1 Kings 20:13-21

Talks for Growing Christians

Israel’s Victory Over the Syrian Forces

1 Kings 20:13-21

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Lesson Number 42

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God is patient and long-suffering.
  2. God is a master strategist.

Practical Application

  1. If you want to be a winner, be an obeyer.
  2. Make sure you have a better thanksgiving record than Ahab.


  1. When Ben-Hadad threatened to storm the city of Samaria, what did Ahab do?
  2. A prophet came to Ahab with a word from the Lord. What was that word?
  3. Describe God’s patience and long-suffering with King Ahab.
  4. How did Ahab know what strategy to use in the battle against the Syrians?
  5. Why did Israel win over the Syrian forces at this point? What does this say to us?


  1. Uncharacteristically, he told him (in effect), “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.” The battle wasn’t over yet.
  2. That the Syrian forces would be delivered into Israel’s hands (1 Kings 20:13).
  3. Ahab had not repented and turned to the Lord in spite of experiencing drought and famine, in spite of observing the defeat of the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel; or even when the rains returned. Then God sent a prophet to tell him about his impending victory.
  4. The Lord told him through His prophet. While the Syrian army was getting drunk in the middle of the day, Israel was to surprise them. No one in the Middle East starts a war in the heat of the day, but God used this strategy. Satan thought he had won the victory in the Garden of Eden. Not so. God used unusual strategy and has conquered Satan by the cross and the resurrection of His Son.
  5. They obeyed God’s orders. Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, they never lost a battle when God’s orders were followed. The lesson for us? When Satan ensnares us in spiritual warfare and we are sensing defeat, we need to listen to God’s orders and obey them.


  1. Recall some of the times when the Lord was patient and long-suffering with you. Did you thank Him for His patient leading?
  2. Are you prone to plan your own strategies, or do you take your cues from God?


  1. Are you obeying God’s word in every detail? If not, seek Him, ask His forgiveness, listen to Him, and obey.

Key Verses

  • “Thus says the Lord, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it unto your hand today, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” 1 Kings 20:13
  • “Then the king of Israel went out and attacked the horses and chariots, and killed the Syrians with a great slaughter.” I Kings 20:21

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