Summary: God cares enough for King Ahaziah to step in and show Himself real and reminding him that there is only one true God and He is in Israel.
We ended the last chapter of 1 Kings with the sermon AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS.
• God’s Word will be fulfilled. We saw that when King Ahab died in the battlefield.
• 1 Kings 22:51-53 51Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 52He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, because he walked in the ways of his father (Ahab) and mother (Jezebel) and in the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat (a reference repeated many times), who caused Israel to sin. (Back in 1 Kings 12 when Jeroboam introduced idolatry into Israel, making two golden calves and building shrines on high places) 53He [Ahaziah] served and worshiped Baal and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger, just as his father had done.
Let’s hear the words of God to Ahaziah - 2 Kings 1:1-8
Ahaziah fell from the upper floor and injured himself. It was most likely a serious injury because he was fearful he could not recover.
• He sought the god of Ekron, a city of the Philistines (SW of Samaria) for answer.
• There was a noted sanctuary of Baal at Ekron. The Baal-prefix to this god says it all – he followed the ways of his parents.
• Ahaziah believed that this god (some 70km away) has answer to his injury.
The only true God stepped in, as He did many times in his father Ahab’s life.
• Again we see the manifold grace of God. It is the same in our lives.
• God sent an angel to Elijah. God wants to intercept the messengers and deliver the truth to King Ahaziah.
• “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?” (1:3)
• Is there no God in Israel that you have to search for one so far away, one that is no god at all?
• 1:4 “Therefore this is what the LORD says, “You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!”
This is not a judgement. The King is already seriously injured and would naturally die in the course of time.
• The Lord stepped in to warn him. “If truth is what you are looking for, then let me tell you the truth”, the Lord says. He alone has the answer.
• God did not step in to take his life; He steps in to reveal the truth – about Himself and about his injury.
• God reminds the King that there is only one God, and He is in Israel. We see more of this self-revelation as the story progresses.
It would be wonderful for Ahaziah, knowing that he would likely not recover, to turn to God and seek for help.
• Ahaziah has already transgressed the first commandment (in the Ten Commandments), “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exo 20:3)
• He has sinned. But if he could recognise his sin, take heed of the warning, and seek God, he might just experience the healing of God, physically and spiritually.
But he did not change. The line that we read - 1 Kings 22:53 - summed it all up.
• Ahaziah served and worshipped Baal and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger, just as his father had done.
• Baal was his deity of choice. He chose to ignore the God of Israel.
The first line of the Scots Confession - a Confession of Faith written in 1560 by leaders of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland:
• We confess and acknowledge one God alone, to whom alone we must cleave, whom alone we must serve, whom only we must worship, and in whom alone we put our trust.
• This must come first in the confession. He is the one and only, our deity of choice.
READ 2 Kings 1:9-10
Ahaziah sent a company of 50 soldiers with their captain.
• Casual reading might give us the impression that they came to extend an invitation. But apparently not.
• You don’t send a company of soldiers to do that. The King sent messengers to Ekron but company of soldiers to a lone prophet.
• Apparently it wasn’t an invitation to dinner with the King.
When Elijah responded by calling down fire from heaven, we know this wasn’t cordial.
• Elijah read it as a threat. Later on in verse 15 we read that the angel urged Elijah to come down and not be afraid. So his life was at stake.
God answered Elijah’s call, which means his call wasn’t wrong-headed or impulsive. God saw the need of the moment and sent down fire to protect His servant.