1 Kings 20, Start Obeying God Now For Victory

1 Kings 20:1-22, Start Obeying God Now For Victory
1. Wicked People Face Certain Destruction (v1-12)
2. God Announces A Way Of Miraculous Victory (v13-14)
3. Obedient People Experience Miraculous Victory (v15-21)
4. God Calls People To Prepare For The Next Battle (v22)

Pastor Jerry Simmons teaching 1 Kings 20:1-22, Start Obeying God Now For Victory

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Jerry Simmons shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from 1kings on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 using the New King James Version (NKJV).

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As we look at First Kings Chapter 20 this evening, I've titled The Message Start Obeying God now for victory.

Start obeying God now for victory.

We sometimes in our lives know some things that God wants us to do, but we kind of put it off until a leader.

And you know it's a big mistake to do that.

And sometimes we also find ourselves in situations where we've already blown it so much that we kind of figure it's too late.

It's too late for me to start obeying God now, and so we kind of give up before we even give.

Gotta try, because we've already.

Had such a bad history, and so sometimes we delay our obedience and stuff.

Sometimes we give up on even attempting to be obedient because of what has happened before and here in King Ahab life we're going to find a situation where God is going to call him to do something.

And even though he's completely unworthy and completely undeserving of gods work in his life, and the miracle that God wants to perform, he obeys God and gets to experience the deliverance of God.

Now for a bit of context, since we haven't had much opportunity to do this in the book of First Kings.

I want to just take a moment on the timeline here and refresh our memory on the things that God has been doing.

For us, and so this really gives us most of the year of our reading as we go back.

Starting in the times of Joshua.

Of course we started in Genesis before that, but we've been spending some time now in the book of Joshua in the Book of Judges First and Second Samuel.

And now in First Kings heading into Second Kings.

In the near future, and looking at this history of the nation of Israel.

And under the leadership of Joshua, the children of Israel took the land that God had promised to them.

They inhabited the land.

But then as Joshua died, the time of judges left them in a state where they would be on this perpetual cycle of sometimes walking with God, but then walking away after there was no strong.

Spiritual leadership and in times of oppression they would call out to God again and there would be a renewal and revival.

And God would deliver them through a judge that he would raise up, and this cycle continued over and over until finally the.

Nation of Israel requested a king God gave them Saul and we spent much time in his reign.

In the book of Samuel and then David and his life and his reign, then Solomon, and so many lessons to be learned there.

But after Solomon, the nation was divided into.

The Northern Kingdom captain name Israel the southern Kingdom.

Led by Rehoboam the son of Solomon was just really the the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, and so that that Kingdom became independent.

And now we're following along here in Kings, the two separate kingdoms.

Sometimes that can get a little bit confusing as you're going through because it alternates sometimes.

We're talking about the King of Israel.

Sometimes we're talking about the king of Judah, and it goes back and forth.

But here in this case tonight we're talking about Ahab, who is a King of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, now the northern Kingdom, never had a good king.

Once they split from Israel, they turned to idolatry.

Really, under the leadership of Jeroboam, and they never turned back to the true worship of God, they never turned back to a right relationship with the Lord, and so the Nation of Israel really declined fast, and one of the reasons why was the guy we're looking at tonight, King Ahab.

And so we're going to see.

Israel gets conquered by Assyria.

After not too much time because of their perpetual rebellion against Scott now.

The nation of.

Judah, they had some good kings mixed in with mostly bad kings, and so they would have these revivals that would take place every couple 100 years or every hundred years or so, and and and so it would kind of give bring them back to a, uh, right?

Standing with God.

Nick prolonged their existence a little bit, and so they lasted a little bit longer until finally.

Their rebellions just continued to get worse and worse, and they were conquered by Babylon, and so this is the history that we're covering here in first and Second Kings, we'll go back and revisit a lot of this history in first and second chronicles at the beginning of the year and really get to know these events really well.

But here we are with King Ahab in the northern Kingdom.

Again, a wicked king, one of the most wicked of the kings of the nation of.

Israel, here's a quick look at the geography just so you can kind of see how it splits up.

The top part of the math there is the nation of Israel and then the bottom half is the nation of Judah, and so Jerusalem remained the capital of of Judah.

Samaria became the capital of Israel at this time, and so.

That is why Ben hey Dad comes now in attacks.

