Elijah: A Man of Faith and Conviction (2 Kings 1:1-18, Revelation 15:1-4)Rev. William L. Barron, June 20, 2021
Preached at a Sunday Morning service
The focus on this series is on God. Ahab has died; Ahaziah has ascended to the throne. Moab has attacked Israel. Ahaziah, an idolatrous king, was injured in a fall. He was a contemporary of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. He wonders if he is to die, and sends messengers to Ekron to inquire of Baalzebub, the Philistine false god. God sends Elijah to intercept the messengers and give them the answer that Ahaziah was going to die. Ahaziah recognized that the man of God was Elijah. This idolatry kindled God's wrath. Ahaziah's quest was an example of Israel's ongoing false worship. The doubts then are similar to man's doubts in today's culture. Is it that God is irrelevant? Is it that God needs our help? Man then tends to do what seems right in his own eyes. Perhaps Ahaziah is seeking the answer he wants, presumably to avoid death. He repeatedly wanted to make Elijah change the prophecy to suit Ahaziah. However, a false prophet, or those who would purchase prophecy, is deserving of death. God called down fire to consume the soldiers of Ahaziah who would compel false prophecy. We can be very blind in accepting the truth. Elijah had to count the cost that came with trusting God. Solomon didn't, and his son lost most of his kingdom. This is a picture of man today. We can trust or reject God. The thief on the cross with Jesus trusted Jesus, who granted him eternal life that very moment. Ahaziah refused to trust in the end. We are called to take the message and leave the salvation to God. Salvation comes through Christ alone. God shows Himself to us through His Word.
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2 Kings 1 (Listen)
1:1 After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled against Israel.
2 Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness.” 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 to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? 4 Now therefore thus says the LORD, You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” So Elijah went.
5 The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, “Why have you returned?” 6 And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the LORD, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” 7 He said to them, “What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?” 8 They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”
9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” 10 But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
11 Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he answered and said to him, “O man of God, this is the king’s order, ‘Come down quickly!’” 12 But Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
13 Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him, “O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. 14 Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight.” 15 Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king 16 and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron—is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?—therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’”
17 So he died according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. Jehoram became king in his place in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
Revelation 15:1–4 (Listen)
15:1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.
2 And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
4 Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”