Scripture reading – Psalm 83, 2 Kings 1

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This is a “Bonus” Bible study and the second of two devotionals from today’s Scripture reading. The study is taken from 2 Kings 1.

 

2 Kings 1 – The Death of King Ahaziah

Our chronological study of the Scriptures brings us to II Kings when Israel was a divided nation. The ten tribes to the north, known as Israel, had been under the reign of a succession of wicked kings. With the death of Ahab, the son of Omri, the Moabites saw an occasion to rebel against Israel and cast off the yoke of servitude they had borne since the days of David (2 Kings 1:1).

King Ahaziah’s Failing Health (2 Kings 1:1-2)

King Ahaziah’s Failing Health (2 Kings 1:1-2)

 

Ahaziah, the son of the wicked king Ahab and his wife Jezebel (who had sworn she would kill Elijah after he slew the prophets of Baal), became king in Israel but fell through a window of his palace in Samaria, the capital city of Israel (2 Kings 1:2). Stricken with failing health, Ahaziah wondered if he would recover from the fall, and sent messengers to consult with “Baalzebub the god of Ekron” (Ekron being a Philistine city, 2 Kings 1:2).

 

God’s Intervention Through His Prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:3-8)

The LORD then sent an angel to Elijah and directed the old prophet to intercept Ahaziah’s messengers, “and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron?” (2 Kings 1:3)

Elijah was tasked with rebuking Ahaziah because he had offended the God of Israel. Therefore, the prophet foretold that the king would never “come down from that bed on which [he had] gone up, but [would] surely die” (2 Kings 1:4). The king’s envoy returned to Ahaziah with the prophet’s message (2 Kings 1:5).

Because he returned so soon, the king questioned the messenger, “Why are ye now turned back?” (2 Kings 1:5). The messenger then conveyed to Ahaziah the fateful message of his impending death. The king asked, “What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words?” (2 Kings 1:7) Though the messenger did not know the man, the physical description of the prophet was known to Ahaziah who said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite” (2 Kings 1:8).

 

The King Summoned Elijah (2 Kings 1:9-15)

Ahaziah sent a “captain of fifty” men to Elijah three times and demanded that the prophet come to him each time (2 Kings 1:9-14). The first summons was direct, “Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down” (2 Kings 1:9). Elijah answered, saying, “If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty” (2 Kings 1:11).

Then a second captain of fifty came to Elijah and addressed the prophet, saying, “O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly[i.e., without delay] (2 Kings 1:11). Elijah answered the second summons as he did the first, and fire came down from heaven.

Ahaziah summoned the prophet a third time, sent a “captain of fifty” and implored him with humility, saying, “O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight” (2 Kings 1:13). This time the “angel of the LORD,” assured Elijah, “Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king” (2 Kings 1:15).

Elijah Proved the God of Israel was God Alone (2 Kings 1:17-18)

Elijah Proved the God of Israel was God Alone (2 Kings 1:17-18)

 

Elijah obeyed, and with the boldness of a man dedicated to serving the LORD, he confronted Ahaziah’s decision to consult with “Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron,” and his rejection and betrayal of the LORD. Elijah declared, “Thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die” (2 Kings 1:16), and “he died according to the word of the Lord” (2 Kings 1:17).

Our study of 2 Kings 1 concludes with Jehoram, the brother of Ahab, ascending to the throne of Israel. Thus, the lineage of Ahab ended, for Ahaziah had no son to succeed him. In that same year, another Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s son, reigned in Judah (2 Kings 1:17).

 

Closing thoughts –

We live in a day when world and religious leaders call for tolerance and compromise. Truth is discarded under the pretense of not offending others. Yet, we who profess to be Bible believers should remember Elijah’s passion for the LORD and courage. The old prophet spoke God’s Word and message with unapologetic conviction, and not even the king could silence him! How did Elijah become that man? He was a man of prayer who faithfully walked with God (James 5:17).

Lesson – Preachers of Truth will not tolerate error, nor will faithful believers sacrifice spiritual principles for peace.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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