Tuesday February 5 2019

PULSE 5/2/19

In the Old Testament we read of many conflicts. In 1 Kings 20:26-30 we find an interesting account of a confrontation between Israel and Syria. In verse 23, after having encountered defeat to the Israelites the Syrians made an observation about the Israelites saying that, “Their gods are gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger than they” and as such hatched a plan to fight the Israelites in the valley feeling certain that they would gain victory. As the Syrians’ filled the countryside and prepared to fight the Israelites in the valley, the writer says that the Israelites looked like “two little flocks of goats” – hardly a force to be reckoned with! But God will not be mocked, and He is more than able to deliver His people whether they are on the mountains or in the valleys. 

Verse 28 says, “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.’ ” What followed was that these ‘two little flocks of goats’ went into battle against the Syrians, killing 100 000 of their men, and when the rest of the Syrian army fled, God ‘finished’ off the remaining 27 000 by causing a wall to fall on them! A statement was made – God was God of the mountains as well as the valleys!

In the Gospels we should note that ‘the mountains’ were also spiritually significant, a place of authority and a place to meet with God. 

We see many times when Jesus went up the mountain to be alone with God and to pray. It was also on the mountain that the 5000 men were fed, the Great Commission was given and the Transfiguration happened. Spending time on the mountains is important. We need to make that time to ‘withdraw from the crowd’ and figuratively speaking, ‘ascend the mountain’ to spend focused time in the presence of the Lord. He will empower and equip us in these times so that when we are ‘down in the valleys’ getting on with every day life, and through trials and hardships we can experience victory in our lives. May we be able to declare that we know that He is the Lord in every season and circumstances in our lives – that He is God of the mountains… as well as the valleys. 

Extracts from New Life Centre series on “God of the Mountains as well as the Valleys”