Summary: The devil loves to boast, to brag. God however, is jealous for His Name and reputation.In our passage tonight we see to what lengths God will go to short-circuit the enemy from a victory.
“BECAUSE THE ENEMY HAS SAID…”
1 Kgs. 20:23-28
A. HUMOR: HOW MANY CHICKENS
1. Boudreaux spots Thibodeaux walking down the levee the other day, carrying a sack over his shoulder.
2. Well of course, curiosity got the best of Boudreaux, and he asked Thibodeaux, "Hey, Mon Homme,(my man), what you got in dat sack ?" Thibodeaux says, "Well, I got me some chickens in dat sack."
3. Boudreaux says, "If I can guess how many chickens you got in dat sack, can I have one of dem?"
4. Thibodeaux replied, "Well, my fren, if you can guess how many I got, you can have both of dem!"
36 2 Thus says the Lord God: “Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,’”’ 3 therefore prophesy…” Ezek. 36:2-3,5,7-8. NKJV
23 Then the servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger than they. 24 So do this thing: Dismiss the kings, each from his position, and put captains in their places; 25 and you shall muster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse and chariot for chariot. Then we will fight against them in the plain; surely we will be stronger than they.” And he listened to their voice and did so. 26 So it was, in the spring of the year, that Ben-Hadad mustered the Syrians and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel. 27…Now the children of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of goats, while the Syrians filled the countryside. 28 Then a man of God came and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The Lord is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys,” therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” 1 Kgs. 20:23-28 NKJV
1. The devil loves to boast, to brag, and to gloat, especially if he can win a triumph over God or God’s people.
2. God however, is jealous for His Name and reputation. Therefore allowing the devil to win and to boast totally rubs God the wrong way.
3. So God is invested in overthrowing the schemes of the wicked and vindicating the righteous.
4. In our passage tonight we see to what lengths God will go to short-circuit the enemy from a victory.
5. This is an encouragement to us that if we call on God and solicit His help when the devil assaults us, God WILL NOT let our enemy triumph over us!
6. The title of this message is, “Because the Enemy Has Said….”
I. THE ENEMY’S BOAST ABOUT AHAB
A. ORIGIN OF THE BOAST
1. When Israel came out of Egypt, they had no chariots. Under Joshua, almost all the battles were waged and won on hilly/mountainous terrain.
2. So after Ahab's victory over Aram on hilly terrain, the Aramaeans said that “Israel's God must be a God only of the hills." "If we can get them to fight us in a valley, we will win." But God heard their boast in limiting Him.
B. WHY WOULD GOD HELP AHAB?
1. Ahab was very evil. “30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him” 1 Kings 16:30-33.
2. He was so evil that it brought 3 1/2 years of famine on the land. Would you think God would help such a man? No!
C. WHY GOD DID HELP AHAB:
1. God doesn't like boasting/pride. Prov. 24:17-18.
2. God doesn't like injustice. God takes up for the underdog (Psalm 113:7; 147:6) and down trodden (Prov. 14:31; 2 Cor. 7:6).
3. God will not let His Name or Word be defamed.
a. Jer. 1:12, "I am watching over my Word to perform it."
b. When God was angry with the Israelites, He hesitated to destroy them because “I dreaded the taunt of the enemy, lest the adversary misunderstand and say, ‘Our hand has triumphed; the Lord has not done all this.’” Deut. 32:27. c. Ezek. 20:9, God explains His mercy toward the Israelites; “But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt. I did it to keep my name from being profaned in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites.” (also Isa. 48:9,11.)