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.’ ” 1 Kings 20:28
Ahab Defeats the Syrians
Benhadad attacks Samaria: 20:1-43. The Arameans, with a coalition of kings, attacks Samaria. An unnamed prophet comes to Ahab and promises victory, evidence from Yahweh that “I am the Lord” (13). The inferior Israeli forces drive back the enemy. The next year Israel wins another victory, and Benhadad is taken. When Ahab sets Benhadad free, a prophet appears to condemn this act. Rather than being thankful for the victory, Ahab is “sullen and angry” (43) over the rebuke.
[Study] Trace the way in which God has dealt with Ahab (16:29-20:43). What evidences are there of God’s patience and his willingness to be gracious? How does Ahab respond to God? What does this tell us about Ahab’s character?
26 So it was, in the spring of the year, that Ben-Hadad mustered the Syrians and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel. 27 And the children of Israel were mustered and given provisions, and they went against them. Now the children of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of goats, while the Syrians filled the countryside. 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.’ ” 29 And they encamped opposite each other for seven days. So it was that on the seventh day the battle was joined; and the children of Israel killed one hundred thousand foot soldiers of the Syrians in one day.
32 So they wore sackcloth around their waists and put ropes around their heads, and came to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-Hadad says, ‘Please let me live.’ ” And he said, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.”
42 Then he said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’ “
–> Ahab didn’t acknowledge God for his victory even though he had been foretold by a prophet that God was going to deliver Israel from Benhadad the cruel king of Syria. When Benhadad is defeated, to save his own life, he humbles himself and calls Ahab brother. His heart wasn’t sincere.
It is important to find out what God’s will for us is before taking any actions. Because we don’t know when to forgive certain people such as our former enemies and when to cut them off. Unlike idols which are lifeless objects, God is the living God who interacts with us. He is “The Lord of the hills and of the valleys.” Like King David, who had a child like faith in God, we should always run to our Lord and strain our ears to hear what He says.