Study from God’s Word… 1st Kings 20 - 22 … Passage for Reflection: 1st Kings 20: 28 … NIV 28 Then a man of God came and spoke to 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 I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.’”
My Journal for Today: Yes, Dr. Smith is right on today with a devotional we all need to study and believe. These people in Israel’s history, the Arameans with their king Ben-Hadad, believed that they could defeat the armies of the North in Israel if they fought them in the valleys; because they made the assumption that the God of Israel was a “hill-god.” And we read about such superstitions and haughtily look down on these ancient middle-eastern pagans as if they were so crude and idolatrous in their beliefs.
Yet, are their “pagan” beliefs that much different from our own? Don’t we perpetuate such “hill-God” and “valley-god” beliefs? Don’t we think that God is blessing us when we’re rolling along on the mountain-top highs of spiritual experience; and then, somehow, we think that some valley low in life is a “curse” from our God? But haven’t you, as a Christian, seen our God bring about incredible victories in the valleys as well as the hill tops of life? Well, I sure have.
As an Elder in our church, we’ve had brothers/sisters in Christ come forth with fatal prognoses out of obedience to God’s word (in James 5: 13-16) seeking healing prayer to God from their Elders. And we Elders prayed as we are exhorted to do in James 5, and some of these with “fatal” illnesses were delivered out of this valley of fear and despair, being healed where doctors could not explain the healing except to label it as a “miracle.” … I have personally experienced my God deliver me in the lowest valley of my life, when I could not find deliverance from my addiction to obsessive-compulsive sexual sin, … God providing me with the enabling/empowering grace I needed to walk out of that valley and climb to the mountain-top with my faith. So, you can’t tell me that the God of Israel in 1st Kings is not a God of the valleys as well as a valley on the hilltops in life today.
The question of our faith boils down to our belief level in the truth of in God’s Word in passages like Romans 8: 28, Romans 8: 31, 2nd Cor. 12: 9, and Phil. 4: 13; and I hope (and pray) that you have all of those memorized and internalized in your heart; because if you truly believe those passages, you know that we serve and worship a God of the valleys of life as well as of the hilltops. And when we read and study passages from Scripture like Isaiah 41: 10 and Proverbs 3: 5-6 and 2nd Tim. 1: 7 and Phil. 4: 6-7, we can be lifted up, clearly directed, and provided with the peace of God which surpasses all human understanding. Yes, my dear one, the more you know your God, the more you know that He’s with you in the valleys of life just as much as He is on the mountain-tops.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, You are ALWAYS with me. Amen