II Kings 1

Those who will not inquire of the Word of God for their comfort will be made to listen to it, whether they wish it or not.
To consult with the devil’s agents as to fortune means departure from God.

1 Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.

2 And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.

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 unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron?

4 Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed.

5 ¶ And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said unto them, Why are ye now turned back?

6 And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.

7 And he said unto them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words?

8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

9 Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.

10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, 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.

11 Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.

12 And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

13 ¶ And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.

14 Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.

15 And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.

16 And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.

17 ¶ So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.

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?

2 Kings 1:1-18 – ​A Message from the True God.

   The king’s accident was probably due to the giving way of the balustrade that surrounded the roof of his palace. The law expressly provided that this lattice-work should be made very strong to obviate just such an occurrence (Deuteronomy 22:8). Let us be careful to maintain the barriers of good custom, whether of purity, or total abstinence, or the observance of the Lord’s day. In this manner we shall preserve our children and ourselves from peril. All good habits are strong battlements.
   To reach Ekron the messengers must pass Jerusalem. What a direct insult to Jehovah! Even Ahab had some regard for Micaiah, but Ahaziah went beyond his father in openly flouting the religion of David and Moses. In the interests of the whole nation, this insult could not be passed over in silence, and at God’s bidding Elijah appeared upon the scene. He rebuked the messengers for their idolatrous quest and told them that the king would surely die. They returned with the report that a man clad in a hairy garment had met them, and had said that the king would not recover. It was enough. The apprehensions of Ahaziah’s guilty conscience were confirmed, and he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”

2 Kings 1:9-18 – ​Consuming Fire.

   An awful fate overtook the first two captains; but it must be noted that they were extremely violent and arrogant in their behavior and speech. The altered tone of the last captain wrought an instant alteration in the prophet’s attitude and response. That there was no personal malice in Elijah is clear from his willingness to accompany the third captain into the royal presence. Our Lord expressly cautioned his followers from attempting to imitate this episode. We belong to another dispensation, which savors of forbearance and meekness (Luke 9:54).
   On a former day Jezebel’s message made the prophet flee; but now he does not hesitate to pass through the crowded streets of the capital and to enter the palace of the king. Elijah was dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and standing before Jehovah, as aforetime. His faith was able to avail itself of the panoply of God. He quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, and out of weakness was made strong. Let us admire the loving forbearance of God who restores the wavering ones, brings them up from the grave, holds them as stars in his right hand (Revelation 1:16), and uses them once more in his glorious service.

2 Kings 1:9, 11, 13—Thou man of God!

   Oh that thou and I might so live before God and men, that they should recognize us as men of God, as God’s men! See how these ungodly captains (v. 9, 11, 13) at once recognized this, in the case of Elijah. They fretted and chafed against his holiness; but they were forced to admit it. They tried to impose their orders, or those of their king; but they realized that Elijah was the servant of Him whom they set at nought, so far as their own lives were concerned.
If we are really men of God, we shall be the last to assume the title. Notice that Elijah puts an if before the title with which he was saluted “If I be a man of God.” Paul counted himself the least of all saints.
   We must be of God.— All our goodness must originate in Him. We can no more boast of goodness than a chamber can boast of the light which irradiates each corner of its space. The faith that takes His grace, as well as the grace it takes, is His. We are absolutely His debtors; and happy are they who love to have it so, and lie always at the Beautiful Gate of God’s heart, expecting to receive alms at His hand.
   We must be for God.— This is the only cure for self-consciousness, for that perpetual obtrusion of the self-life which is our bane and curse. Ask that the Holy Spirit may fill you with so absorbing a passion for the glory of Jesus, that there may be no room to think of your own reputation or emolument.
   We must be in God, and God in us.— This is possible, when we love perfectly. He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. Oh, sea of light, may we lie spread out in thy translucent waves, as the sponges in southern sapphire seas, till every fiber of our being be permeated and infilled!