THE SECOND BOOK OF THE KINGS
THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE KINGS.
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
As we have followed the lives of the kings of Israel, of both houses, one thing is very obvious, and that is that God does have emotions. God's Word is true, and when any of these kings went against God's Word and ways, God lifted his protective hand from them, and they suffered for their wickedness. God spoke to those kings through His prophets, and God's Spirit will not speak anything that is contrary to His Word. God's Word is truth, and it will come to pass exactly as it is written.
We are living in the time of the end, and if you have been alert since the year 1948, you have witnessed that the events of the end times are happening exactly as they were written thousands of years ago. That should have strengthened your faith, to where you are not easily deceived by the many lies and deceptions that are taking place today by lying spirits.
The first book of Kings brought us the life of the monarchy, from the establishment of Solomon's kingdom, with all his wisdom and wealth, and the instructions from his father David. In the first part of Solomon's life, he used great wisdom and God blessed his well for his seeking to please God in ruling over God's people. However as the years passed, Solomon brought in and took many wives from all the heathen kingdoms, and along with them came their gods, and their heathen worship. This displeased God and God took ten of the tribes of Israel and put them under Solomon's servant Jeroboam. However, God allowed two of the tribes to remain under Solomon's son Rehoboam, for the sake of Solomon's father David. These two separate nations became known as "the house of Israel", to the North, and "the house of Judah", to the South. There is a map of the divided kingdom at the close of this chapter.
I Kings recorded the time of Solomon's death, and from that time period to the start of this book, the house of Judah had four king; Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, and Jehoshaphat. Within that same time period of about eighty years, the house of Israel had eight kings; they were Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, Ahab, and the book ended with the death of Ahab, and his son Ahaziah taking the throne. That is the point where this Second book of Kings will start. These two nations will never go back together until the Millennium age, when our Lord Jesus Christ returns at the seventh and last trumpet. There is a summary at the close of this chapter showing the parallel between the king lines of these two houses or nations of Israel.
II Kings 1:1 "Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab."
Moab had been subdued by David, as is recorded in II Samuel 8:2 and 23:20; and later when the kingdom of Solomon was divided into the two houses, the land of Moab was passed into the hands of king Jeroboam and the house of Israel. When Omri and his son Ahab were on the throne, the Moabites were greatly oppressed. Now that Ahab was dead, and Ahaziah the new young king was seriously ill, the Moabites are staging their uprising against the house of Israel for their freedom. The Moabite people are the offspring to Lot, through his daughter, after Sodom was destroyed and Lot and his daughters were fleeing for their lives.
An ancient stone monument was discovered by Reverend F Klein in 1868, at Diban in the land of Moab. On that ancient stone is the record of the rebellion of this same battle that finally brought Moab out of the control and yoke of the house of Israel. A copy of the inscription is recorded in Appendixes 54, of the Companion Bible, on page 77. As you observe what is written on that stone, God true sacred name is spelled correctly, "Yahveh" [for the English reader], on line 17. Remember that there are no vowels in the Hebrew, which would leave the Hebrew spelling, "YHVH". A copy of this inscription will be at the close of this chapter. The sacred name is correct on the Moabite stone and not through out our bible. It seems to be handled so carelessly, and this was because many of the scribes felt that it was dangerous to say the sacred name, because to take the sacred name in vain was death. Therefore they would not even allow the people to learn to say it.
So now that Ahab was dead, after dying on the battle field at Ramoth-Gilead, Moab thought that this was a good time for the rebellion to start. As Ahab's army was going home like a bunch of scattered sheep, the Moabites were successful in taking back their lands.
II Kings 1:2 "And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, "Go, enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease."
Ahab is dead at this time, and Ahaziah his son is on the throne over the house of Israel. Right at the start of his reign, Ahaziah fell through the widow of his upper chamber at the palace, and is seriously ill. Did he send for the doctor? No, he sent a messengers to ask the priest of Baal-zebub whether he would recover. In the Hebrew tongue "Baal-zebub" means "lord of the flies". Later the Jews changed the name to "Beel-zebel", meaning "lord of dung, or dunghills".
Remember from the closing verses of the first book of Kings, Ahaziah was as bad as all the evil kings before him combined. I Kings 22:52; "And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father [Ahab], and in the way of his mother [Jezebel], and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin."
I Kings 22:53 "For he served Baal, and worshipped him, and provoked to anger the Lord God of Israel, according to all that his father had done."
