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 NIV)
Following Elijah’s defeat of the prophets of Baal, the episode outlined in 1 Kings 20 is a great opportunity for King Ahab. Despite his notorious reputation for idol worship, when he is confronted with the siege of his capital city by the Arameans, he is compliant to follow God’s advice not once, but twice.
The immense army of the Arameans with plenty of kings and soldiers should have overwhelmed the Israelites, but God granted His people two great victories. What it clearly established for the Arameans was that they were facing a God who was not limited by the type of landscape.
The second victory was a significant one and should have lead to the comprehensive defeat of the king of Aram who had been so defiant against God and the people. It should have been and would have been had Ahab overlooked this responsibility to go about looking to make a treaty with the enemy that would have crushed him. No wonder God had to inform him that his act of treaty-making was costly. In the larger context of what was to happen this can be seen as strike one for Ahab.
There is a time for leniency and there is a time to be clinical. When it comes to the great enemy of the soul and our charge to remove it completely, there is no room or time for compromise. God does not give victories in the battle of life for us to work out treaties with that which afflicts us. He grants us victories so we acknowledge and completely follow His exclusive rule in our lives.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden