Scripture: The man of God came up and told the King of Israel, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The LORD is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” Therefore I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know I am the LORD.” 1 Kings 20:28
In 1 Kings 20, the Israelites were under attack from the Syrians. The Syrian King, Benhadad, sent a messenger to the Israelite King saying, “Your silver and your gold are mine; your fairest wives and children are also mine.” This message troubled the then King of Israel known as King Ahab. Ahab knew he was no match for the Syrian King.
Benhadad had 32 other kings advising him. He also had a large and powerful army. Therefore, it comes to no surprise that he was confident he could take out Israel. Benhadad said to King Ahab, “The dust in Samaria will not compare to the army that I will bring against you,” (1 Kings 20:10). Benhadad was secure in his power. He knew nothing about the GOD of Israel, the King in Heaven.
As the story progresses, the Syrians made another fatal mistake. They figured that the God of Israel is a God of the Mountains. Since the Israelites associated their God with Mountains, e.g. Mount Zion, the Syrians assumed that they stood a better chance fighting their enemy in the valley. The King’s advisors said to the King, “Their god is a god of the mountains, and so they are stronger than us; but let us fight them in the plains. Surely, we shall be stronger than them,” (1 Kings 20:23).
The Good News
The Bible is commonly known as the good news for many reasons. One of the reasons is that by studying it, human beings enlighten their hearts with the knowledge of GOD (Ephesians 1:18). The enlightenment of the heart leads to a transformation. We are no longer conformed to the standards of the world, instead, by studying the word we are transformed by the complete renewal of our minds and our hearts (Romans 12:2).
The bible is Jesus in word format. The book of John says, in the beginning was the word (Jesus), and the word was with GOD, and the word became flesh (Jesus lowered himself to the status of a human being) (John 1:1). Therefore, we no longer ask, “Where is Jesus? Where is the LORD?” The Holy Spirit is on Earth, and the Bible is before us. Emmanuel is with us.
The realization of this truth is the beginning of salvation.
Do you understand this?
I once wrote an ebook known as “To Christ: The King in Zion.” If I meet someone and they tell me, “Hey, I really liked your book. When you describe fellowship as twin stars, what did you mean?”
Since the words came from me, I can easily explain that chapter on fellowship, and I can explain how that chapter connects with other chapters. This experience is what John 1:1 is talking about. Jesus commanded the “ghostwriters” e.g. the Apostles and the Prophets to write the scriptures. These were men full of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Every Christian knows the trinity: GOD the Father, GOD the SON, and GOD the Holy Spirit. The three are one and there’s no difference. This is why some Bible texts call the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Christ.
Do you understand this?
Jesus was born of a virgin. Angel Gabriel told Mary that the Power of the Holy Spirit will descend upon her. Gabriel went further and said that it is for this reason that Jesus will be called a Holy Child; for nothing is impossible for GOD (Luke 1:35).
Every human being has flesh and has a spirit (the inner man). The inner man in Christ is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, although he was the son of man, he is also the son of GOD.
I always feel the need to explain this foundational truth. Jesus is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
A GOD of the Mountains and Not of the Valleys
1 Kings 20 teaches me much. And, the teaching that I get from that scripture is that most of us are in a valley. Sometimes, I wish I could write to the psychiatrists in charge of the DSM manual for mental disorders. Why do they classify depression as a mental condition? Why do they classify anxiety? Take a look at the world around you, would you not get depressed?
Maybe they should classify selfies as a mental condition. How can one post happy pics next to the mall, when a few steps away is a homeless person.
We are in a valley. Most of us are in a valley. And in this valley, depression is normal. But, happiness is abnormal.
How can one not feel pain? You hear of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean. You read about failed states and terrorists. You watch children surrounded with terror. Oppression is at its peak, and the leaders are deaf.
As a young person in this century, I can argue that most of us are in a valley. You went for a degree thinking you would get a decent job. You hoped you’d get a decent wage. But the sun is not all bright in the valley. There is a huge army called trouble. And, Benhadad is out to take the little that you had stored for yourself, and your family.
Our personal problems are a burden. When we remove the gaze from our personal battles and look at the world, we are overwhelmed.
What a wretched man I am,who will save me from this world of sin and death? Thanks be to GOD, who does this through Jesus Christ our LORD (Romans 7:24).
Man Power is of No Use At All (John 6:63)
Space stations, aerospace technology is impressive. But we don’t have time to admire this technological advancement if the healthcare system is overwhelmed. They are clapping for medical professionals because of their efforts in the fight against COVID. Yet, is that what the medical professionals really want? They are exhausted! They want a system that supports their affordable care for all! They want financial and emotional support. They also want a trip to Hawaii. A break!
But no one listens to the cry of the simple. All they get are claps. They do the same with War veterans, Police officers, teachers! Anyone whose passion is to make the world a better place, such hearts are condemned to poverty. Just a few claps and a flag for your patriotism
If the global powers behave like that; then be sure that you cannot even begin to imagine the depth of the valley in the developing nations.
In my distress, I called upon the LORD. I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. PSALMS 18:6
They dream of talking to aliens. They perceive that aliens are intelligent. No one else on earth is as intelligent as them. Their class of knowledge can only be likened to aliens. But the other races are beneath them.
Arrogance is the cause of discrimination. Humility is the path to equal societies. Benhadad had the same arrogance. The King thought he could take whatever he wanted. He could oppress however he wished.
Have we not been here before?
2 Kings 19:35 Israel faced another King of Assyria. This King was so sure of himself that he was willing to give Israeli men some horses, so that they could fight him. Sennacherib, the King of Assyria, encamped at the gates of the Kingdom of Israel. The Assyrian King said to the King of Israel, “Do not let your GOD on whom you rely deceive you by promising that your Kingdom will not be delivered into my hands,” (2 Kings 19:10).
How many times have you found yourself believing that it was foolish to believe?
How many times have you felt that GOD cannot deliver you from the valley?
When we give in to unbelief. When we succumb to the normal life in the valley, we might fail to pray. We get accustomed to slavery! (e.g. not setting up your own business). We get used to oppression, broken homes, and broken dreams.
Yet, from Genesis to Revelation, GOD has revealed His awesome Power. GOD has fought the good fight. Most of us have a Bible, and have heard about Jesus.
So it is time for each man and woman to look to their GOD. Be strong in the LORD and the Power of His Might (Ephesians 6:10), and discipline your heart to trust in Him.
For He gives power to the faint, and blesses His people with peace (Psalms 29:11).
His name is Alpha and Omega; Glorified Forever!
And time and time again He has proven that He is sovereign over the mountains and the valleys.
Indeed! He is the LORD! And there is no other beside Him (Isaiah 45:5).
He is GOD! Supreme among the Nations, Sovereign over all the Earth (Psalms 46:10)
Who will tell Venezuela?
Who will teach Mexico?
Who will comfort Mali?
Who will tell the Nations!
GOD is GOD! And Christ is GOD’s gift to us. No matter how deep the valley, those who call on His name, they will soar like eagles (Isaiah 40:31).
The Bible is a sword of the Spirit. How can you leave your valley if you don’t take it, and read it?