Summary: Don’t play with the fire of God. It will either consume you or purify you, depending on where your heart is. Playing with fire is a very dangerous thing.

Playing with Fire

By Pastor Jim May

II Kings 1:1-18

“Held by Jehovah”, that was his name as translated from Hebrew to English, “Held by Jehovah”. Now that sounds like a pretty good name to have provided you live up to your name. But the king in our message tonight did not live up to his name, at least not in a positive fashion. He was “Held by Jehovah” all right, but he was held in contempt and declared unfit to be the king of Israel and condemned to die a sinner’s death. Now he is “Held by Jehovah” in a devil’s Hell because he dared to disobey God.

“Held by Jehovah” was the literal translation of the name Ahaziah. This was the son and successor of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, the worst rulers that Israel had ever had. Ahaziah learned idolatry from Jezebel and watched the example that Ahab had presented for him. He learned his lessons well from both of his parents and their teachings would condemn him for all eternity.

He took over the kingdom and immediately began to deal with war. For a long time, the Land of Moab, where Ruth had come from many years before, had been under the rule of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. But now they had taken all they could and they revolted against Ahaziah.

He was in Samaria, a watch-mountain or a watch-tower in the heart of the mountains of Israel. He thought it was his safe haven, a place where no one could get to him. But God knew how to get his attention. This heathen king of God’s people could never lead God’s people the right way. He had too much of a personal agenda.

One day, while walking along, high up on the roof of the palace built as a fort against the edge of the mountain, Ahaziah had an accident. Whether he was walking too close to an opening in the battlements where soldiers stood to defend the palace, or he fell through a loose rail on his balcony we do not know. But we do know that he fell from an upper chamber and was badly injured. His first thought was, “I wonder if I’m going to make it this time? Maybe it was a broken leg, or broken arms or all of the above. Maybe his back was broken. It seems that he had a pretty good fall.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever gotten sick and then thought, “Oh Lord, is this the big one?” One moment you are enjoying the sweet peace and rest of feeling safe, and then without warning you are stricken by some terrible circumstances.

Some folks go to the doctor for a simple checkup and find out that they have some terrible disease that will soon take their life.

Others are riding along, minding their own business, when a drunk driver swerves over the center line and their lives are either snuffed out or changed forever.

Accidents happen, and they come whether we are living godly or not.

When pain strikes or sickness comes our thoughts are always a little troubled. We can’t get a pain, or we are dying. We can’t get sick. The bills won’t get taken care of. Who is going to take care of everything now?

Ahaziah had all those same questions. But he was the king, and he wanted answers now. So he sent for his messengers and gave them orders to go seek out the answers he needed. “I don’t want any bad news either.” “If they don’t have the answers I want then find someone else who does”.

Now we all want to know what ‘s going to happen in times of sickness. We go to the doctor to seek his advice; we go to the preacher for prayer to be healed. It’s just human nature to want to know what’s coming; a natural curiosity and it all seemed so harmless.

But we had better be careful of searching for answers in the wrong places.

Recently there have been a large number of programs on TV and stories in the newspapers that describe the Police as calling in psychics to help solve a crime. Sometimes they really seem to help, but does that make it right to consort with them?

King Saul had learned the hard way that he couldn’t consort with witches or psychics either. He went to the Witch of Endor to learn of his future and found out things he wish that he had never heard. God took the kingdom from him and lost his eternal soul by playing with fire.

Now I hear Christians are playing with fire and many of them don’t even know it. One thing that I have read of just recently is a treatment for illness known as Therapeutic Touch. Perhaps you have heard of it.

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