“…Because the Arameans have said, ‘The Lord is a god of the mountains, but He is not a god of the valleys,’ therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” 1 Kings 20:28, NASB.
Sometimes people ask me, “What is God up to?” They fail to understand the motivation of God’s action or inaction in a particular circumstance. This is not a new question. Peter addressed it to the church by telling them that God is not slow or slack in bringing judgment against evil…but is patient, so as to give opportunity for repentance.
Elijah, just a couple of chapters back sat under a juniper tree and declared that God should kill him because there were no other believers in God. He was perplexed that after such a great victory, Jezebel would seem to be so powerful in her threats.
The fact is, God operates with great mystery and we cannot manipulate Him or cause Him to act contrary to His own desire. There is an overarching theme though to God’s actions: He always acts in a manner that gives Him ultimate glory.
In this text the Arameans declared that their recent defeat at the hands of the much smaller force of Israel was due to the fact that Israel’s God is powerful on the mountains. He has super powers there. This is common in their idolatry. They had gods that were over the harvest, over childbearing, over war, etc. They painted the God of Israel in the same light and assumed that since He was powerful on the mountains, He must be a God fo the mountains; therefore, He would be powerless to help Ahab on the plains.
Before they spoke though, God had already told Ahab when they would attack next. Why is God helping Ahab? Isn’t he a wicked king married to a wicked woman who incited him toward idolatry and led much of the nation of Israel to embrace idolatry too? YES! So why did God help Ahab?
The question creates the difficulty in determining the answer. God’s aid benefitted Ahab but Ahab was not the motivation for God’s actions. God’s glory was His motivation. God desired to demonstrate His power before the Arameans and all of Israel so He used this engagement to do so.
This prompted me today in regard to our own country. I have read hundreds of statements about how we need God to bless America again. NEWS FLASH: America is not in Scripture. We are not the seat of morality nor are we the key players in Armageddon. We are a nation that experienced great blessings at one time…when we seemed to honor God as a religious people. We don’t NEED God to bless us again in our condition. We need to return to seeking the glory of God’s Name. As God always seeks His own honor, our doing so puts us on the right side of the equation again and we will experience God’s blessings…not because we are adorable, but because God is faithful to Himself and His own Namesake. He is God. He is God of the mountains and the plains…of heaven and earth…of America and Afghanistan and China and Monaco and Australia and Ireland and… He is GOD! Honor Him and you will find favor in His eyes. Resist Him and you will despise His greatness and be an obstacle to His glory…thus eliminationg yourself from the glorious redemptive purpose of Holy God!