Ahaziah took on all the wicked habits of both his mother Jezebel, and the spineless manner of his father Ahab. So is it any wonder that when his life was in danger, he would seek help from the only god he knew; Baal, [Baal-zebub]. This idol of Baal was an idol that has much to do with the Nile river, and the time of the year [spring], that time when the flies would come, and cover over all things. It had something to do with the people feeling that this god had the control of bringing forth spring and the growing of fruits.
So Ahaziah told his messengers to go down there to priest of Baal-zebub and ask him if I am going to die or not. He fell through a window while on one of his drunken binges, so naturally he sought help from one of his idols.
II Kings 1:3 "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 unto them, `Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron?"
The king of Samaria, is the king of the house of Israel. God is telling Elijah to meet these messengers of Ahaziah before they arrive at the altar of Baal-zebub, and give them this message. Elijah asked these messengers, "Is it because there is no God in Israel that you would go to enquire of Baal-zebub, Is that what you are up to? This Angel of God is God's own spokesman, the same Angel that spoke to Moses in Exodus 3:2.
II Kings 1:4 "Now therefore thus saith the Lord, `Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone, but shalt surely die.' "
Elijah gave these messengers the message that God had given to him, and made it clear that Ahaziah would not heal from his sickness. When you play, you pay; when you get drunk and fall out of a window, you suffer the consequences. "...but [Ahaziah] shalt surely die."
II Kings 1:5 "And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said unto them, "Why are ye now turned back?"
The messengers were going on to Baal-zebub, and Elijah told them, why do you turn back? The king wanted to know if he was going to die, and God just told you he was going to die.
II Kings 1:6 "And they said unto him, "There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, `Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, `Thus saith the Lord, `Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.' "
So this is the message that these men gave to Ahaziah upon their return to Samaria. At this point these messengers didn't recognize Elijah, and didn't know who he was. However, Elijah was impressive enough that they did exactly as Elijah told them to do.
When you allow your conscience to get so tied up with idols, there is no fear in your mind for God. In the mind of Ahaziah, God had become nothing more than a superstition or a fairy-tale to some religious people, for Ahaziah wanted something that he could see and touch to call out to. That was the condition that Ahaziah's mind was in, so how would he react to this message from Elijah?
II Kings 1:7 "And he said unto them, "What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words?"
Ahaziah was not happy that his messengers turned and came back, without seeking instructions from the Baal-zebub priests. If they didn't know the man's name, Ahaziah wanted to know what this man looked like that gave them the message from God.
II Kings 1:8 "And they answered him, "He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins." And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite."
This is not stating that his skin was hairy, but that he was clad in a garment consisting of a skin of an animal. That was the common clothing of a prophet of God, as given in Zechariah 13:4, and Matthew 3:4. Every thing that he wore, even to his belt was made of leather. Girdles or belts at this time were usually made of fine linen at this time, but the prophets wore rough linen.
Ahaziah knew exactly who this man was, Elijah the Tishbite.
II Kings 1:9 "Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: And, Behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, "Thou man of God, the king hath said, `Come down.' "
When the captain came to the hill that Elijah was sitting up on top of, he shouted out roughly to Elijah. He ordered Elijah; and that the same time slandered God in saying, "Come down!" He wasn't nice in his order. Friend, a king does not tell a man of God what to do, for in as much as it was God that gave the message to Elijah, it would be God that this captain would be giving this order to. So it is time for Elijah to give the people a little respect for God, that it was apparent they did not have.
II Kings 1:10 "And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, "If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and they fifty." And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty."
This captain didn't believe that Elijah was a prophet, nor that there was a God. So Elijah is going to give them a lesson from God. Remember the test that Elijah gave when the prophets of Baal tried to test him up on mount Carmel? Four hundred Baal priests tried to prove their gods more powerful than the one True God, and God destroyed them. Elijah prayed to God and asked him: I Kings 18:37; "Hear me, O lord, hear me, that this People may know that Thou art the Lord God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back." That was the purpose for what Elijah did; to turn the People's hearts, that they may know that Thou art the Lord God.
I Kings 18:38; "Then fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, the wood, and the stones, and the dust and licked up the water that was in the trench."
I Kings 18:39 "And when all the People saw it, they fell on their faces and said, "The Lord, He is God; The Lord, He is God." The double witness for the People saw and they believed in God. So what about the Baal priests?
