Summary: Help for difficult times
Title: God of the Mountain and the Valley
Text: I Kings 20:23-27
Intro: Have you ever faced a valley before? Where it seemed that you were out numbered; surrounded; and were completely and totally helpless. This must have been the way Israel felt this day. The year before Ben-hadad had brought 32 Kings and their armies against Samaria and God brought a wonderful victory. But now Ben-hadad is back. A servant has convinced him that Israel’s God is the god of mountaintops but their gods are gods of the valley. If they could get Israel into a battle in the valley they would be victorious.
Israel is so out numbered they look like two small herds of sheep, while Ben-hadad’s armies cover the whole valley. Could you imagine the fear that gripped the hearts of the army of Israel? Discouragement and despair must have filled their minds. Thoughts of giving-up; surrender must have been the discussion of the day.
But God was not going to stand for the idea that His presence was limited to the mountaintops.
Many times in our lives we find our selves in the middle of a valley. We are weak, tired, empty and alone. We feel so far from the presences and the anointing of God. And when we call on Him we feel like we get a busy signal.
ILL. We are like the man that want to the doctor:
Doctor to patient: “I have bad news and worse news.”
Patient: “So let’s have it.”
Doctor: “The bad news is that you only have 24 hours to live.”
Patient: “I can’t imagine what could be worse than that!”
Doctor: “I forgot to tell you yesterday.”
But I want you to know today that God is not only God of the Mountain but He is God of every valley that you will face in your life.
I. A Valley is a place of Trial
A. The valley is the place that our faith is put to the test.
1 Pet 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that your faith-- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
B. The valley is hard
Psalms 84:5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
Psalms 84:6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
· Baca means a place of weeping
· A valley in Palestine
· Full of thorns and brush
· It could not be passed through without labor and tears
- What he is saying is that even though the valley is hard, those who trust in God will find that:
- God will care for them in the valley
- God will bring them out.
C. When you are standing on the Mountain Tops the Power of God fills your Spirit.
1. Nothing like those services where the anointing is so great
- Souls are being saved
- People are being filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost
- Many are slain in the Spirit
- We need these mountain top experiences
2. The Saint of God needed the Mountain Tops
· Peter, James and John
- Needed encouragement for the days ahead
· Moses Mountain Tops
- Needed direction for what God had called him to do
- Moses did not even know how to refer to God
- Moses needed encouragement to face Pharaoh
3. But as much as we would like to we cannot live on the mountaintops.
- We experience these wonderful mountaintops to prepare us for our valleys
D. In the valley our faith is stretched
1. Mary and Martha were in a valley
- Lazarus was sick
- They had called for Jesus
- Jesus delayed His coming
- Martha & Mary both said “If you only…”
- But Jesus said, “I Am The Resurrection, and Life, do you believe?
2. What a valley of despair to walk through.
- They had done everything right
- They had given to the ministry
- They called on Jesus when their brother got sick
3. Jesus was stretching their faith.
- Martha do you believe
- I am here in the middle of your valley
- Do you trust me?
4. He is God of the mountain but He also God of the valley
ILL. Many of us need to be more like the little girl whom the farmer found lost in his meadow. The farmer said to her, "Do not cry; I’ll take you home." The little child snuggled up to him, and with a smile, said, "I knew you would; I was waiting for you." "Waiting for me?" said the man. "What made you think I was coming?" "I was praying you would." she said. "Praying? When I first heard you, you were saying A B C D E F G. What was that for?" She looked up again and said, "I’m just a little girl. I was praying all the letters of the alphabet and letting God put them together the way He wanted to. He knew I was lost, and He knew how to put them together better than I do."