[SW190] 06/13/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015
“God of the Valleys”
Text: 1 Kings 20, Romans 8:37
Whether you are battling Satan’s vast armies on a mountain or in a valley, know that the Lord is God of the mountains and God of the valleys. If you listen to Him, He will give you the victory!
Sometimes, you are on a mountain, spiritually speaking. You are in a place where it’s difficult for Satan to come near, where you can see far ahead and see his strategy as he approaches. So you have an advantage over him. And it is easy to believe the Lord will give you victory.
But sometimes, you are in a valley, not of your own making (that is, sinning is not the cause), but a place where Satan comes against you again. It is a place where it’s easy for him to come near, where you cannot see far ahead and you cannot see his strategy as he approaches. The Lord challenges you and me to believe Him for victory, even in the valley.
In the text, northern Israel (Samaria) is in trouble. They have sinned against the Lord, to the point where the Lord caused a great famine of 3-1/2 years. The famine has ended, but they are still weak and vulnerable. Sin makes you that way. So —
Verse 1: Israel is besieged by Ben-hadad, king of Aram and 32 kings who join him. It is a huge army!
Verse 10-14: Ben-hadad boasts that he will destroy Samaria, so that each of his men will not be able to gather up even a handful of Samaria’s dust. His goal is total obliteration, just as Satan plans to destroy you (John 10:10)!
Ahab warns Ben-hadad that he boasts of victory before the battle has been won, even while Ben-adad puts on his armor. But none can boast of victory until after the battle is won and it is safe to remove the armor.
Satan is a great boaster. But God is greater than your enemy, Satan.
A prophet of God comes. Despite the great multitude that has formed against Israel, the Lord says He will deliver Israel.
Why would the Lord deliver His own people who sin against Him? So they will know He is the Lord. By doing the impossible, they will know by personal experience that He is God and there is no other. He will do it so that they might turn back to Him and cast their false gods to the moles and the bats.
If you are in sin, He may give you a word that you will be victorious. He will tell you that He will free you from your addiction to drugs or alcohol or whatever keeps you in chains. He will tell you that He will cause His justice to prevail when injustice is done to you, even though you are sinning against Him.
He will tell you that He will give you victory over these things so that you know by personal experience that He is God and there is no other, and will turn back to Him.
For those who follow and obey and love God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ makes us victorious in every battle against our Enemy. Satan may boast but we know he is a liar and the father of lies. And we have God’s armor as our protection during the battle (Ephesians 6:10ff). And He who is in you is greater than Satan (see 1John 4:4)!
Verse 15: There were only 7,000 — the only ones left of ALL the sons of Israel — against Ben-hadad’s army AND the armies of the 32 kings that were with him. Victory looked impossible!
There is only you, against Satan and his vast army. Victory looks impossible. But when God says you will be victorious, He will do it!
Verse 19-21: This battle took place in the mountains of northern Israel. And the victor was Israel, just as the Lord had said through the prophet. Little Israel pursued Ben-hadad’s multitudes, and Ben-adad fled on horseback. There was a great slaughter of his army.
Verse 22: But the prophet said the king of Aram would come again, at the turn of the year. The Lord instructed Ahab to strengthen Israel.
For those who follow and obey and love Jesus Christ, God does not promise that you will not have other battles against Satan. But strengthen yourself! Exchange your strength for His (Isaiah 40:31).
Verse 23, 26: Ben-hadad’s servants told him that Israel’s gods were gods of the mountains. His army would win if they fought Israel in the valley.
They were pagan, and pagans think gods are assigned to lands and areas. So the army of Aram, which Ben-adad restored to its original numbers, went to the valley of Aphek to fight against Israel.
Verse 27-28: Israel was like two little flocks of goats against Ben-hadad’s multitude. How could they be victorious?
But God heard the words of Ben-hadad’s servants. And because they said He is not God everywhere all the time, but only a god of the mountains, the Lord said He would give Israel victory.
He had a great purpose than defending His own name, His own reputation. He would give Israel victory so that Israel, His own sinning people, would know He is God and there is no other.
Verses 29-30: And it happened just as the man of God had told Ahab. Israel was victorious. But King Ahab continued to disobey God, and he was ultimately killed in battle (1Kings 22: 37).
The wages of sin is death, beloved. If you are sinning against God, like King Ahab, and you do not turn back to God, it will kill you.
Because of His great mercy, the Lord gives you victory. He does this to show you that He is God, so you will turn from your sin and the gods of this world, and come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
If you do not turn from your sin, you will face His judgment seat one day, and be condemned to hell. He takes no pleasure in that, but He has no choice, if you reject Him.
For those of you who follow and obey and love Jesus Christ, victory is assured in every battle. These promises are yours:
Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.
Psalms 34:22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.
Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
Amen! Let Your sinning people return to You, Father, and let your saints be assured that You are with them on the mountaintop AND in the valley!