I Kings 18:40 "And Elijah said unto them, "Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And the took them and Elijah brought them to the brook Kishon, and slew them there."
Ahab learned a lesson, and repented, however he listened to his wife Jezebel and changed his mind. Now the same prophet that gave Ahaziah's father and mother such a difficult time, is bringing another test down on Ahaziah. Just as the fire came down from heaven and consumed that burnt sacrifice, the water stones and even the dust, came down and lapped up this captain, and those fifty men.
God is a consuming fire, and when you have messed up as Ahaziah had, God is going to deal with you. Ahaziah wasn't just a lay person, but the king of Israel, and from a line of kings. He had responsibilities to the people, as the protector of the faith of the people. Way back in I Samuel 2, God separated the church [priesthood]; from the state, [the judge or state government]. The two were separate offices. The priesthood was to make the offerings to God on behalf of the people, and the government [king] was to be the protector of the faith, to stand guard that the religious duties could be protected. This duty is even stated today in the oats that the kings and queens of Christian nations must take. The first command, issue and order of the Queen of England is still the "protector of the faith of Jesus Christ".
Ahaziah fail in his keeping of his oath, and he was a drunken slob. So this is the way that God is going to build some respect for His Word, back into Ahaziah's kingdom.
II Kings 1:11 "Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, "O man of God, thus hath the king said, `Come down quickly.' "
Ahaziah still wasn't impressed with God, even after he lost fifty of his soldiers. This captain is even worse than that first captain that Ahaziah sent for he amplified the order, and added "quickly" to it. He simply did not believe that Elijah was a man of any god, yet alone that there was a God. Again that is no way for a man of a government to be addressing a man of God. There is no respect shown here for either God, how one of His prophets.
II Kings 1:12 "And Elijah answered and said unto them, "If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty." And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty."
The irony that was in this captain's voice showed that what happened to the first fifty hadn't impressed him one bit. However in time they will get the message that there is a God, and he must be respected. Even to our present generation there are those that just don't get the message even when it right before their eyes. This second fifty are going to be an example for the next fifty that come, and let's see if there has been a respect for God by that time. God demands respect, for remember that the house of Israel, and the people had completely turned their backs to God, and worshipped their idols, and other forms of idolatry.
II Kings 1:13 And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, "O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight."
This is one hundred and fifty men, with their captains that had been sent out to bring Elijah in to the king. So watch the difference in respect that this third captain made, when he approached the prophet Elijah. There is a completely different approach to God and to Elijah as they approached the hill where Elijah stood. It wasn't Elijah that was looking for respect, but it was God. Elijah was the servant of God, and the master always gets the honor that the servant deserves. This happened as this captain approached Elijah, asking for mercy for his men, and for himself.
II Kings 1:14 "Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight."
This captain of the guard knew what happened to the two former sets of fifty that came out before him, and he is pleading with Elijah to spare their lives. This is the second time that he pleaded for his life, and was at the mercy of Elijah. This in itself shows respect.
II Kings 1:15 "And the Angel of the Lord said unto Elijah, "Go down with him: be not afraid of him." And he arose, and went down with him unto the king."
God has promised Elijah that he would have safe passage all the way to Samaria, and that he would be protected. So Elijah went with the Captain and his men.
Friend, as long as you use common sense and you have faith in our Heavenly Father, He will protect you. God cares for his children, and when they are on a mission for Him, He protects them. There is always a condition to this, and that is that we pay attention to His Word, and follow those instructions. Naturally He will take care of His children, and that apply to today, as much as it did in Elijah's day.
II Kings 1:16 "And he said unto him, "Thus the Lord, `Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of His word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.' "
Anyone that has ever lived and has any knowledge of Israel knows that God is, and will always be the God of all the tribes. Even during the time when the kings and the people have turned their backs on God, He will still be their God. This applies to all the other children of this world, for God created all of them. This is what Elijah is explaining to Abaziah, and because what you have done, "you shalt surely die."
II Kings 1:17 "So he died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son."
This may be a little confusing unless you realize that Jehoram was the son in law of Ahab. The daughter of Ahab married Jehoshaphat's son, so when there was no next in line to the king at Abaziah's death, his brother in law, became king of Israel. To say it in another way, Jehoram's wife and Abaziah were brother and sister. When Abaziah became king, he was on the throne for less than two years, and died in his youth.
II Kings 1:18 "Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?"
Which they are recorded.
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