Some area here in the Kingdom of Israel, and so as we considered this again tonight, the title of the message, the thing that the Lord is calling us to focus on is obedience.

Start obeying God now for victory and you can see in the timeline as you consider that we are in the middle of a time where.

The Nation of Israel is in rebellion against God.

And yet, in the midst of that, God wants to do a work.

So four points to consider as we look at this passage tonight.

The first point is that wicked people face certain destruction.

Maybe not the happiest point to start off with in the month of December, right?

But it is a reality nonetheless.

Look at verse one again, it says.

Now Ben hey Dad, the king of Assyria gathered all his forces together. 32 Kings were with him, with horses and Chariots, and he went up and besieged Samaria and made war against it.

And so here in verse one we're introduced to Ben hey, Dad, the king of Syria.

Syria is the nation that is just north of Israel and Ben, hey, Dad now is the the ruler there, the king, and so he is.

Inspired some.

For some reason he's got this idea in his mind.

It's time for him to come against the nation of Israel and so he gathers together this massive force.

It says all his forces he gathered together and there were 32 kings with him. So this is Ben hey Dad.

Then all of the territories that he rules over all of their kings.

There's this multitude, and it's described throughout the passage tonight as a multitude several times.

And so there's a a great army that is brought together and moves South Down against some area.

Again, some area was the capital of Israel, so if you're looking at the map there some area kind of right in the central now you'll notice Israel has a lot of territory above.

Of some area as well, but then he dad moves all of his forces down from the far north.

He comes down and he besieges Samaria, and that that really means that he's camped around all around the perimeter of Samaria to cut off help and supplies and resources so that they are.

Contained within the the city of Samaria and the region around it, and unable to get out to get word out for help and.

Those kinds of things, and so this was a typical tactic of warfare for them, and so the idea was we're going to just starve them out, and when they're weak enough and tired enough, they'll just surrender and give up, and it'll be a long prolonged thing, but we'll have victory without too much of.

Right?

Now as Ben hey Dad comes and attacks some area again.

As I mentioned, Ahab was king and he is a wicked king.

In fact, if you'll go back a few chapters, it's worth taking note of this in First Kings chapter 16.

Take a look at verse 30, it says.

Now Ihab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him.

So we're understanding here that we have is.

A wicked king. He has done evil more than all the kings that have come before him. And then in verse 33 it says he him. He had made a wooden image.

And he did more to provoke the Lord of the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the Kings of Israel who were before him.

And so you have Ihab here.

A king who is provoking the Lord to anger, who's deliberately pursuing evil, knowing right from wrong, and pursuing wrong anyways.

This, of course we know that Ahab was also married to Jezebel, who is a notoriously wicked person at notoriously wicked woman in the scriptures, and so she contributed and helped spur on his pursuit of wickedness and and in this understanding as you look.

In verse one then and see this attack, we can look at it and think, well, that's not really a surprise here.

You have this really wicked King who's been more wicked than anybody else.

And So what happens whenever someone pursues wickedness?

Well, they begin to experience the wages of sin, which is death, right?

They they begin to experience the consequences and the destruction that that brings into life, and so you can look at this attack that you can look at this battle and say, you know, it's not really a great surprise.

Here is the most.

Wicked King, it's not a surprise that God would allow for this nation to come against him.

In this way.

Ahab was facing certain destruction and he knew it.

Look at verse two and three.

Says he sent messengers.

This is Ben hey Dad into the city to Ahab King.

King of Israel

And said to him, thus says Ben hey Dad.

Your silver and your gold are mine.

Your loveliest wives and children are mine, verse four and the King of Israel answered and said, my Lord, oh King, just as you say, I and all that I have are yours.

Here Ahab effectively surrenders.

Then he that says.

I'm taking your wives.

I'm taking your kids I'm taking all of your gold and all of your.

Silver, it's all mine.

It belongs to me again.

They're camped out around Samaria.

Ehab is holed up within.

But Ben Heater gets this message to him and says.

Everything you own.

Your wives or children belongs to me.

And he haves response again.

He knows he's beat.

He knows he's facing certain destruction.

He says, just as you say, Yep.

I and all that I have, it's yours.

I surrender there's I'm not going to try to fight you I can't win you in battle I give up you can have my wife or my wives, my children, my silver and my goal.

And so he gives up because he is facing certain destruction.

Verse 5.

