Published on
October 3, 2023

2 Kings 1

"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 to them..."

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
2 Kings 1
"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 to them, "Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?"'"2 Kings 1:3 (NKJV)

Years ago, I was watching television when an announcer broke into regular programming to announce that Osama Bin Laden had been killed.  I was glad to know that man’s days of terror were over.  In the hours that followed, worldwide news outlets broadcast jubilant celebrations spanning several continents.  An evil man was no longer terrorizing the World.  But after the celebrations quieted, the sobering reality set in: terror itself was not dead.  We were merely one less terrorist out of hundreds of thousands.  Bin Laden’s evil organization was multi-layered and sophisticated.

Second Kings begins on a positive note: Ahab is dead!  “Ahabs” always die – that is good news.  The bad news is that “Ahab Jr.” follows him.  Ahaziah is a chip off the old, dead block.  Welcome to Gangland, 852 BC.  

Who knows exactly how it happened?  Ahaziah fell from the second floor when some screenwork gave way.  Apparently, a serious injury was incurred since his inquiry implies he was uncertain of recovery.  Israel’s king in Samaria believes his hope for years to come resides in a temple forty-five miles away in Philistia.

“But the Angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite….”  God does not nap when apostasy is afoot.  Messiah, Himself (the Angel of the Lord) intervenes.  Elijah’s question to Ahaziah’s messengers is both question and judgment.  Just like that, Ahaziah is confronted with the “intolerant” God of Israel!

Some people get upset at the idea of a God Who, in His wild, untamed holiness, would sentence a man to death simply for exercising his sincere religious preferences in a critical hour of his life.  God is not the tolerant sort of God people crave, Who can co-exist with false religion.  Our post-modern culture would prefer the mythology of the ancient Near East, where gods and goddesses were permissive and casual and never insisted on exclusive loyalty.  None of those deities thought it was a mortal sin, should one of their devotees be ecumenical in his devotion.

But in the Bible, we meet YHWH and keep being reminded of His first commandment.  (Exodus 20:3)  That notion does not change in the New Testament.  Jesus goes around insisting folks must smash idols if they would follow as disciples (Mark 10:21-22).  He is as obnoxious as YHWH!  Who does He think He is…?

People are like tea bags.  You never really know what’s inside until they are in hot water!  Thus, Ahaziah‘s idolatry is revealed.  But what of yourself?  When the water gets hot, do you run to the arms of the World or stand firm on God’s Word?

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