The God of the Valleys


In I Kings 20, Ben-Hadad, the King of Aram, was upset. He tried to attack Israel and failed. Why had he failed? What would it take to succeed the next time? To answer this question, he called in his advisors. The advice came forth as follows: “Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they.” You see, the Aramean advisors assumed that Israel had many gods, like the Pagan countries surrounding them. And, they assumed that Israel did not have a valley god, only a mountain god.

The Arameans gathered their troops, some 127,000 of them, in the plains, ready for battle. Israel was far outnumbered. Yet as the armies were gathering for battle, a man of God said to the king of Israel, “Thus says the LORD, ‘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.’” That day, 100,000 Arameans were slaughtered. An additional 27,000 were killed as they fled into the city of Aphek.

The point of the story is that God is there for us, not just in the mountaintop times in our lives, but also in the valleys. I’ve known many people who have tended to retreat, and give up hope and faith in difficult times. Yet Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Another translation says that He is “abundantly available” in times of trouble.

So don’t make the same mistake that the King of Aram made! Our God is also the God of the Valleys, and He’s abundantly available for you!

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