Then the messengers came back and said, thus speaks, Ben hey Dad, saying, indeed I have sent to you, saying, you shall deliver to me your silver and your gold, your wives, and your children.

But I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants, and it shall be that.

Whatever is pleasant in your eyes.

They will put it in their hands and take it.

This can happen sometimes when you give in too quickly to a bully right now?

Well, you gave up so quickly that was so easy.

You just kind of surrendered.

OK, you're right.

Everything I have my wife and my children, you can have them, it's all yours.

I'm Ben.

Hey, Dad says you gave up that easily.

You'll probably be willing to give up.

More, and so he says.

Here's the next thing.

Then he kind of ramps up his.

And he says, alright, I'm gonna send my servants in and they're just they're going to go search it.

Not just like your bank account, your silver and your gold.

But everything that you have, anything that they find pleasant, anything that they find lovely, anything that they like, anything that they want.

They're just going to go take it.

It's it's.

It's all going to be theirs and you need to give them.

Access to just come in and read.

Your Kingdom, anything that they want and they can carry it off.

Verse seven.

So the King of Israel called all the elders of the land and said notice please and see how this man seeks trouble for he sent to me for my wives, my children, my silver and my gold, and I did not deny him and all the elders and all the people said to him do not listen.

So the first time, Ben hey Dad gives a demand.

They have just surrenders and accepts it and says, Yep, you're right.

My wife, my children, my silver and gold is yours.

But now when he ramps up the request and says OK, I don't want just your bank accounts, but I'm going to go search through your garage and look in your cupboards and cabinets and check out your safe and I'm going to find those things that are precious to you and I'm going to take those things away.

And now he says, woah woah woah.

I need to get some advice here.

I need to seek some Council and so he gathers together the elders and the the people of the land.

And he says look, I tried to surrender.

He he wouldn't take it.

He asked for more than the original demands, and so the people advise him don't surrender.

Don't don't give into this request.

Don't consent to it.

Verse 9, therefore, he said to the messengers of Ben hey.

Dad tell my Lord the king.

All that you sent for your servant the first time I will do.

But this thing I cannot do.

And the messengers departed and brought back word to him.

So he says, look, I agreed to the first thing I'll stick to, that you can have my wives.

You could have my children.

You can have my silver and you can have my gold, but you can't come search my house for everything that's pleasant and precious to me.

Interesting priorities that Ahab has in all of this, right?

And perhaps that's something to factor in and consider when you think about the wickedness of Ihab his.

Priorities and what he was focused on and what he desired to protect and what prompted him.

You know, to resist was, you know, not protecting his wife and wives and children, but all of the things that were pleasant and precious to him, and so it indicates a little bit of where the hearts of Ahab was in this time.

But he gets the council.

He says, OK, I'll do the first thing still, but I can't do this.

This second request.

Verse 10.

Then beat Ben hey Dad sent to him and said the gods do so to me and more.

Also if enough dust is left of some area for a handful of each of the people who follow me.

So the king.

Of Israel answered and said, tell him.

Let the one let, not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.

And when it happened, Ben hey Dad heard this message as he and the kings were drinking at the command posts that he said to his servants.

Get ready and they got ready to attack the city.

Then hey Dad, here's the.

Rejection of Ihab and he says you know what, I'm gonna tear this city down.

I'm going to hit you guys so hard there won't be enough dust.

For my soldiers to have a handful, I'm just gonna wipe you guys out.

Just demolish everything.

You have refused and you said the wrong thing, and so you're going to regret it.

It's a huge threat now that Ben hey Dad is coming against them.

He's not just going to besiege the city now.

He is going to knock it down.

There's only going to be dust left and not enough even of that for his soldiers to carry.

So then Ahab responds again.

So we're having this dialogue go back and forth, right, messengers going back and forth from 1 camp to the other.

And he have now.

Gets a little bit of *****

And he says, listen.

Don't let the person who's putting on his own armor boost like the one who is taking it off and the idea here.

Is maybe we would use the phrase don't count your chickens before they hatch?

I mean, I don't know, I wouldn't.

Harvey would use that phrase right, but?

But we.

Understand from that it's not wise.

To assume that you have the victory before you've even entered into the battle, right?

I was thinking about that saying don't count your chickens before they hatch, and I think you know it's something we all kind of know.

