Friday after the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Posted on September 6, 2019 byunder
Scripture: 1 Kings 22:51—2 Kings 1:17 (NKJV)
1 Kings 22:51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel. 52 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin; 53 for he served Baal and worshiped him, and provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done.
2 Kings 1:1 Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.
2 Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria, and was injured; so he sent messengers and said to them, “Go, inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.” 3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’ 4 Now therefore, thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” So Elijah departed.
5 And when the messengers returned to him, he said to them, “Why have you come back?”
6 So they said to him, “A man came up to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go, return to the king who sent you, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’”’”
7 Then he said to them, “What kind of man was it who came up to meet you and told you these words?”
8 So they answered him, “A hairy man wearing a leather belt around his waist.”
And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”
9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. So he went up to him; and there he was, sitting on the top of a hill. And he spoke to him: “Man of God, the king has said, ‘Come down!’”
10 So Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. 11 Then he sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty men.
And he answered and said to him: “Man of God, thus has the king said, ‘Come down quickly!’ ”
12 So Elijah answered and said to them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
13 Again, he sent a third captain of fifty with his fifty men. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and pleaded with him, and said to him: “Man of God, please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight. 14 Look, fire has come down from heaven and burned up the first two captains of fifties with their fifties. But let my life now be precious in your sight.”
15 And the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king. 16 Then he said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’”
17 So Ahaziah died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. Because he had no son, Jehoram became king in his place, in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.
Ahaziah had no excuse. He had to have been taught about God’s Words and works that were made manifest during the time of his father’s reign. He knew of Elijah. But he still chose to mock and ignore God, and seek after lies and idolatry. He kept sending men to their death as he contended with God’s prophet. And in spite of the warnings, Ahaziah died according to the Word of the Lord rather than humble himself.
As God’s people we have the sad task of seeing the wicked and idolatrous people of the world fall as they try to contend against the Lord’s Word and will. Some have heard the Word, but they choose to mock it. Others have had very little exposure to God’s teachings, but even when confronted with it, they try to ignore it and continue in their folly, only to fall to the consequences. But the Church must remain steadfast in the Word. As His people, we know that discipline and consequences are real. He calls us to proclaim His truth and do His works even in the midst of rebellion and death around us because He desires that all people might hear His Word, and through it be humbled and be saved according to His grace in Christ Jesus.
We pray: Almighty and Everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve, pour down upon us the abundance of Thy mercy, forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.