1 Kings 20:22-34 slowly and repeatedly.
Main content of the text: The war between Ahab and Benhadad, the king of Aram, does not end in one episode. However, the sovereignty of this war still belongs to God.
Verse 22 Aram thought that Jehovah was nothing more than a “mountain god,” but God knew the enemy’s situation even before the war began. He sends a prophet to help Israel increase its strength and prepare for the war to come next year. This is because it is Israel, not Aram, that must first know who God is and obey Him. Even now, trust and obedience to the Word are the most important preparation for spiritual battle.
Verses 26-30 As God said, the Aramean army invades Aphek, a plain. In front of the Aramean army, which was well-prepared and gathered as an allied force, Israel only looked like a herd of goats. Because the Lord God of Israel has decided to reveal to Syria and the Gentile nations that he is the true God, the military power of the Israelite army is not important in this war. Due to God’s supernatural intervention, 100,000 Aram infantrymen die, and on the seventh day, the walls of Aphek collapse, reminiscent of the walls of Jericho, and the rest die as well. The Aramean army did not look down on Israel, but on God. God reveals that He is the Creator who created the heavens and the earth, not the mountains and plains.
What lesson does God give me?
Verses 23-25 After losing the war, King Benhadad of Aram reorganizes his army the following year with the idea that he can win if he fights “on the plain.” He constantly creates excuses to satisfy his desires. Even as he repeatedly mobilizes his army and sacrifices the weak, he never stops the engine of greed. Repeated mistakes are not mistakes. It is pride that requires him to face and boldly break away from his self-centered attitude.
Verses 31-34 Benhadad hides in his closet and begs King Ahab for his life. Ahab regards him as a brother and restores his honor. He generously even concludes a peace treaty. Making a treaty with a foreign country without asking the God of Israel is to neglect God. The ruler of the war who gave him victory is God, but his vanity seeks to steal the glory due to God and place it under his own control. We too must remember what God has done so that we are not puffed up by his small achievements or swayed by cunning praise.
Community Prayer – Living Lord, please give us a humble heart that does not lose the attitude of seeking and seeking God’s will.
Prayer for the Nations – In Iran, two house church leaders who had been imprisoned since August 2022 were released. Let us pray that the retrial process proceeds smoothly and that Christians are free from oppression and persecution due to unjust rulings.