Summary: What comes out of our spirit when the enemy or the cares of life begin to put the squeeze on us?
1 Kings 20:26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.
1 Kings 20:27 And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country.
1 Kings 20:28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Notice the scripture says at the return of the year. If you read the whole chapter, Israel had already won a miraculous victory over the Syrians, but here they are again.
The Lord may have given you a mighty victory over the devil, but he will return to fight another day. Don't think because you have had a victory, you can take a spiritual holiday. Our adversary is not so easily defeated. He may change his direction of attack, but he will return. But, you can still have victory.
I think part of the battle the present day church fights is a struggle of not putting limits on God. We struggle because we limit God and He is UNLIMITED.
The Syrians thought that God was a God of the hilltops, but not a God of the valleys. They saw Him as limited. God showed them that He is still God no matter where you are.
We hear much said today by Christians, and even Pastors and leaders, that times have changed and you just can't have revival like you used to. But, God is a God of all ages.
The darkness of our present world can not smother the Light of the Gospel out.
Changing times are not an excuse for a crippled church. Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world."
But getting back to our lesson. I'll admit that I am harder for the devil to deal with when I am on the hilltop with a shout in my heart and glory in my soul. Maybe that's why Nehemiah 8:10 says, The joy of the Lord is your strength."
Just like Syria thought they would try Israel again when they were in the valley, the devil will try you and me whenever he thinks he has an advantage. And, friend, life's journey is going to have some hills and valleys. It's down in that valley that the adversary will try to put the squeeze on you.
How many have ever felt squeezed?
Let me show you something in the book of Job chapter 1. The devil squeezed Job. He put the pressure on him.
Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Job didn't sin with his mouth. Satan was trying to squeeze the hope and trust that Job had in God out of him, but when he squeezed Job, all that came out was worship and blessing toward God.
When all the devil can squeeze out of you is worship and praise, he won't squeeze you very long.
We could mention Paul and Silas in the lowest part of the prison. All the devil squeezed out of them was prayer and a song of praise. It wasn't long until that jail began to shake.
Our text said Israel looked like two little flock of kids against the Syrians. The Syrians filled the country. It must have looked discouraging to Israel, but they believed God.
Can I tell you an imaginary story? It is just a story, but it has a lesson. It is not from the Bible, just a story.
One day it was advertised that the devil had been having hard times and he was having a sale. He was selling some of his tools.
On the day of the sale the tools were marked and priced for public inspection. They were a treacherous and ugly lot of implements: Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Lying, Pride, Doubt, etc. But lying apart from all the rest was a very harmless looking tool. It was very worn, but priced higher than all the rest.
"What is the name of this tool and why is it priced so high", someone asked.