I Kings 20
The Messenger's Journal
We suffered a terrible loss last year. My king, Ben-Hadad of Aram became angry with the Israelites and attacked them. He knew from the first moment the Israelites were weak and could be conquered easily. He laughed as their soldiers marched toward our camp and finished his party before sending our army out to attack.
But the battle did not go as he thought. The Israelite's God protected them. They came after our army as if we were fleas, attacking and chasing us until we suffered great losses.
Once Ben-Hadad returned to his home he called a meeting of his advisors. "What should we do," the king asked.
The officials replied, "Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they. Here is what we suggest: Remove all the kings from their commands and replace them with officers. You must also raise an army like the one you lost--horse for horse and chariot for chariot--so we can fight Israel on the plains. Then surely we will be stronger than they."
Ben-Hadad smiled. "This is good advice. Guards, bring drink for all of us. Let's celebrate our new plan to conquer Israel.
The king and his officials worked all winter long preparing for this battle. They purchased and trained horses, prepared officials, and sharpened weapons. Ben-Hadad chose Aphek for the battleground.
When spring came and the ground suitable for battle, the army marched against Israel. We settled in a camp and waited for the Israelite army to come for battle. We didn't have to wait long before the Israelites marched to the area and set up camp.
The Israelite army looked small. Ben-Hadad laughed, "The Israelite army is no bigger than two small flocks of goats while our army covers the countryside. My friends, we are assured the victory of this battle."
We waited seven days before commencing the battle. During that time I crept to the Israelite camp and learned a man of God told king Ahab of the Israelites they would win. Their God said he would deliver the vast army of Ben-Hadad into the Israelite hands and by this the king would know their God is the Lord.
I reported all this information back to Ben-Hadad, but he wouldn't listen to me. "You are foolish to listen to these lies. Someone must have know you were there."
The battle began. Instantly, the Israelite army took the advantage. They inflicted a hundred thousand casualties on our army in one day. Our men became scared and fled to the city of Aphek. They ran inside the city walls and cowered. As they lined against the inside of the wall, the structure collapsed killing twenty-seven thousand of them.
Those of us who survived were frightened. The Israelite God is more powerful than any other god.
photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
1. Although Israel won the victory, what did king Ben-Hadad from Aram decide to do?
2. His advisors told him to _________ to prepare for a battle.
3. When was the battle to take place.
4. Where was the battle to take place.
5. The two armies arrived at t he battlefield. How did Ben-Hadad describe the Israelite army?
6. Who promised the Israelites they would have a victory?
7. Who instantly took the advantage in this battle. Why was this side winning?
8. What happened to those who ran away?