Don’t Boast of Victory if You Haven’t Won the War

drunk_king_benhadad_1_k_20_-_c-1021In the news and other media outlets, we are fed a daily dose of victorious boasts by radical Islamists and other unbelievers against Christians.  Moreover, current and future “victories” in the political arena by anti-Bible activists on social issues against religious liberties are loudly trumpeted.

These bullying tactics remind me of a premature boasting by an enemy of God’s people in the Old Testament.  In 1 Kings 20 we learn of Ahab, King of Israel, being challenged…by Ben-Hadad, the King of Syria.  Ben-Hadad is making numerous threats and boasts (about his great army) and demands that Ahab deliver his silver, gold, wives and children and whatever else the Syrians want.  Ahab rejects this request and responds, “Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off (v 11).”  In other words, don’t boast of victory if you haven’t won the war.  After hearing Ahab’s response, Ben-Hadad confidently prepared his army for attack.  However, God handed the Syrians over to the Israelites and there was a great slaughter in which the Syrians were defeated.

Ben-Hadad erred in his boasting as he failed to account for God’s sovereignty.  Likewise, these current day enemies of God and His people should tread lightly in their boastings. The line they draw in the sand is not against us but against the all-powerful God of the universe, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Despite their boastings, they have picked a battle in which they cannot win.  Sovereign God has already declared His victory!