Thursday, October 1, 2009

Crazy Devotional

I was reading my Bible this week and I came across a chapter I had to read multiple times before I had one of those "AH HA!" moments. The reference was 1 Kings chapter 20. This chapter deals with King Ahab who was king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. King Ahab was under threat of Ben-Hadad who was king of Aram. You may be thinking, what is the big deal about that? Well, read the chapter and find out what I mean.This chapter is almost chaos.

Ben-Hadad demands that Ahab turn over all of his silver and gold as well as the best women and children. Immediately Ahab sends message "no problem". I am thinking,, WHAT?!? Yep, he wanted no confrontation. Can you imagine giving in to a demand like that one?

Ben-Hadad who must have been thinking that was too easy, decided to demand to be able to search everything they had and take what he wanted. The second demand now resulted in a war. Looking at the odds, you would think Israel was going to be defeated. However, Ben-Hadad was defeated instead, so much so, that he fled for his life.

Ben-Hadad's advisors then tell him that he needs to take on King Ahab in the valley. They told him that King Ahab's God was king of the mountain but not king of the valley. So, he agreed and rebuilt his army back up and then planned an attack in the valley.

Now there was this nameless prophet of God who came to Ahab and told him God would deliver the vast army into king Ahab's hands because they think that Ahab's God is only king of the mountain and not of the valley. Note this is the second time a nameless prophet comes to king Ahab in this chapter. The first time he tells him practically the same thing. He told him to know that God is Lord. In this battle in the valley we see that Ben-Hadad lost 127,000 people in the attack. The defeat was so great that Ben-Hadad himself fleed and hid in the city of Aphek.

Now we can learn a couple of things from this lesson so far. First, God is not only the God of our mountain top experiences but He is also God our our valleys. He is capable of handling whatever comes your way. Have you given your life over to Him? Is He truly God of your mountains and valleys?

The story does not end there. If you notice in verse 42 the Lord expected Ahab to destroy his enemy. Instead Ahab let Ben-Hadad live. Ahab took it upon himself to make a decision against God's will. Here is where it gets interesting. God sends a prophet to Ahab desguised as a wounded soldier. Using this prophet God gets Ahab to prounounce judgement upon himself. Ahab pronounces the death sentence upon himself.

From this entire chapter we can learn a lot about how serious it is when we do not acknowlege God is Lord of both the Mountains and the Valleys in our lives. God is King of all creation and He reigns over everything. Are we being obedient to God in all that He wants us to do? Do we love Him? Have we truly accepted the life that He has given us through his Son Jesus Christ? If so, we will make Him Lord of our lives.

Doug Johnson

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