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Delete Discussion Intro:
1. William Craig, "Modern man thought that when he had gotten rid of God, he had freed himself from all that he had gotten rid of God, he had freed himself from all that repressed and stifled him. Instead he discovered that in killing God, he has also killed himself. For if there is no God, then man's life becomes absurd.
2. Now, few of us are out right atheist, denying God's existence with our mouths, but many are practising atheist by ignoring God in our daily lives.
3. Elijah's Warning against Ignoring God.
2 Kings 1:1-18 (NKJV)
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. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
The theme is seen in vv. 3, 6, 16
I. For starters, ignoring God gaves Place to the Enemy. 1:1
A. Iniquity is present. (I Ki. 22:51-53)
B. God is Completely ignored.
C. Therefore, the Enemy finds a place. [Moab = Satan]
If we allow sin to be persistent, then we will surely begin to put God out of our minds, and the result will be that we give place to the devil (Eph. 4:27)
Logan, "The word translated place is topos...referring to the ground or a specific spot or location. So giving place to Satan in our lives is giving him ground, a football...Notice that we as believers can give ground to Satan.
He can't take it without our cooperation and permission. All he can do is influence us: plant evil thoughts, make suggestions, place temptations in our path...No Christian is a helpless pawn of Satan!...But if I desire and decide to hold on to sin, I give the enemy the ground he needs to launch his destructive attacts against me. If I cherish sin in my life, Satan will seek to exploit it."
II. Furthermore, ignoring God brings Personal Injury. 2a
Like the random arrow this looks like an accident - it is not! Eph. 1:11
injured - lit. "to be weak, to be sick." Lev. 26:14-16/2Ki.5:27/I Cor.11:29-30
The principle is that God will not be ignored!
God will get our attention. Chesterton tells how he wandered away from God, he compared it to some men who left the coast of England once in search of a new island. After a long, hazardous voyage, they landed on what they thought was a new island - it turned out to be the same seacoast from which they had departed in the first place!
We cannot ignore God for very long before He brings us back to Himself.
Of course we have to discern whether we are a Job or a Jonah...
III. Next, ignoring God causes us to Pursue Idolatry. 2b
Another principle is this: We are going to be trusting someone or something!
Everybody walks by faith, the only difference is the object of our faith...
Baal-Zebub - who is this god? It doesnt really matter, the one behind all gods is Satan. (I Cor. 10:20/ Rev.9:20; 13:4)
Whatever our idols are, they are entering us into the demonic realm and they cannot help us - they can only hurt us.
Habakkuk 2:18-19 (MSG)
18 "What's the use of a carved god so skillfully carved by its sculptor? What good is a fancy cast god when all it tells is lies? What sense does it make to be a pious god-maker who makes gods that can't even talk?
19 Who do you think you are— saying to a stick of wood, 'Wake up,' Or to a dumb stone, 'Get up'? Can they teach you anything about anything? There's nothing to them but surface. There's nothing on the inside.
If we ignore God, we will pursue idols; and to pursue idols, is to pursue empty promises.
A U.S. company that has an action figure doll called Invisible Jim and it is selling briskly in Britain for just under 3 dollars. The package is empty! Invisible Jim is really invisible! Good marketing, good packaging - but the box is still empty. Idolatry is a lot like that...
IV. Finally, ignoring God can lead to a Premature Fatality. 3-18
A. The Prophecy. 3-4
B. The Perversity. 5-12
He decides that he is going to send troops to arrest the man of God! His mother Jezebel intimidated Elijah, maybe he can do the same thing?
Fighting against God is not too smart. It reminds me of two ditch diggers who were upset because they had to do all the work, while the crew boss just sat by and supervised. One of the two confronted the boss - "How come you get to just sit there while we do all the work?" He said, "It's a matter of intelligence. Let me give you an example.
He put his hand on a nearby tree and said, "Now hit my hand as hard as you can." The man hauled off with a mighty swing, but the boss quickly moved his hand, and the man's fist hit the tree.
The digger satisfied went back to work, after a while his fellow worker asked him what the boss said. He said, "Oh, it's a matter of intelligence. Let me illustrate it - he then took his hand and put it over his face and said, "Ok, now hit me just as hard as you can!"
This king reminds me a lot of that ditch digger.
C. The Pity. 13-15
God is always ready to give mercy when we humble ourselves and ask for it.
Like Nineveh that repented at the preaching of Jonah. I believe Ahaziah could have received mercy jsut like his father Ahab did, if He had only, humbled himself.
D. The Penalty. 16-18
Whether one is saved or lost, the penalty for persisting in sin, turning away from God can result in death.
Billy Graham, "God is not a jolly fellow like Santa Claus; He is a great bookkeeper. And he is keeping the book on you? I am a Western Union boy! I have a death message! You listen! Don't triffle with God!"
1. Elijah's Warning is, it is not healthy to ignore God.
2. The question is not are we atheists. The real question is do we live like atheists? Unfortunately for all practical purposes we are often living as if God did not exist.
3. To do so is dangerously foolish. An atheist complained to his Christian friend, "You Christians have your holiday like Christmas and Easter; the Jews celebrate the Passover and Yom Kipper." But we atheists don't have any holidays - it's not fair!"
To which he replied, "What do you mean? There is April Fools!"
Johnny Palmer Jr