Lord of the Hills & Valleys
1 Kings 20:28
The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because the Arameans think the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD.’” NIV
Israel is at war with Ben-Hadad, the powerful king of Aram. Israel is outnumbered and willing to bargain for peace. Ben-Hadad, however, is determined to destroy Israel. Suddenly, a prophet appears on the scene with a message from the Lord: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the LORD.’” (1 Kings 20:13)
Israel marches out against Ben-Hadad and routes the Aramean army. But some of Ben-Hadad’s men tell him that they lost because they had engaged Israel in the hills rather than on the plains and valleys. They tell him that the Lord’s power to protect Israel is only effective in the hill country. You see they thought that the Lord God of Israel was limited in power and confined by geography. So they gathered another army to attack Israel from the plains and valleys.
Again a prophet appears with a message for Israel: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because the Arameans think the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD.’” Though God intended to teach the Arameans a lesson, the message was also intended for Israel, because God’s people have often doubted the extent of His power and ability. The two armies clash and Ben-Hadad is decisively defeated and captured. And the word goes out that the Lord God of Israel is indeed Lord of all!
A simple story. A small episode in the life of the nation of Israel. This story is actually repeated many times in the Bible, in many different ways. What is the message? Our God is able to deliver His people anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances! He is Lord over the hills and the valleys and everything else. He is not confined by space or time. There is nothing too difficult for the Lord and no one is ever beyond His help. When you are in desperate situations, He will be with you to deliver you. You can count on that. You only need to stay under His hand and walk before Him in obedience. The same God of the hills and valleys that watched over Israel, watches over you. Have no fear and neither be disheartened but be at peace. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)