And there came a man of God, and spoke unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus says the LORD, "Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD" (1 Kings 20:28).
"You don't spit into the wind, you don't pull on Superman's cape, you don't take the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger, and you don't mess around with Jim!" So goes the old song by Jim Croce. It is a humorous way of saying that there are just some things you simply DO NOT DO.
At the top of that list, however long it may grow to be afterwards, is this one thing -- YOU DO NOT BELITTLE GOD!
The verse we look at today comes from an account in the Old Testament where Ben-Hadad, king of the Syrians, marched with his great army against Israel for the second time. The first battle had been fought a year earlier, and Syria had suffered a humiliating defeat. Ben-Hadad's commanders attributed their loss to the power of Israel's god, which (in their pagan beliefs) was "the god of the hills."
In this second war they decided to confront Israel on the plains, where their god would have no power. What made the outcome even more certain for Syria was the fact that they outnumbered Israel in size and firepower -- such that the writer tells us Israel's army, when marshaled into the field, look like two little flocks of goats compared to the mighty Syrian hosts.
It was at that precise moment that a man of God brought this word to Ahab, king of Israel. Thus says the LORD, "Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD."
Wait till you hear what happened next!
(to be continued...)