Trouble in the Valley
And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah.  Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.  And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
INTRODUCTION: As we read this account of Judah's inability to defeat their enemies in the valley (possibly the Amalekites), we are puzzled because in the preceding verses, they easily defeated their enemies in the mountains and along the coastal areas...but here, in the valley, they had failed. What made the difference?
Let me read a couple of verses about a different story in I kings 20:28, 29, And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel [Ahab], and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.  And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.
The question is; why, here in this place, was Israel able to defeat the enemies of the valley-enemies with chariots (Judges, chapter one); and yet, in I Kings 20, under Judah, they were unable to defeat the enemies of the valley?
Did we not already read that God is the God both of the hills and of the valleys? Of course He is! Did we not already read in (vs. 19), that the Lord was with Judah when he drove out the inhabitants of the mountains? Because the Lord was with Judah was the only reason Judah had victory. Romans 8:31, declares; If God be for us, who can ...
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