Have you ever heard someone say, “You believe what you want, and I’ll believe what I want. We are both right”? As Christians, our belief that God is the one and only true God, directly contradicts the all-gods-are-equal philosophy.
In 1 Kings 20, God’s people were battling the Syrians, a conflict that challenged not just political borders, but also the character of God. In the ancient world, gods were understood to control the borders of the country where they were worshiped. Each nation had its own deity, and while they acknowledged that other gods existed, local deities had homefield advantage, so to speak.
This explains why after their loss in the first battle, the Syrians changed their strategy. They reasoned that because the Israelites lived in a mountainous region, their god gave them victory over the battle in the mountains. But their gods were worshiped in the plains, so if they battled there, they would claim victory (v. 23).
This logic contradicted the theology of Israel. Through Moses, God revealed that He was god not just of the mountains, but of the entire world. Yahweh had no rival. Defeating Israel would not result from better strategy or battling on a different field. Israel would lose only if God gave them over to defeat.
God said, “I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD” (v. 28). The previous victory proved that God had the power to defeat Israel’s enemies. This victory over Syria proved that God’s power was not limited to one region (v. 29). God’s power is everywhere! Ahab didn’t get the message. He immediately pardoned the Syrian king (v. 34). But the truth had been told. God’s people might long for a powerful righteous leader, but there was no need to long for a powerful, righteous god. They already knew Him.
>> No matter how powerful the enemy, no matter what the circumstance, our God is victorious.
Looking back on past trials, we see how You were with us, working through our difficulties to accomplish good. Thank You for these past experiences that have built our faith.