After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.” But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’ Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’” So Elijah went. When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you come back?”
“A man came to meet us,” they replied. “And he said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, “This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending men to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!”‘”
The king asked them, “What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?” They replied, “He was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist.” The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”
Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!'” Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.
At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, “Man of God, this is what the king says, ‘Come down at once!‘” “If I am a man of God,” Elijah replied, “may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.
So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!“
The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king. He told the king, “This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!” So he died, according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken.
This is yet another funny and striking story from the bible. I bet this series will make you fall in love to reading your bible more 😉
As hilarious as this story is, I still find some salient lessons in it, see them below;
- When you put anything before or in place of God, or deny His existence, it pisses God off. The king was sentenced to death just because he refused to acknowledge the only living God. This makes some text of the bible come to mind;
“My people have done two things wrong. They have abandoned me, the fountain of life-giving water. They have also dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can’t hold water. Jeremiah 2:13 (GW)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God…” Psalm 14:1
- Don’t Joke with a truly anointed man of God. When a man is anointed by God, he’s answerable only to God with whatever he does with the anointing. Even if you don’t respect the man, respect the anointing over his life. Be wise and take a cue from that third captain. The Yoruba adage that says “If you are sent on an errand, you don’t fear who you are to deliver the message to but the person that sent you” is in no way applicable or wise with God’s anointed.
“Do not touch my anointed (chosen) ones or harm my prophets.” Psalms 105:15 (GW) (Mind you that includes everyone that has God’s Spirit)
- The words of people that are anointed by God are from God (either for ministry or by the Holy Spirit for everyday living). It’s as if God speaks them Himself. Funny enough, Elijah spoke these words in self-defence when he was afraid.
Where the word of a king is, there is power; and who may say to him, “What are you doing?” Ecclesiastes 8:4 (NKJV)
- Lastly, I see a jealous God who wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives; he wants to be involved in all our decisions. God would have loved the King to consult Him instead, and from the tone of His message, God would have healed him.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8 (NIV)
Thank you for reading, this story was extracted from 2 King 1:1-18. Hope you read the previous Episode- a funny drama between two prophets. READ IT HERE. I’ll be waiting to read what you have to contribute to the lessons.
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