READING: 1 Kings 20-21
“On the seventh day, the battle took place, and the Israelites struck down the Arameans—one hundred thousand foot soldiers in one day.”
1 Kings 20:29
The Syrians explained their defeat at the hands of the Israelite army this way: “Their gods are gods of the hill country. That’s why they were stronger than we were. Instead, we should fight with them on the plain; then we will certainly be stronger than they are” (1 Kgs. 20:23). Reflecting their ancient idea that gods presided over particular places or in specific regions, they determined that the Syrians lost because they fought the battle in the mountains—where, they said, the God of the Hebrews ruled. The answer was to move the battle to the plains, where they assumed the Hebrew God would have no power.
In so stating their position, the Syrian servants were reducing the God of the Bible to the equivalent of a local, tribal god. That, He would not let happen. He sent a prophet to King Ahab to let him know, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans have said: The Lord is a god of the mountains and not a god of the valleys, I will hand over all this whole huge army to you. Then you will know that I am the Lord’”(1 Kgs. 20:28). Precisely because the Syrians had limited God to the mountains, He would show them clearly that He is the God of everywhere. He routed the Syrians in such a way that His power could not be denied.
I am reminded today that God is the all-powerful, ever-present God. Any limitations I put on Him—often indicated by my faltering faith—are foolish indeed.
- Praise God for His power and His presence.
- Wherever you go today, remember that God is there.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You that You are the God of the mountains and the God of the valleys.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 18-20