We're all familiar with, but at the same time there's only a few of us who would actually like have experienced that where it's like.

Like I think about don't count your chickens before they hatch.

And I'm like like I get the point, but I've never been in a position where I've like who I can't wait for these chickens to hatch because it's going to be so amazing.

I'm going to have you know, $0.05 for this one if I sense for that one. If I sense for the time it's going to be this, this is.

I just won the lottery here with this batch right like oh man, I'm counting my eggs because I'm like, whoa, this is gonna be great.

I've never had that experience with chickens.

Right, but we have that experience with other things right where we get excited about something.

We're counting on property values to increase continually where we're counting on markets were counting on things to unfold things to happen.

We're counting on Christmas presents that we know are going to be under the tree for us, right?

We're we're counting on those things.

Before they've actually happened, and here Ihab says to the King of series.

Is like you're just putting on your arm and now this victory isn't assured and so don't boast like as if you've already won the battle.

It's kind of a.

Taunt, I would say that Ehab is giving here.

It's kind of a little bit of smack like he's he's doing a little bit of trash talk before the battle because again he had nose.

He can't win.

He he is.

Incredibly outnumbered as we'll continue on and see as as he pulls together his forces, there is no competition here really.

But still in the face of this certain destruction he is provoking and taunting the one who is bringing it.

It's an interesting turn around from the initial surrender, right?

He's already given up in that sense.

He's already surrendered, and now he's just provoking and.

Poking a stick at this big.

Ben, hey Dad who's coming to attack him.

He has no plan at this point.

He has no, there's no expertise, no reason why he's you know, able to to put forth this taunt.

He has no reason to expect a miracle.

He has no promise from God at this point.

He has no insight.

He's not even seeking the Lord.

It's not really, you know, gods.

It's not even like reasonable for him to expect God to work miraculously in this situation.

It's just he's just wanting to.

Fight against him and provoke him.

And it works when beat Ben hey Dad hears it in verse 12 it says he says everybody get ready.

I mean it just got real right now like we are going to battle right now and so here is Ahab we find him in these first 12 verse.

Is a wicked guy facing certain destruction and we understand that that is the reality.

Wicked people face certain destruction.

The situation may not look the same.

It may not always take the form of this kind of battle, but the reality is when we are out of line with God out of sync with God and.

Living our own life and doing our own thing.

We can expect attacks, attacks that are physical attacks that are spiritual.

We can expect destruction in our personal lives and our financial lives and our business lives in our family lives.

We we can expect destruction when we rebel against God.

The wages of sin is death, and yet this chapter amazes me because as much as we can look at this and see how wicked Ahab is, God is about to intervene and do a miracle in the midst of this situation.

And this chapter is one of those chapters that it stands out to me as one of those incredible examples of the grace and mercy of God that we can find.

Sometimes it is.

We have the impression that you know it's hard to find those things in the Old Testament but but here is one of those clear examples where here is someone who deserves deliverance.

The least.

But God steps in and delivers nonetheless, and so that brings us to verse 13 and 14 for point #2 and got announces a way of miraculous victory.

God declares here is how.

To be delivered in the midst of this situation, check out verses 13 and 14.

It says suddenly a profit approached Ahab, King of Israel, saying thus says the Lord.

Have you seen all this great multitude?

Behold, I will deliver it into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

So he had said, by whom?

And he said thus, says the Lord by the young leaders of the provinces.

Then he said, who will set the battle in order?

And he answered you.

So we have his provoking this bully, who's taunting him and threatening him.

He's about to go to battle now and God sends a profit.

Thus says the Lord.

Look at this great multitude and probably from Ben hey Dad position wherever he was at this time.

Have you seen this great multitude?

He's looking around?

He can see they're surrounded, right?

Siri is all around them.

Have you seen this great multitude?

I will deliver it into your hand.

Today God says I will deliver it into your hand.

Now we wouldn't be so surprised if we're talking about David and the enemies against him and the enemies surrounding him.

And the Lord says I will deliver this multitude into your hand against you, if he says that to David, it's like, yes, the man after God's own Heart, God's gonna deliver him we.

Can expect that.

No, no surprise there at all.

But here's a hub.

Someone who wants nothing to do with God.

I mean so much so you can go back a couple chapters to this is the guy who was king when Elijah gathers together all the profits.

But all it has a competition about whose God is the real God, right?

