5 Soon Ben-hadad’s messengers returned again and said, “This is what Ben-hadad says: ‘I have already demanded that you give me your silver, gold, wives, and children. 6 But about this time tomorrow I will send my officials to search your palace and the homes of your people. They will take away everything you consider valuable!’” 1 Kings 20:5-6 NLT.
27 Israel then mustered its army, set up supply lines, and marched out for battle. But the Israelite army looked like two little flocks of goats in comparison to the vast Aramean forces that filled the countryside! 1 Kings 20:27 NLT.
28 Then the man of God went to the king of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says: The Arameans have said, ‘The Lord is a god of the hills and not of the plains.’ So I will defeat this vast army for you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” 1 Kings 20:28 NLT.
(Ahab didn’t follow through on the victory the Lord had given him–and spared the life of the opposing king.)
When Nebuchadnezzar had a recurring nightmare, none of his astrologers could tell him what his dream was or what it meant.
Big words. Big presence.
12 The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. 13 And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends. Daniel 2:12013 NLT.
14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. 15 He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. 16 Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.
17 Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. 18 He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon. 19 That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. Daniel 2:14-19 NLT.
Troubles will come. Sometimes in the form of big words. Sometimes by the intimidation of a big presence. Sometimes it will be both.
We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, 3 and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles. 4 Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know. 1 Thessalonians 3:2b-4 NLT.
But God is the victor of the plains and the hills.
“Praise the name of God forever and ever,
for he has all wisdom and power.
21 He controls the course of world events;
he removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the scholars.
22 He reveals deep and mysterious things
and knows what lies hidden in darkness,
though he is surrounded by light.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors,
for you have given me wisdom and strength.
You have told me what we asked of you
and revealed to us what the king demanded.” Daniel 2:20-23 NLT (emphasis mine)
And this is what I need to remember.
God’s got this.
Lord, when I strip away the worries of my thought life and remember your faithfulness through the ages (and even the last years), there is peace. I learn from Daniel, his trials and his faith–I need to fix my gaze on you. You can do what seems impossible. I’m thankful you’re still in the business of marvelous miracles.
1 Praise the Lord!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.2 Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him enough? Psalm 106:1-2 NLT