1 Kings 20:28
“God is a God of the mountain, but he is even more a God of the valley”
- The Syrians had tried to defeat the people of God and had failed in mountainous regions
- They had been beaten badly, with many of their men slaughtered
- Several of the advisors to the king of Syria came to him and suggested that the reason they were being defeated was because the God of the Israelites was a God of the Hills, but not a God of the valleys, so they suggested to fight the Israelites in the valley
- So, the Syrians regrouped and brought their army to meet the Israelites in a low place, in a valley.
- The Israelites went out to meet them….the Israelite army looked like two small flocks of goats compared to the Syrian army which filled the entire countryside
- Then a man of God came to the King of Israel and said….”God says because these Syrians are saying that He is a God of the Hills and not of the valleys, God is going to give you a great victory over them”
- Our God is certainly a God of the mountaintop…..a God of victory, overcoming, and mountaintop experiences
- But, in many ways, our God is even more the God of the valley
- You need to know that, no matter how deep the valley, your God is there with you
1. The Enemy Waits for You in the Valley
(the Syrians decided to assemble an army and wait for the Israelites in the ‘plain’…in the valley)
- We were coming from the mountain-top. It was a great Subreg Conference. We were busy making plans for growth and revival throughout Malawi, Moz and Zim
- But the enemy was waiting in the valley
- On Saturday we began to drive home from the Conference. As we were driving back, on a one thousand mile journey from the Conf back to our home, Timothy became sick….complaining of ear-ache and dizziness
- As we drove across South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique Timothy became more and more ill…..by the time we arrived home on Monday evening, at the end of the three day journey, he was listless and clearly very sick
- On Tuesday morning early we found Timothy unresponsive, unable to hear or see us, and thrashing around in his bed. We rushed him to the hospital.
- We were now in the valley
2. The Enemy is Confident in the Valley
(the Bible says that the army of Israel looks liked two little flocks of goats, while the Syrian army filled the countryside)
- The Enemy is confident in the Valley, because in the valley there are things the enemy can use against you
- There is fear in the valley
- There is doubt in the valley
- There is lack of direction, purpose in the valley
- There is the feeling of loneliness in the valley
- Your emotions work against you in the valley
- There is a seemingly overwhelming number of enemies in the valley
- On Tuesday morning as I carried Timothy in my arms, with him fighting and thrashing around in his seizure state, all of the attributes of the valley began to attack us.
- We were afraid----I would later tell my Father that I’ve never been more afraid in my life
- We knew how serious bacterial meningitis is and we knew the fatality rate (25%+) and the major disability rate (50%+) for this sickness. Yes, we were afraid.
- As the day stretched on and we could not get competent medical help, doubt began to creep in. I asked God why. I asked God if prayer really works, why can’t I pray and see Timothy wake up??
- As it became clear that the hospital in Malawi could not properly treat Timo we began to work on getting him medecaved to South Africa. We encountered so many obstacles, from lazy people in the hospital, to the airport asking for a bribe in order to let the medical flight land……this stretched on until late in the night……we were in the valley
3. But God is the God of the Valley Also
- You need to know, you need to remember, that God is still God and He is God of the Valley, just as he is God of the mountain.
- God does great things in the valley!
"For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing."' Deut 2:7 NKJV
A. God is with you in the Valley (Deut 2:7“…the Lord your God has been with you”…)
· The Enemy would try to make you feel that your God is not with you, but in the valley He is there. Your emotions may be working against, but God is still there beside.
· Even though we were afraid, we could tell that God was with us, that He was still guiding the boat, that somehow He would work everything for His Glory
B. God supplies all your needs in the Valley(Deut 2:7….”you have lacked for nothing”.)
· God moved on a friend of ours, a Hindu man, to help us when we were in the darkest valley.
· This man actually closed his business and came to the hospital, paid part of our bill, brought us food, arranged my air flight, helped with the ‘redtape’.
· I believe God directed this man to help us
· On Wednesday morning about 9:30 the medical team from South Africa arrived and began to work on Timo…they had said it would take them 20 minutes to prep him for the flight to South Africa, but it took them 2 ½ hours. We found out later when they arrived they found him critical and those 2 ½ hours were crucial for him to survive.
· God knew exactly what we needed and knew exactly the right time for them to arrive.
· For three days, Tuesday to Friday, Timo would be in a coma. All during those three days, we saw time and time again as God supplied all our needs
· Example---Joseph found this to be true in his valley……..God supplied all his needs, and equipped him
C. God will give you PEACE in the Valley
· Timo was medevaced to South Africa onWednesday afternoon
· He spent that day and the next in a coma.
· After getting him stabilized and seeing the medicine begin to work, the doctors told us that they would try to wake him on Friday.
· I awoke on Friday morning very early, waking from a dream of Timo and I riding our four wheelers and having a good time. The first thought I had when I awoke was ‘everything is going to be alright’
· We did not know what we would find when they tried to wake him up that morning, but we knew somehow it was going to be alright. God was giving us peace in our valley
· Example----Paul and Silas in jail, Acts 16
D. God will give you Victory in the Valley----
· We went to the hospital Friday morning, not knowing what to expect.
· The doctors reduced his sedative and almost immediately Timo began to awaken.
· We had been warned not to expect too much, that he might not recognize us, that he might have lost all his memory, or his motor functions, etc etc
· But when he opened his eyes, he immediately looked at us with recognition and began to respond to the questions of the doctors
· Although he was still very weak and would only stay awake for a few minutes at a time, we could tell he was going to be okay….I asked him if knew where he was…he replied ‘Mars’…I asked why he would say that…he said ‘because I don’t know’….by that we knew he still had his humor and wit
· Even though we knew there would still be a long road ahead for Timothy, there at that moment, in the middle of the valley, God gave us Victory.
· Example----Ezekiel in the Valley of dry bones, Ezek. 33
· It is much easier looking back, to see the hand of God in the Valley.
· If you are in the middle of the Valley today, it may be difficult for you to see and feel the things you would like
· But I want you to know that your God is the God of the Valley
· He is with you
· He is supplying, and will supply, your every need
· He will give you Peace in the midst of your Storm
· He will give you Victory in the Valley
Just as He promised to the Israelites in the O.T., God will give you Victory in your Valley.
· Don’t sit down in your valley….keep walking and you will make it to the other side
· Give your Valley to God (Exp----Ezekiel “Lord thou knowest”) (“our eyes are on You”)
· On Thursday morning, while Timo was still in his coma and while we still didn’t know what might happen, we found the chapel in the hospital and had a prayer meeting
· In that prayer meeting, I gave this Valley to God……..I told God that His ways were higher, that though I didn’t understand I knew that somehow He would work this for His glory.
· That is what you need to do today……give your Valley to God, , give your situation to God, let Him take your hand and lead you to the other side.