And Elijah calls down fire from heaven.

And got answers by fire from heaven and and it's visible.

Everybody sees that God has answered and done this work, and yet he have.

And Jezebel still refuse.

To turn to God and be submitted to God, Jezebel threatens.

Elijah, he runs off.

That's chapter 18 and 19 of first things that we just came out of.

And so so here is someone who is Ben Wicked who's been pursuing idolatry.

Someone who's been running from God who has been face to face with already this incredible miracle that I probably any one of us would would be.

Like rejoicing, dizzy we wish we could see something like this.

It's like call down fire from heaven and got answers and shows, and it's just right in front of your face and you feel the heat of the flames and you go.

Yes, God is real, right?

Like oh, that's so exciting for us to think about that.

But he have.

He's part of that and he's like, yeah, I'm just going to keep on ignoring God and doing what?

I want to do.

We would not expect God.

To now come and bring deliverance.

But now in this.

Moment where he faces certain destruction.

God sends a profit and says I will deliver them into your hand today.

J. Vernon McGee says the promise of God deliverance in this situation was not based on Ahab's fidelity, but on God's love for his.

People God gave this man an opportunity to change.

Here again we see the grace and mercy of God.

He's already done.

Miracles in his life to reveal himself to Ahab, but they were ignored.

But God.

Hasn't said OK?

Well that's it.

That was your last chance.

God says I'm.

Going to give you another chance, I'm going to do another amazing work in your life.

Maybe you know fire from heaven doesn't speak to you that much.

Maybe rescue from certain destruction in the midst of battle.

Maybe that's more you know to to, to speak to the core of who you are and what's important to you and and maybe you'll be able to recognize that I am the Lord. In that case, it wasn't based on Ahab's faithfulness, but it was based on.

God's love.

Giving him another opportunity to change and he had takes it seriously and verse 14, he says by whom, how?

How is this going to happen?

And the prophet speaks on behalf of the Lord and says the young leaders, the provinces that there is to be this group, that they will be the ones who will be the the the people that got is set up to bring about this deliverance.

And so he asked another question.

Well, who's going to set the battle in order?

OK God, you've said this now what are the particulars here?

What are the details here?

Who's going to lead the charge?

The young guys OK, who's going to be overseeing the battle and setting things in order?

Profit says you are.

Near to take that strategic command.

And Overseed the battle.

And so, God, he renounces to him.

How to have victory it looks.

Like doom and gloom, certain destruction happening right in front of your face.

But there's a way there's a way to victory.

There's a way.

Where you will allow me to work miraculously in your life.

And God gives him the instruction.

Here's how to do it.

Now all he has to do is just follow the instruction that God has given.

That leads us to verses 15 through 21 for point #3 obedient people experience miraculous victory God announces. Here's how to get victory.

He announces through his word.

Here's how to have a blessed life.

Here's how to be full and fulfilled.

Here's how to be satisfied.

Here's how to experience.

The fullness of all that I have for you to have life and life more abundantly right, like through through the scriptures, we find God give us instruction.

But that doesn't mean that we all have.

That because we got to take.

That instruction and then.

Put it into practice in our lives and this is what he has to do.

He's got the word from the Lord.

What is he going to do?

Is he going?

To make it real in his life and live it out.

Verse 15 goes on to say this.

Then he mustered the young leaders of the provinces.

And there were 232 and after them he mustered all the people.

All the children of Israel, 7000.

So they went out at noon.

Meanwhile, Ben, hey dad.

And the 30.

2 Kings helping him were getting drunk at the command post.

The young leaders of the provinces went out first, and then he had sent out a patrol and they told him saying men are coming out of some area, so he said if they have come out for.

Peace, take them alive and if.

They have come out for.

War take them alive.

Then these young leaders of the provinces went out of the city with the army which followed them, and each one killed his man.

So the Syrians fled.

And Israel pursued them.

And then he did the king of Syria escaped on a horse.

With the cavalry.

Then the King of Israel went out and attacked the horses and Chariots and killed the Syrians with a great slaughter.

Here we find Ahab put into practice the instruction that God gave.

He was obedient.

God showed up, gave him instruction again.

He didn't deserve it.

Wasn't expecting it.

But God told Ihab, I want you to know that I.

Am the Lord.

And so I'm going to give you this instruction.

