The Bible clearly states that God is on the side of the righteous. As the apostle Paul asked, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Obviously, the answer is nobody. Therefore, many who come against the Lord will eventually find themselves crushed and defeated. And as weak as they are, they resort to flimsy excuses to justify their defeat. This is how the officials of the king of Aram tried to justify the defeat that the God of Israel had inflicted on them. They said, “Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they” (1 King 20:23). Certainly, this justification was not only flimsy but flawed when they said “their gods” since Israel has only one God. This was emphasized by Moses when he said, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4).
The officials of Aram could have made the conclusion that the God of Israel is the God of the mountains because they have been hearing the Israelites often say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths” (Isa. 2:3). It is not uncommon for the Israelites to mention the “mountains of the Lord” in their songs and writings. However, the mountains themselves are not the source of Israel’s deliverance. King David himself clearly said, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2). Yes, the Lord is the source of their help, and not the mountains. While the mountains force them to lift their eyes, they were to gaze beyond the mountains and look into heaven where the Lord is enthroned.
To encourage Israel to put their trust in him and not believe in the lies of the enemies, the Lord said, “Because the Arameans think the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD” (1 King 20:28). Indeed, the God of Israel is God of both the mountains and the valleys, and he will fight the battle for them wherever they may be. Those who have mountain-high problems should take comfort in this truth – that God is able to deliver them no matter how many problems have piled up in front of them. They only need to lift their heads up and look beyond the mountain, for there the Lord is waiting for their call. Likewise, those who are in the valley of despair should despair no more for God is also the God of the valleys.
As we live our lives, it is not strange to encounter mountains and valleys. There will always be bumps along the way and these cause discomfort and unnecessary strains. However, it is comforting to know that even before these happen, the Lord has already made plans for us. Through the prophet Isaiah we are told that “every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain” (Isa. 40:4). No amount of effort on our part is enough to move mountains or to fill up valleys. Often, the most that we could do to our bumpy situation is ride through it and endure. But why languish in it and suffer when God can do something about it? Therefore, it is best that we entrust everything to the Lord, who is Lord over the mountains and valleys and he will make our paths smooth.
To further encourage those who are going through life’s difficulties, the Psalmist said, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools” (Psalm 84:5-6). Indeed, the valleys in the lives of those who trust in the Lord are not as terrifying as the valleys of those who do not have God on their side. Even in our deepest need, the Lord will sustain us with the dews of heaven and the springs of water. Blessings will flow from up above and down below when we put our hope in the Lord. He will not only provide for our needs, but the mountains surrounding us will even serve as our shield. Again, the Psalmist said, “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore” (Psalm 125:1-2). Friends, if we have the Lord with us, who can be against us? Nobody! He surrounds us with his loving care not only for today but forever. This he will do that all may know that he is God. Hallelujah!