But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they. Do this . . . raise an army like the one you lost-horse for horse and chariot for chariot-so we can fight Israel on the plains. Then surely we will be stronger than they (1 Kings 20:23-25).
The ancient Syrian army made a fatal mistake. Israel had beaten them in battle, and the Syrians assumed it was because Israel’s god was centered in the hills on which they fought.
And that was their problem. They thought Israel’s god was bound to a piece of real estate. They soon learned their error.
I suppose it’s easy to point the finger at the Syrians and snicker that anyone could think God is so small and limited. And yet, I find myself acting like the ancient Syrians more often than I like to think I do.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself, “God answered my prayers in the past, but I’m not sure He will do it again.” In other words, God is the God of the then, but not the now -- or the tomorrow.
I've said, “God forgave me that sin before, but I can’t believe He’ll do it again.” In other words, God limits His forgiveness to a fixed number – once, a dozen, three dozen. And then the axe falls.
Or, “God took care of us when I was working, but now that I'm retired, I wonder how we will live?” In other words, God has to ration His limited resources to adequately take care of all His children.
The Syrians made a fatal mistake when they believed Israel’s god was limited to a small parcel of geography. Let’s not make the same error. Our God is not bound by time, geography or distance. And just as important, His power and compassion are the same yesterday, today and forever.