If you do this, you're going to have this amazing victory that will for sure not be by your strength or might or strategy.

There will be a full revelation that I am the Lord for you, and we find that.

We have is obedient.

Again, if he asked for clarification in verse 14, the Prophet told him it's the young leaders who are going to be the ones who bring about this victory, and so we see in verse 15 he mustered the young leaders of the provinces.

There was 232 of them.

So he gathered together he did exactly the very detailed.

The very thing that God told him to do.

And then he mustered all the people and everybody that he had access to at this time was 7000.

Now it's very possible that there was many more in the nation of Israel that could be called into battle at this time.

But because Ben hey Dad was besieging the city, that's all that he had had access to within within the siege. And so he gathered together the 7000.

Military people of of those that he had access to.

But first he gathered together the young people, the 232 people. They're the ones who are going to lead the charge.

And so he goes out.

Specifically, following the Destruction's, the directions that God had given verse 17, the young leaders of the provinces went out first.

Because in verse 14 through the prophet God told them send out the young leaders first, they're gonna be the ones who go into battle 1st and they're gonna be the ones who bring about.

The victory.

You see Ahab here taking the instruction of God seriously.

And putting it into practice in his life, Pastor Warren Wiersbe says, we commend he had for receiving the promise and asking for further instructions.

Perhaps Jezebel wasn't home that day to influence him the wrong way.

I thought that was kind of funny.

He received the promise he asked for further instructions.

And now we see him actually do what God instructed him to do this.

This is the pattern for all of us.

This is the pattern that we all.

Need to follow.

Receiving the instructions of God and then putting it into practice, putting it into work and following the details of the instruction that God.

Gives to us.

And so he sends out the young leaders and obedience to what God said.

Now verse 18 is kind of interesting as word comes back to Ben.

Hey Dad, that there's a group of guys coming out from the city.

You could see his arrogance and confidence.

Going back to .1, the destruction is certain.

Not only does he have known that he's facing certain destruction, but Ben hey Dad is certain this is a victory that is guaranteed for him, and so he says.

Look, if they come for.

Peace then take them alive and if they're coming for battle, yeah, it's not going to be much of a battle.

Take them alive, right?

He's just confident that either way he's going to be able to capture.

Those who are coming out that there really no threat to him.

He's not concerned in the least, and so him and his guys.

They just keep on drinking and partying and carrying on as they were.

But the young men are out.

To engage in battle, and so as they go, they cut down the messengers and the army of.

Then hey Dad, and so it starts a scramble.

Everybody starts to run. Verse 20 tells us the Syrians fled and Israel pursued them. So now the rest of the army, the 7000 get involved as the city or not the city, but the the camp gets into disarray and starts to run away.

Now all of.

The army that is there with Ahab.

Are pursuing them, chasing them, attacking the horses and Chariots in verse 21 it tells us that it was a great slaughter.

They were overwhelmed at the start, but God gave them instruction.

You have followed that instruct.

Action, and he learned that obedient people experience miraculous victory.

Now again we see this example.

We can take note of the things that are unfolding here.

It's a, it's a really good pattern for us to recognize that God works miraculously in the lives of people who don't deserve it when they take his word.

And put it into practice.

And so we are encouraged.

Even though Ahab isn't kind of the best example for us, right?

But we are.

Encouraged her to take note of this.

Is how God.

Works, we're encouraged to consider this in light of perhaps our failures.

And again, sometimes we give up on obedience.

We don't even try to be obedient.

We don't try to put things into practice or to live out what God has said because we've already messed up so bad.

It's either like we might as well quit.

Or we can never expect God to work in.

Our lives but.

Here you have Ahab who is a great example to remind us it's not too late, even if you've been and hard and rebellion up to this.

Point even right now.

It's not too late to start right now.

To take God's word and start to be obedient to it.

And experience a turn around experience, uh deliverance experience.

A miraculous work of God in your life.

And we can trust God to work miraculously as we follow him now again, this is.

You know a specific example of this in the battle scenario, the battle situation, we don't face this exact situation very often.

It plays out differently in our lives and in different situations and the miraculous victory isn't always immediately applied as we get to see it here happen for a habit was.

An immediate like.

Battle military victory.

Sometimes we don't always see an immediate victory as we start to obey God, but.

We can be assured.

As we obey God, there will be victory.

That God's word does not return void.

