1 Kings 20

God Over All.

“Then a certain prophet came to see King Ahab of Israel and told him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do you see all these enemy forces? Today I will hand them all over to you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'” ­– 1 Kings 20:13 NLT

“Then you will know that I am the Lord.” That is a familiar phrase in the Old Testament. You find it used repeatedly by God going all the way back to the time of the Exodus. God wants all men to know that He alone is God. So He reveals Himself in nature. He even places an awareness of His existence in the hearts of men. Paul reminds us over in his letter to the Romans: “But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God” (Romans 1:18-20 NLT). Yet, even though they are without excuse, God continues to reveal Himself to men. He reveals His power and His presence. In the case of Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, God intervened in a time of great need and attempted to reveal Himself by providing victory over the Arameans. Despite the wickedness of Ahab and his wife Jezebel, and their history of leading the people of Israel to rebel against God and worship Baal, God would mercifully intervene and provide them with a miraculous victory over superior forces. TWICE.

After the first victory, the Arameans determined that the Israelites had won simply because their “gods” were gods of the hills. They had made the mistake of fighting on the home turf of Israel’s gods. So if they took the battle to the plains, all would go well. So they came back in even greater numbers. In fact, the passage tells us “the Israelite army looked like two little flocks of goats in comparison to the vast Aramean forces that filled the countryside (1 Kings 20:27 NLT). But that’s just the kind of situation in which God likes to reveal Himself. Israel was out-manned. They were the underdogs. But God told them, “The Arameans have said, ‘The Lord is a god of the hills and not of the plains.’ So I will defeat this vast army for you. Then you will know that I am the Lord” (1 Kings 20:28 NLT). God was going to provide a second unlikely and unexpected victory against superior forces. So that through experience, the people of Israel would know that God is the one and only God. The Hebrew word for “know” is yada. It carries the idea to know by experience. It goes beyond academic understanding of the facts and includes an awareness that comes from actual experience. God is not content that we know about Him. He wants us to know Him through actual experience in our lives. He wants to reveal Himself in power in our lives. God is constantly intervening and acting on our behalf. He gives us victories, great and small. He constantly guides and protects us. He provides for us. He proves Himself to us. But too often we fail to see Him. We neglect to experience and know Him.

But the greatest revelation of God came in the form of His Son. John reminds us, “God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him.” (John 1:17-18 NLT). Jesus Himself reveals to us the power, love and mercy of God. He was God in human flesh. He made the invisible – visible and knowable. He revealed God’s love and mercy. He demonstrated God’s power and plan for rescuing mankind from the affects of sin. God has revealed Himself in His Word. We see Him on every page. He gives us glimpses into His character. He shows us His unflinching holiness and unfailing love. He demonstrates His power in and over the lives of men. He gives victories and brings defeat. He lifts up and tears down. He delivers and destroys. He rescues, restores, redeems and reconciles. All so that men might know Him. Know Him as God over all. He is the God of the hills and the plains. He is the God of the Israelites and the Arameans. He is the God of the faithful and the faithless. He is God whether anyone wants to acknowledge Him as God. Ahab and Jezebel had spent their lives promoting a god other than God. They had seen their god’s prophets destroyed by Elijah, the prophet of God. They had seen their god fail in a showdown with the one true God. Now they had seen God give them victory over their enemies. But they still did not know Him as God. They still refused to acknowledge Him as God. To acknowledge means “to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of.” Even though they had seen God work, they refused to admit that God was truly God. They refused to recognize Him as God of their lives. They stubbornly refused to admit that He was God over all.

Father, You are God over all. Yet I sometimes fail to acknowledge that in my own life. I try to keep control over certain areas of my life. I want to be god. I want to make my own decisions. I want to run my life. And I also fail to recognize and appreciate your involvement in and around my life. You are so active, revealing Your power and presence on a daily and regular basis. But I sometimes fail to see You. And when I do see You, I can so easily take it for granted or try to take credit for it myself. Father, I want to know You experientially and acknowledge You regularly. You are God of the hills and the plains. You are God over all. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org