The Battlefields of Spring

battlefield

“That will be no problem.”

Have you ever heard that before? Maybe when you brought your car to the mechanic you were told fixing the issue would be “no problem”? Upon hearing that there will be “no problem” to fix your car, you sit contentedly in the waiting area prepared for customers, convinced that there will be “no problem.” There’s “no problem” until the mechanic comes to you some hours later after you have exhausted the battery on your smartphone playing games and messaging colleagues, friends, and family, and resorted to reading years-old magazines on the awkward coffee table set in the middle of the room.

Relieved when you see him walking in, you suppose it’s time to hear that there was “no problem” in fixing the car and you will simply go, pay the bill, and be on your merry way. Alas, that’s almost never the case at the mechanic’s for there’s always a problem when fixing a car. As it turns out, you’re informed that the problems with your car were so great that it will cost triple what you were expecting, but you pay it anyway knowing that you need your car to get to work, the grocery store, and to pick up the kids from school.

What costly problems they ended up being! You not only ended up having to put most of the bill on your credit card that you had just paid down, but you also had to inform everyone that knew you were at the mechanic’s that there was a big problem! Lesson learned? Being a bit of a skeptic at the mechanic’s might not be a bad idea.

These things, and others like them, happen to us over and over again to us and each time, there is an element of surprise. Sitting in the waiting rooms of life, thumbing through useless magazines, believing that the troubles we’re facing will amount to nothing and with “no problem” they will be taken care of at little to no expense on our part. We then find out that instead of being “no problems,” they are real problems.

In 1 Kings 20, there was a king, Ben-hadad, who demanded the king of Israel, Ahab, hand over silver, gold, their wives, and the “best” of their children. Unbelievably, Ahab capitulated and gave in to those demands, “no problem” he said (I think , had I been the wife, I would have had a big problem with this agreement – Ben-hadad would’ve been the least of his worries). However, Ben-hadad was not satisfied even though Israel had agreed to his initial demands. He declared that his soldiers were going to search the palace of Ahab and seize all that was valuable. That was the tipping point for Ahab, that was when he said, “now, there’s a problem.”

Ben-hadad was furious over this refusal and declared:

I Kings 20:10 NLT …May the gods strike me and even kill me if there remains enough dust from Samaria to provide even a handful for each of my soldiers.”

He thought that he would have “no problem” whatsoever in overcoming the forces of Israel – he was sure of victory. Not only did he have his own formidable army, he was also backed by 32 allied kings (see 1 Kings 20:1). What Ben-hadad didn’t take into consideration was the fact that he was fighting against God Himself when he picked a fight with His people.

While later on Ahab proved to be lacking as a king over Israel, at the time of this exchange, his actions were right. He understood that those bragging over what they predicted to be problem-free would be the ones in the greater predicament than Israel after God had his say.

I Kings 20:11 NLT “…A warrior putting on his sword for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won.”

How was Ahab so sure of God’s intervention? How could he, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, declare that Ben-hadad’s boast was premature? Wasn’t Ben-hadad, with the support of 32 other kings and their armies, correct in his assumption of victory over Israel?

Unlike us when we went to see the mechanic in our earlier story, Ahab understood that the problems he didn’t see weren’t unseen by God. God saw everything and He gave Ahab the assurance to say, “no problem” when indeed, it seemed that the problem he faced was beyond his own ability to address.

Israel’s problem didn’t evaporate instantly, as we would like to believe. While the king’s declaration of faith in God was pivotal in turning the tide of events, it took months for the battle to be won; we see in 1 Kings 20:22 that the enemy’s armies returned the following spring to battle.

Faith that stands the test of the battlefields of spring, is faith that can say there’s really “no problem” when an enemy supported by 32 other kings and their armies stand before us, declaring our defeat. This faith understands that there may be meetings on several battlefields before the final blow of the sword is dealt.

As you stand on the hill of battle today, be it the last battle of many or the first in a season of battles, declare that defeating this offender is absolutely “no problem” and have a seat in the waiting room. There, you will find rest, refreshment (much better than the stale coffee found in the mechanic’s waiting room), and joy as the King goes out to fight for you.

Joshua 23:9, 10 NLT “For the Lord has driven out great and powerful nations for you, and no one has yet been able to defeat you. Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he has promised.”

 

 

 

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