You probably know that I am currently in the middle of reading, with some friends, the Bible in 90 days. I blogged about all the wonderful insights I had in the first week and, well, it went a bit quiet! Not surprisingly really as the books following Genesis and Exodus were quite hard going. That coupled with being ridiculously busy at work (rubbish excuse I know) meant that I didn’t really blog about it. Well today, I had one of those ‘discovery’ moments.
It’s one of my favourite things about the Bible that no matter how many times you read it, you can have a new insight at any time. It is indeed ‘living and active’ (Hebrews 4:12)
The verse which stood out for me today was this:
“‘The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because the Arameans think the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD.’ ” – 1 Kings 20:28
The mistake the Arameans make, is thinking that the God that the Israelites worship is only a god of the hills or high places, that he only dwells ‘up there’ and will not come to help the army ‘down here’. How often do we, or people who don’t know God make that same wrong assumption?
I know, from personal experience, that God is indeed a ‘god of the valley’. Twice recently, I’ve been asked what the most defining moments of my life so far have been. I have to say, they’re not actually the ‘mountain top moments’ – they have more commonly been the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ moments. It is most often, in our deepest darkest moment in the valley that we truly meet with God.
Jesus, the suffering messiah is described in Isaiah 53 as:
‘a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering’
and this goes on to be revealed in the Gospels.
He is a God of the hills – we do, perhaps more rarely, have ‘mountain top moments’ with Him – see Peter, James and John’s experience in Matthew 17. But He is also, most definitely, a God of the valleys as well.
As my pastor would say: Be encouraged!