It will accomplish what he said at 4th to do, and we have to look beyond the immediate battle sometimes and to accept that the victory will be down the line.

The benefit the the results and the reward for the obedience right now might be later in life for it.

Might be primarily in eternity.

But the point stands.

Obedient people experience.

Miraculous victory. A great.

Demonstration of the grace and the mercy of God.

Pastor David Guzik says their hardened idolatry and rejection of God deserved divine abandonment.

God had every right to just.

Leave them alone and let them perish without his help.

Yet God is rich in mercy, and he showed that mercy to Ahab and Israel.

Nobody would have faulted God.

If he just let this happen, if he just let this unfold, not send word to Ahab, not give him instruction, not show him how to get victory in the midst of this and promise a miraculous victory.

If God just let it happen and let him be destroyed.

That would have not been something wrong for God to do.

But he goes out of his way.

Again, he tells Ahab inverse 13.

I want you to know that I am the Lord.

So in my mercy and grace.

I'm going to give you an opportunity to experience deliverance.

To have.

An experience with my word that reminds you that shows you once again.

That I alone am God.

Well, finally verse 22 gives us point #4.

God calls people to prepare for the next battle.

Great victory, we can celebrate.

We can rejoice.

We can think all right that's it.

Now go back to life as it was, but God says no. Verse 22 The Prophet came to the King of Israel and said to him, go strengthen yourself, take notes and see what you should do.

For in the spring of the year, the king of Syria will come up against you.

God, let's king ahab.

No, this isn't over.

You won this battle.

King Syria, the king of Syria ran away, but he's going to come back.

And that's tomorrow's reading.

When he comes back and God is going to provide victory again, now it's interesting to contrast the two victories.

The first one here that we're looking at today is God, saying I'm going to give you victory so that you know that I am God.

Tomorrow, God specifically says I'm going to give you victory so that they the enemy knows that I am God and so both times God is doing a miraculous work giving them victory so that people know that he has got.

He's working dramatically so that people have the understanding and the recognition that.

He is God.

But here God tells them look, don't just rest.

Don't go back to same old same old and go back to how you were living in the rebellion that you're living.

Like go strengthen yourself.

You need to.

Get things in order because the king of Syria will come again, there's going to be another attack, and it's a call not just to prepare militarily.

It's a call.

For him to prepare.

His heart.

To continue to walk in obedience to God.

The enemy always.

Tries to come back at a better time.

You'll see them talk it through in the next few verses as we read up tomorrow, you know, hey, they they were victorious because we fought in this area.

And if we can come back this way, we'll have a an advantage and and it'll be better.

This is.

This is how the enemy works and by the enemy.

I'm speaking about spiritual forces of wickedness, of course, and the temptation that Jesus experience in Luke Chapter 4.

It tells us afterwards the devil departed until an opportune time, and so you can kind of see this parallel here.

The enemy comes, and what does the enemy want the enemy?

Well, Jesus said wants to steal, kill and destroy.

That's what the enemy wants.

Like Ben, hey Dad, the enemy would show up at the door and say.

Your wives, your children, your silver or gold, everything you have, it's mine.

It belongs to me.

Just surrender now.

To me that's what the enemy desires as he comes against every person.

But God intervenes and says, here's my word.

And my word, as you put it into practice as you follow it as you walk with me in my word, there is going to be miraculous deliverance from this attack of the enemy.

But when you experience deliverance and when you experience a great.

Victory in your life.

Don't go into a mode where you put your guard down and you say all right.

I'm protected, God has my back so I can go and live however I want.

I can go and pursue all the things I was pursuing before.

I can just carry on the way that I want to, God says listen, you need to pay attention because yes, you won a great battle.

I did a great work.

I'm merciful and gracious in that way.

But the the real battle is not over.

The war is not over, the enemies coming back.

And we may not, you know, want to spend a lot of time considering this, but we need to understand and think about our lives in a way that that allows us to strategize a Biden recognize.

Listen, the enemy is coming.

Back how is he?

Going to come this time.

What kind of tactics and strategy is he going to use?

You can expect in your marriage for the enemy to come back again like you can't just sit there and go.

Will Qui 1 upper great victory and you know we've just been experiencing great blessings as a result, yes, and.

Praise God for that.

But also prepare yourself because the enemy is coming back and there's gonna be a battle.

There's going to be an opportune time and so go strengthen yourself.

