Theology matters. From Bible professors to the person behind you in a checkout line, we all think certain things about God… and this affects how we live and act. Unfortunately, for King Ben-Hadad of Aram, he got his theology very wrong – and it led to a stunning defeat of his army.
There were several kings of Aram named Ben-Hadad, and all of them fought with Israel at one time or another. The one who fought against King Ahab of Israel was Ben-Hadad2… likely the son of Ben-Hadad1.
Ben-Hadad gathered a large coalition of forces and besieged Samaria, the capital city of Samaria. He called for Ahab to surrender, but Ahab refused. Instead, he launched a pre-emptive attack that caught the drunken Arameans by surprise. And Ahab won a great victory.
Ben-Hadad’s officers must have been looking for some excuse as to why they were unable to defeat Ahab’s forces… so they offered a bit of bad theology to Ben-Hadad. They said the God of Israel is a god of the hills; if you attack Israel on the plains, you will win.
They couldn’t have been more wrong. When they attacked Israel again the next year, Ahab’s forces defeated them again… killing 100,000 of them in a single day!
The secular world tries to pigeon-hole theology for the church-house only. They say “God-talk” need be reserved for believers only. But, how a person thinks about God affects everything he or she thinks, says, and does!
Our belief about God will either lead us to salvation from God or separation from God.
Don’t be like Ben-Hadad; know the God of Israel and live.
You can read Ben-Hadad’s story in 1Kings 20.