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14. Ahaziah and Jehoram, Kings of Israel

October 12, 2010

Text:    I Kings 22:51-53; II Kings 1:1-18

Outline:           I.     Ahaziah Becomes King                           I Kings 22:51-53

II.    Ahaziah Becomes Ill                               II Kings 1:1-16

III.  Jehoram Becomes King                           II Kings 1:17-18

Context/Discussion/Comments:

We are continuing with the next two kings of Israel after Ahab followed by the next two kings of Judah after Jehoshaphat to better understand the political and religious climate of these two kingdoms before learning about Elisha.  Elisha succeeded Elijah during the reign of Jehoram, King of Israel.  Remember, the next two kings of both Israel and Judah had the same names so it can be confusing.  Having a list of kings and the years of their reigns helps.

Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, becomes king of Israel in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat’s reign in Judah [Jehoshaphat reigned a total of 25 years].  Ahaziah reigned only 2 years.  He did evil like his father, worshiping Baal and angering God.

After Ahab dies, Moab rebels against Israel and Ahaziah happens to fall in his palace at Samaria and becomes ill.  He sends his servants to Ekron [Philistine territory] to ask Baalzebub [Baal] if he will recover.  The Lord calls forth Elijah to intercept Ahaziah’s servants and tell them Baal is not a god and the Lord [the God Israel has forgotten] says Ahaziah will die.  The servants return before Ahaziah expects them to tell him they were met be a man who said he will die.  Ahaziah asks them to describe the man and discovers it was Elijah his servants met.  He most likely is not too pleased with the message of the Lord through Elijah so he sends his captain and 50 men to ask Elijah to visit him.  Elijah says “if I am a man of God, fire will come down and consume you and your 50 men”.  Fire does come down and consumes them.  Ahaziah sends another captain with 50 more men a second time to ask Elijah to come.  The same thing happens.  Ahaziah sends a third captain with 50 men back to Elijah.  Instead of asking Elijah to come, this captain bows before Elijah and asks for mercy for himself and his men.  An angel instructs Elijah to go with this captain.  We can speculate that Ahaziah was intent on either changing Elijah’s message or killing him because of his message.  The third captain had no intention of harming Elijah and probably would have protected him if needed.  He, no doubt, was acutely aware of Elijah’s power over the rain, over the prophets of Baal, and over the first two captains and their men.

Elijah meets with Ahaziah and informs him personally what the Lord has decreed, that Ahaziah will die from his injury.  Ahaziah dies without an heir so Jehoram, the second son of Ahab became king of Israel.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. We Christians are to live boldly and courageously as witnesses of God’s love and salvation.  But that doesn’t mean we act foolishly.  We are to call on the Lord often, daily, to discern His Will for us.
  2. A hard heart bent on doing evil and worshiping idols leads to an premature physical and spiritual death.
  3. Evil begets evil.  It takes the power of the Lord to change our hearts.  He has the power but we must bow before him and ask for His mercy.  The Lord puts the information in front of us through His Word and experiences.  He doesn’t force Himself upon us but gives us the free will to make the right choice.
  4. God punishes sin in a variety of ways but the wages of sin is always death.  Illness is one way he tries to get our attention.  Not all illness is God’s punishment.  It can be the result of bad decisions and/or natural because we live in a fallen world.  God’s punishment for sin happens because our hearts are hard and we refuse to accept Him as our merciful and loving Savior, the sovereign Lord God Almighty.
  5. Place your faith in God, not in your idols.  False gods such as wealth, power, influence do not heal or save us.  Only God can heal.  A surgeon friend of mine wisely said “I can remove, replace, and repair parts of our bodies but I cannot heal.  Only God can heal.  That is His work, not mine.”
  6. When one seeks answers and/or verification from the Lord, it is best to approach with humility instead of authoritatively.  After all, He is the Lord.
  7. Do not enter into the Lord’s enemy camp until or unless He says it is safe to go.  Those with hard and evil hearts are not trustworthy.  God call us to witness when hearts are ready to listen.
  8. Look at the evidence of God’s sovereign power around you and come worship Him.  Repent of your sin and seek His mercy.  Guard your heart so is doesn’t become hard.  Live humbly and discard all forms of pride.  The Word of God is true.  Listen to it.

 

 

 

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