The Prophet said they have take note and see what you should do.

You need to stop perhaps and consider and think strategically about.

Your life and how might the enemy come and what his strategies might be in coming back against you.

It's perhaps something that you should do is I've been encouraging to be thinking about and considering how does God want you to spend time with him in this coming year?

Perhaps along with that, you should be seeking the Lord and saying, how do I need to strengthen myself? What attacks are coming in 2022?

What what battles am I gonna face?

What what areas of my life do I need to fortify?

And maybe your job is secure and you're blessed, and it's great.

Right now.

But what if there's a battle?

Don't don't just.

Well, we can take a Habs words to Ben hey Dad, right?

Talk like when he's taking off their armor before you've put yours on.

Don't just coast into this coming year thinking all right.

I'm going to have a blessed marriage and I'm going to have a blessed job and my finances are going to be great and there's going to be food on the table all the time, and my family is going to be blessed and I'm going to have a lot of relaxing time and I'm going to enjoy some time on the lake and things are just going.

To be great, and I pray that God does.

Bless our lives and we have great seasons of enjoyment and fulfillment in all kinds of ways.

In the.

Coming year, but don't.

Be so foolish to think that.

We've won the battle alright.

New masks are required now.

We've won the battle right?

So now we're good.

Or we've got our guy into office.

And so now we've won the battle.

Things are going to be good, or I finally got the job.

Or the promotion that I've been wanting for.

I finally got the the the man or the woman in my life that I've been wanting.

I finally got those things and so now things are going to be good.

There's gonna be more battles.

Go strengthen yourself.

Take note.

Think strategically about your life.

Trying to look at your life from the enemies perspective.

Say what are the weaknesses that I can exploit?

What are the areas that are weak and vulnerable?

Where they don't take the word of God and apply it because men when the believers take the word of God and apply it.

God brings about miraculous victory.

But those areas of neglect.

Those areas that are not fortified that are weak, those are vulnerable.

Proverbs chapter 22, verse three says a prudent man foresees evil and hides himself. But the simple pass on and are punished.

It's wise, it's prudent to foresee evil to look ahead and understand in our society and our personal lives.

We are going to experience some battles.

Peter tells us in first Peter 4 don't think it's strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you.

There's going to be some fiery trials and don't think it's strange it's not a surprise.

It's not unforeseeable now it's it's expected.

It is exactly what we know is coming.

Go strengthen yourself.

Take note and see what you should do.

Because there's going to be more battles, there's going to be more attacks, there's going.

To be new things.

That we're going to have to face.

And we're going to have to face in faith taking gods word.

And being obedient to putting it into practice, trusting him in what he has called us to prepare yourself.

To do that, prepare yourself to take his word.

And then live it out and don't count yourself out just 'cause you haven't been so great up to this.

Point, even if you're the wicked person that deserves and faces certain destruction, it's not too late.

You can start right now.

Even if you've been living wickedly all the way up to this, like 10 seconds ago, you know you were just involved in other wickedness and rebellion against God.

But even right now.

God announces a way of miraculous victory.

You can repent.

You can turn to him you can trust in.

Him, you can search the scriptures.

And be equipped for every good work and be ready and prepared.

To face whatever situation you may face.

Obedient people experience miraculous victory.

Test got on that.

Try him on that.

Put his word into practice.

And let him work dramatically miraculously, so that you know that he is God, so that the enemy knows that he's God, so that the world around us knows that he is God, because we take his word and we live it out.

Let's pray, Lord, I ask that you would help us.

To start obeying you right now, Lord, even if we haven't been up to this point.

But also if we have Lord there is that temptation to experience victory to experience previous works that you've done in our lives, and then the kind of rest and just coast in those past things.

And I pray God that you would help us or recognize there's there's much more.

Battle coming or there's much more that you want to do, and so Lord, may we take these things to account.

And recognize that you are gracious and merciful and that we can come to you right now, that no matter where we've been, what we've done, you desire to work.

Miraculously in our lives.

And you've given us instruction word.

That we might be able to.

Open the doors of your blessing.

And so Lord help us to do that.

To search out what we must do to seek you in your word.

To find out what you would say to us that we could step forward in obedience.

And experience your provision, your protection, your deliverance, and all that you want to do.

And so that help us to walk.

In that obedience to you, I pray this in Jesus name.