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After Ahab died, his son Ahaziah became the king of Israel. One day he fell down and got a bad owie. Owww… As he lay in bed hoping to get better, he sent some messengers: “Go ask one of the Baals if I’ll ever get better from this injury.” (Can you believe these guys are still turning to their powerless idols and false gods after what happened on Mt. Carmel?! They haven’t learned their lesson at all.)
God was not happy about this, of course. So the Angel of the Lord went to Elijah and said, “You’re gonna meet some messengers. Tell them to say to the king, ‘Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you go talk to a Baal instead of coming to me? Because you have done this evil, you will not get better. You will die on the bed you’re lying on.’”
When the messengers heard this, they returned to the king.
“Back so soon?” the king asked.
“Well, a man came up to the road. And gave us this message for you. He said, ‘Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you go talk to a Baal instead of coming to me? Because you have done this evil, you won’t get better. You will die on the bed you’re lying on.’”
“Who told you that? What did the man look like?” the king asked.
“He was a hairy man and had a leather belt around his waist,” they answered.
“Grrrr, that was Elijah!” stomped the king. “Hey, captain of my army, take 50 soldiers and go get Elijah!”
The captain and his 50 men found Elijah sitting at the the top of the hill. The captain approached Elijah. “Man of God, the king orders you to come with us.”
Elijah answered, “If I’m really God’s man, then may fire come down from Heaven onto you and your men.” Sure enough — fire came down from Heaven and ate them up.
So the king sent another captain and another 50 men to go get Elijah. This captain came up the hill and told Elijah, “Man of God, the king orders you to come with us.”
Again Elijah answered, “If I really am God’s man, then may fire come down from Heaven and eat up you and your men too.” Again — fire came down from Heaven and ate them up too.
Did you notice again that Elijah didn’t say, “Pretty please God, can You please send fire down for me?” Nope. Elijah just said, “let there be fire from Heaven” and there WAS!
Did you know that God says these types of things are going to happen again? You’ll find out later, near the very end of our big story (very close to the “Back in Eden” story that I know many of you are waiting for), God tells about two witnesses — two who will See through to Heaven and boldly Speak out God’s Truth to the world — our world, your world. And they’re going to do some of these things like Elijah did. It says they will be able to make big whammies happen any time they want. Just like Elijah is doing here. So, don’t think these types of things don’t or won’t happen any more. God says they will. And, hopefully, in YOUR lifetime! So, keep your eyes OPEN and your heart ready!
The king tried a third time to get Elijah. He sent a third captain and 50 more men. Well this captain had learned a lesson from the first two. He knew he needed to approach Elijah differently if he wanted to live!
He fell on his knees before Elijah and begged, “Man of God, have respect for my life and the lives of these 50 men with me. We know that fire from Heaven came down on the other men, but please have mercy on us!”
Then the Angel of the Lord told Elijah, “It’s okay. You can go with him this time; there’s nothing to be afraid of.” So Elijah went with the men and appeared before the king.
But it wasn’t like Elijah had anything new to say now that he was in front of the king. His message from God was the same: “Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you go talk to a Baal instead of coming to Me? Because you’ve done this evil, you will not get better. You will die on the bed you’re lying on.”
And sure enough, the king died, just like Elijah said he would.