Faithlife Sermons

Psalm 121

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2 Kings 1

We left off last week in 1 Kings 22 with 2 new kings. Jehoshaphat the son of Asa is now King of Judah, and Ahaziah the son of Ahab is now King of Israel.
We learned about Jehoshaphat that...
1 Kings 22:43 ESV
43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. Yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places.
and we learned about Ahaziah that...
1 Kings 22:52–53 ESV
52 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 53 He served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done.
So things are continuing as they were in both kingdoms.

Verse 1

We are all aware of just how terrible the conditions were spiritually for Israel under the reign of Ahab the very wicked king and his wife Jezebel, but what you may not know is that politically and financially things were pretty good and the security of the nation was mostly in good shape. But that is to be expected in a sense because Ahab made a marriage alliance when he married Jezebel and that certainly helped, not mention Ahab was a raging idol worshipper like the rest of the kings that neighbored the land of Israel.
Now that Ahab has died and his son Ahaziah has taken the throne, Moab has decided that it was a good time to escape the political grip that King Ahab had on them.
Moab if you remember from our earlier studies was north of Israel and shared a border with Israel. They had been under subjection to Israel since David defeated Moab back in 2 Samuel 8...
2 Samuel 8:1–2 ESV
1 After this David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines. 2 And he defeated Moab and he measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground. Two lines he measured to be put to death, and one full line to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.
Later in that same chapter we see that King David dedicated the silver, gold and bronze from the defeated nations including Moab to the Lord...
2 Samuel 8:11–12 ESV
11 These also King David dedicated to the Lord, together with the silver and gold that he dedicated from all the nations he subdued, 12 from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
So now that Moab is rebelling against Israel we can see that Israel is beginning its decline as a powerful nation in the land. This is also not surprising considering the wicked idolatry and all that comes with the worship of idols in God’s land that He graciously gave to His people Israel.
God made a covenant promise starting with Abraham to give that land to a future people...
Genesis 15:17–21 ESV
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
You see if God said that He would give the land it is clear that God is the rightful owner of that land, and that of course is because God is teh creator and maker of that and all land.
Genesis 1:1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Psalm 24:1–2 ESV
1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Idolatrous Israel forgot who created the land they dwelt in just as they forgot who their own Creator was. In so doing, they had forgotten their true identity and purpose as God’s people and had stayed from Him in their hearts. Certainly God had given them plenty of opportunity to repent. Even if we think back on the last few chapters of the reign of King Ahab and the multiple times God spoke to the king and the nation through the mouth of His prophets.
So now the time of their chastening politically and financially is beginning to come about in order to get their attention and draw them back to God.

Verse 2

Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron - How very telling.
This is the King of Israel who should have a personal relationship with the great I AM the covenant God of Israel who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Israel and into the land of promise.
But instead the idolatry of Ahab his father has stuck with Ahaziah and he seeks out a Philistine god for a word. The obvious problem with that is that he is seeking a word from an idol who is worthless. He should have listened to the words of King David who went before him when he wrote...
Psalm 115:1–9 ESV
1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! 2 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” 3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. 5 They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. 6 They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. 7 They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. 8 Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. 9 O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
Psalm 135:5–18 ESV
5 For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. 6 Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. 7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 8 He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast; 9 who in your midst, O Egypt, sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants; 10 who struck down many nations and killed mighty kings, 11 Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan, 12 and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel. 13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages. 14 For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants. 15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. 16 They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; 17 they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.

Verses 3-4

Please note that the message from the Lord through Elijah was precise and yet made no distinction about the eternal state of Ahaziah.
We can draw the conclusion that Ahaziah destiny at that point is hell, but at the same time there is time for repentance that God allowed by His grace that we have no indication that Ahaziah took from the LORD God of Israel.
Sad isn’t it?
If you knew you were certainly going to die soon, wouldn’t you repent before the Lord?

Verses 5-8

Verses 9-10

If they truly believed that Elijah was a man of God they would not have followed through with the king’s orders.
Or if they were truly afraid of the dying king’s orders they certainly would have approached Elijah differently.
Remember that we as God’s people while having the command to submit to the governing authorities, are first and foremost to submit to God. You might remember that the Apostles had to deal with the distinction early on when they were ordered to no longer preach Jesus Christ. They responded rightly with...
Acts 5:27–29 ESV
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
I like this comment from Adam Clarke’s commentary
2 Kings 1. Judgment Comes upon the Arresting Soldiers (9–10)

Some have blamed the prophet for destroying these men, by bringing down fire from heaven upon them. But they do not consider that it was no more possible for Elijah to bring down fire from heaven, than for them to do it. God alone could send the fire; and as he is just and good, he would not have destroyed these men had there not been a sufficient cause to justify the act.” (Clarke)

Verses 11-12

Notice the first commander said “come down”, but this commander is a bit more demanding saying “come down quickly”.
This commander is either not too smart or even more wicked than the first, to know what happened to the first and refuse to acknowledge that God consumed the last 50 as a sing that Elijah was truly a man of God.
Proverbs 16:18 ESV
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
But again note that Elijah doesn’t command anything, but simply leaves it up to God.
If I am a man of God...

Verses 13-15

Finally someone with some sense! This commander was well aware of Who consumed the last 100 men with fire, and comes with humility before the God of Israel as he approached Elijah.
I wonder if as he approached the place where Elijah was he saw the burnt marks on the ground where his fellow soldiers last stood?

Verse 16

I’m sure when King Ahaziah first heard this proclamation from his servants it enraged him, and this time I wonder if besides being enraged he was now also scared knowing Elijah’s track record for accurate prophecies?
I’m not really sure what exactly Ahaziah thought Elijah would say to him face to face, but as was the normal custom of Elijah the man of God, he boldly spoke the word of God to Ahaziah the ing of Israel just he boldly spoke to his father Ahab when he was king over Israel.

Verses 17-18

They say the proof is in the pudding, and here we see the proof of the word that Elijah prophesied in the name of the LORD God of Israel.
Ahaziah died according to the word of the LORD spoken through Elijah.
Jehoram was Ahaziah’s brother...
2 Kings 3:1 ESV
1 In the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twelve years.
When we get to chapter 8 we will see that Jehoshaphat has a son named Jehoram who will reign in his place after he dies. So for a time there was a king of Israel named Jehoram and a king of Judah also named Jehoram. We will typically see later on that the the king of Israel is listed as Joram here...
2 Kings 1:17 (CSB)
17 Ahaziah died according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken. Since he had no son, Joram became king in his place. This happened in the second year of Judah’s King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat.
The next chapter will focus on the transition from Elijah to Elisha as the main prophetic voice in the land of Israel. We will spend the next few chapters studying through the life and ministry of Elisha, so read ahead.
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