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!” (2 Kings 1:16 NIV)
King Ahaziah, son of Ahab, really should have known better. After all, the reign of his father had been blighted because of his refusal to follow Yahweh.
He didn’t rule long in Israel before an injury highlighted his wayward beliefs as far as the true God of Israel is concerned. This would be another lesson for the people of Israel to know who rules in the affairs of men. That lesson would be taught in two ways.
The first concerns who we trust in times of need. Ahaziah had depended on consulting a voiceless and useless idol for medical advice concerning his condition. He did that despite the long history of the Lord doing mighty works and giving sound advice concerning the affairs of the people. That disregard for the way of the Lord proved to be his downfall. God has done a lot of great works that are on the record in displaying His power, mercy and grace. Actively ignoring this to pursue idolatrous alternatives will be the death of us.
The second is about respect and authority. The captain and his fifty men thought they were the authority when they approached the man of God on behalf of the king. They learnt the fiery way, though, that your approach to a man of God cannot be taken lightly. That it took the third company to avoid being turned to toast, shows that it is not always at the first or second time that we will learn the lesson. With examples like these on the record it should not have to take so long to get the message – it’s important to treat the men and women of God with due respect.
It is not all about sweetness and pleasantries with God. He is to be respected and revered in all things. Faithfulness to Him is something He takes seriously. Honour where it is due is something He takes seriously. The same God of love and mercy is the God of justice and righteousness. He wants us to be aware of these for life, health and safety.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden