Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Is the God of the hills the same God of the valleys?

Ahab was facing a multitudinous enemy. Syria was encamped and ready to attack. The LORD told Ahab that he would give the victory to Ahab, and in such a way that all would know He is the LORD.

"And behold, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will give it into your hand this day, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” (1 Kings 20:13).

And so He did. It came to pass exactly as he said it would via the prophet. The Syrians were upset, and mulled over their loss. They rationalized,

"And the servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills, and so they were stronger than we. But let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they." (1 Kings 20:23)

The "gods of the hills".

And herein lies the point for us today. The Syrians knew that a higher power was at work. They understood there were supernatural events caused by powers which lived above and beyond. They did not understand the nature of this loss, however, and attributed it to them fighting the wrong gods. If this god is powerful on the hills, they reasoned, then let's fight their gods of the valleys, who are probably weaker. Yeah, that's it.

In our faith, there is only whole worship or there is no worship. There is no worshiping God but not Jesus. There is no worshiping Jesus but dismissing the Holy Spirit. There is no worship of God on Sunday and blaspheming Him the other 6 days. There is no faith being simply mental assent but failure to reach the heart. God is not a God of the mountains only. He is God over the whole earth and everything in it.

"A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein," (Psalm 24:1)

All those who dwell in the earth are the Lord's too. Even those who do not believe, He is king over. He demands proper worship and He demands whole worship- all our heart, mind, soul and strength. (Matthew 22:38)

No, God is God of the whole earth. There are no other gods. But people today "reason" the same way the Syrians did, albeit metaphorically. The attend a church and become convicted, but say 'I don't like this church of the mountains so I will seek another god of the valleys.'

Or they say 'He is God of the New Testament but I don't like the God of the Old Testament so I'll just take those words with a grain of salt.' They pick and choose a God of their own making by adhering to the words in the bible that speak of mountains and not the words that speak of valleys.

Thomas Jefferson did that. He liked Jesus of Nazareth but dismissed the Holy Spirit and declined to believe in God. Here, Smithsonian Magazine explains,

Thomas Jefferson cut verses from six copies of the New Testament
to create his own personal version. (Hugh Talman / NMAH, SI)
"At age 77, Thomas Jefferson, after two terms as president, turned to a project that had occupied his mind for at least two decades—the creation of a book of moral lessons drawn from the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, Mark and John. With painstaking precision, Jefferson cut verses from editions of the New Testament in English, French, Greek and Latin. He pasted these onto loose blank pages, which were then bound to make a book."

You can read Jefferson's bible online here, and see his actual cuts and pastes.

Today, people like the ancient Syrians seek a different god so as to conquer him. They forego traditional church for beer church. They eschew pastors who speak of sin and judgment for pastors who speak of our best life now. Or pastrixes. They go away from the battle and lick their wounds and reason and rationalize and they come back with a renewed philosophy of life that bears little to no resemblance to the revealed God of the bible.

God is God. There is no god of the mountains but not of the valleys. Partial recognition of "a god" of the mountains will only result is pain, loss, and gnashing of teeth. Jesus will say to them, "depart from me you evildoers. I never knew you."

Our faith is a whole faith, requiring every cell of our body to come under submission to the God of the Universe. It requires acknowledgement of, submission to, and service under the Trinitarian God revealed to us via Has creation and His Son. He is glory upon glory, and a true worshiper would want to do no less.

Here, Linda Randle sings that the God of the Mountains is still God of the Valleys, and her intent is that He is God of our lives when we are at emotional high points and emotional low points. But He is in fact God of the mountains and God of the valleys, geographically, as well as emotionally, and in fact in every way one can possibly think of. Always worship the Ancient of Days in spirit and in truth, wholly and with no partiality. (James 1:8)







No comments:

Post a Comment

The Greatest Revival That Ever Will Be?

Yesterday I looked at what true revival looks like. True revivals are far from the superficially but temporarily euphoric "revivals&qu...