Monday, May 17, 2021

God of the hills and valleys

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

King Ahab of Israel and King Ben-Hadad of Syria had long been in conflict with one another. Many battles had been fought between the two countries. In 1 Kings, we again see the leaders coming to conflict. This time, however, Syria made a grave mistake: they questioned the power of the God of Israel.

"Then the servants of the king of Syria said to him, '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. So do this thing: Dismiss the kings, each from his position, and put captains in their places; and you shall muster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse and chariot for chariot. Then we will fight against them in the plain; surely we will be stronger than they.' And he listed to their voice and did so." - 1 Kings 20:23-25

Ben-Hadad's army leaders thought that the Israelite God could only help them while they fought in the mountains, and that their God would have no power if the battle was fought on the plains. They wrongly assumed that the Israelite God was confined to the hills, and would not, or could not, come down from them. Thus, they advised Ben-Hadad to change the fighting ground from the hills to the plains, where they would surely have the advantage.

Big mistake!

God took the bad theology of the Syrians as a personal insult. He is God the Creator of all heaven and earth. From the highest mountain top to the lowest valley, He created it all! He is not confined to one space, He is omnipresent and omnipotent. He is not a god created by human hands, He is the God of ALL - both the hills and the valleys. Because the Syrians had blasphemed God and His power and omnipotence, God gave Ahab the victory to preserve the honor of His own name. 

"And they encamped opposite each other for seven days. So it was that on the seventh day the battle was joined; and the children of Israel killed one hundred thousand foot soldiers of the Syrians in one day. But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; then a wall fell on twenty-seven thousand of the men who were left. And Ben-Hadad fled and went into the city, into an inner chamber." - 1 Kings 20:29-30

If you go back and read a couple chapters before, you will find the story of Elijah and his encounter with Jezebel and the prophets of Baal. We all know the story - Elijah confidently proves God's mighty power and defeats the prophets of Baal. Jezebel is so enraged she calls for Elijah's death, and Elijah runs for his life. In a matter of days, Elijah goes from an extreme high to an extreme low. So low, in fact, that he just wants to lay down and die.

"And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And  he prayed that he might die, and said, 'It is enough! No, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'"

You know what happens? An angel of the Lord comes to minister to him in the wilderness, and then the Lord Himself speaks to Elijah in a still, small voice to encourage and direct him in his next steps.

Elijah's high is quickly followed by a low. This is the way of life, even in our spiritual life. Our highs are often quickly followed by our lows. But as Elijah shows - God is with us in both the highs and lows of life. He is the God of the hills and valleys, the Creator of all; and He is the God of the highs and lows, the Comforter of weary hearts. 

My friends, I pray that your heart would be encouraged today knowing that our God is the God of the hills and valley, the highs and lows of life. There is none like Him, no not one. Just as God proved His might to the Syrian army, just as He comforted Elijah in the wilderness, so will He do for you. 💙

Page Details

I wanted to provide you with step-by-step instructions for creating these fun sponged ink mountains. You really can use any kind of ink, but I prefer Distress Oxides or VersaMagic chalk ink (which is what I used for this page).

1. I didn't want my mountain range to cover the whole page, so I first taped off the section I was going to use. *Tip: be very careful when pulling the washi tape up at the end so you don't pull off the paper!
2. I then got two pieces of regular copy paper to show two different ways you can create a "mountain range" effect. You can either cut a "mountain range" or just rip the paper to create a "mountain range" effect. I chose to use the cut version for this page. Be sure to save both sides of the paper because you'll be using both.

3. You can use either Tim Holtz blenders or Jumbo Sponge Daubers for blending the ink on the page. Either one works well! Saturate the dauber with the ink really well, then lightly blend on the page. It's easier to start light and build up the color than to start heavy and oversaturate the page.
4. You want to start from the top and work your way down. I used light pink and peach colors for the sky and then darker purple around the top edge of the sky. In hindsight, I didn't need to use the paper for the sky because I would be going over it with the next color. So don't bother with using the paper for the sky, just blend it how you want it and then start with the mountain range next.
5. Put your piece of paper over where you want to start your mountain range and start blending downward. I like the lighter look between the different ranges, so get really light with my blending the further down I go. The great thing about this is there is no wrong way to do it! You can blend your mountain ranges however you like them. 
6. Take your two halves of the paper and keep blending different color mountain ranges down the page. You may find you have too much space between your ranges, so you can go back through and add another layer. It really is up to you!
7. As you can see, I just keep using my two pieces of paper to blend different color mountain ranges down the page. I went for a colorful look this time, but you could use a more monochromatic color scheme for a more realistic look.  
8. Once I have my mountain ranges how I want them. I covered up the mountains and splattered watered down white acrylic paint on the sky. 
9. I then took a thin paint brush and lightly painted stars using the same watered down white acrylic paint.
10. Dry the page so all the layers and paint are fully dry, then carefully remove the washi tape. 
11. Once I was done with my stamping, I added white shadowing using a Uniball Signo white gel pen. I've tried different gel pens and this one is by far the best! 


Stamp Supplies

I used four stamp sets from designer Rebecca Rios to create this page. The awesome part is that alllllllllll of her stamp sets are 25% off through May 20th! No code needed!!

I used the Bitty Minnie Alpha, Happy Alpha, County Fair Alpha, and In His Image stamp sets to stamp my title for this page. Rebecca has a ton of great alpha sets that are all on sale, so now is the time to stock up! 😉

Much love in Christ, 


*I'd love to connect with you on Instagram! You can find me @journalingjoy 💜

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