The God of the Hills, Plains, and Valleys by Rev. Tony Cooke

The God of the Hills, Plains, and Valleys
By Rev. Tony Cooke

In the Old Testament, the enemies of God’s people made a serious miscalculation.  Having lost a battle against the Israelites, the advisors to the king of Syria said, “Their gods are gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger than they” (1 Kings 20:23).

When they were ready to attack God’s people using their new strategy, God had a surprise in store for them: “Then a man of God came and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, ‘Thus says the LORD: Because the Syrians have said, "The LORD is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys," therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD’” (1 Kings 20:28).

The Syrians had the idea that God was a “territorial” God, that He was restricted in His ability to deliver His people.  They thought that their God was only a God of the hills, but God wants us to know that He is the God of the hills, the plains, and the valleys!

How does this apply to our lives? 

The God of the Hills

Figuratively speaking, the hills represent the high points in our lives, the mountaintop experiences, the times when we feel like we’re on top of the world. 

Certainly, it’s easy to relate to the idea of God being the God of the hills.  After all:

  • God revealed Himself to Abraham as Jehovah Jireh on Mount Moriah.
  • God gave the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.
  • God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice on Mount Horeb.

Even in Jesus’ life, victory over the greatest temptations occurred on a mountain.  His most glorious moment was on the Mount of Transfiguration, and he ascended from the Mount of Olives

Mountains were used by God for times of visitation and revelation, when His glory was poured out in a special way.  These become landmarks and milestones in our lives—they are events and experiences that empower us and launch us into the plan of God.

The God of the Plains

But God isn’t just with us when we’re on top of everything.  He’s also the God of the plains.  The plains speak of what we consider to be the routine, ordinary, day-to-day aspects of our lives.  Richard J. Foster said, “The discovery of God lies in the daily and the ordinary, not in the spectacular and the heroic. If we cannot find God in the routines of home and shop, then we will not find Him at all.”

God is just as interested in the “plains” in our lives as He is in the hills of our lives!  Don’t let impatience and a lack of contentment with where you are cause you to think that you’re missing it!  The grass isn’t greener on the other side!

The God of the Valleys

And what about the valleys?  We know what they represent.  The valleys represent the low times, the difficult times, the challenging times.  Thank God that He is with us in the valleys!  He doesn’t abandon us when we hit the hard times.  Always remember what Psalm 23:4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Remember to emphasize the “through” part of that!  Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” 

Sometimes in the difficult times, we can be tempted to feel that God is no longer with us.  Imagine, for a second, the letters, N-O-W-H-E-R-E.  What did you see when you saw those letters?  Some will see the word, “Nowhere,” but others will see the words, “Now Here.” 

No matter what you’re going through, God is “Now Here” with you!  He is not just the God of the hills, but He is the God of the hills, plains, and valleys.  He is God in all times and during all seasons of our lives.