to the father. Do not praise Him first as your God but first as your daddy.
For further Study
Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6, Psalm 22:3 , Habakkuk 3:17-19
Personal declaration for the day
My praise will rise as a sweet perfume to God. Through praise I will focus on God and His promises to me. I will magnify Him within me until I am full of Him and all my worries, pain, fear and challenges wither away.
Questions for you to reflect on
Have you considered praising God because of the covenant he made with you in Christ?
Do you know that God inhabits the praises of His people and not the praise of the world?