Summary: God is with us on the mountain tops and in the valleys.
Fight with Confidence 1 Kings 20:1-30
It should be quite obvious and apparent to us today that we all face different trials, struggles, temptations, and even battles in our lives.
One of the greatest tools that we have in our disposal in spiritual warfare is confidence. Confidence: Firm belief, Assurance, Certainty
Athletes and soldiers speak often about the need to be confident on the field.
In our example today we will look at two specific battles and how confidence affects the outcome.
King Ahab of Israel versus King Ben-Hadad of Syria.
1 Kings 20: 1 – 4, 10 – 11, 23 – 30
A. The overconfidence of the enemy.
Ben Hadad has threatened to take over Israel.
He simply sent word that he was coming and assumed that Ahab we just give up.
Intimidation is a powerful tool.
He had a great army (32 kings), and a great ego. But he had a bad plan.
Intimidation Illustration: A wealthy man took his faithful dog on Safari with him in Africa. One day the dog wanders off into a field and soon discovers he is lost. Before long he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction preparing for attack. He quickly noticed some bones on the ground close by and immediately began to chew on them with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap the dog exclaims loudly “wow, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here?”
The leopard quickly halts his attack and slinks away into the trees. “Whew that was close. That dog nearly had me.”
A monkey was watching in the tree nearby and figures he can put his knowledge to good use and gain an ally. He tells the big cat about the dogs’ deception. The monkey and the leopard created an alliance and the monkey hopped on the leopard’s back to confront the dog and enjoy the slaughter.
Meanwhile the dog sees the leopard, with the monkey on his back, as they are about to attack the dog says loudly “Where’s that monkey. I can never trust him. I sent him out half an hour ago to bring me another leopard, and he’s still not back!”
Intimidation is a powerful tool.
Ben Hadad sent word to Ahab that he would take his gold, silver, wives, and children. Then he added the servants. Satan is never satisfied.
At first Ahab gave in – he was completely intimidated by the confidence of the enemy. (4)
(8) “Do not listen or consent” was the response from the people of Israel.
Sometimes we need encouragement. Sometimes we need confidence. Sometime we need to know we are not alone.
Our enemy will tell you many lies to get you to hear him roar or scare you into submission without even going to battle.
He is the father of lies. He is unscrupulous and uncaring.
“Everybody else is doing it” – “it’s just this once” – “no one will know” – “you can’t win” – “giving in is not so bad”.
I love Ahab’s response to Ben Hadad’s threats.
Now that he knows that he is not alone.
He gives a great comeback!
(11) “Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.”
Idioms Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Don’t count your victories before the battle.
Don’t count your money while sitting at the table.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
It’s not over until the fat lady sings.
The battle has not even been fought, so you can’t brag about how great you are until it’s over.
The overconfident are often surprised by the well-prepared.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” Tim Tebow.
Ben Hadad was supremely overconfident and his forces and his gods.
(18) “Take them alive” that’s how great we are, they won't even resist enough to make it a fight.
Despite the threats and intimidation’s – Israel went to battle and won decisively.
A) They have a greater God. God sent word to fight.
B) They didn’t shy away. Confident in God
C) They expected the battle to be tough. Each man did his job
D) They had nothing to lose. Hadad was going to attack.
Round one goes to God’s people – Israel.
The enemy is never satisfied (let’s go two out of three).
(23-30) Ben Hadad comes up with a new plan. This one is ridiculous.
His advisers gave him new advice.
The Israelites only won on the mountains because to God is only good in the mountains, but if they fight in the Valley their God is weak and they cannot win.
They (the Syrians) obviously have never walk by faith before.
It is true it’s easier to fight with the high ground or to resist while on the mountain top.