Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2 Kings 1: Ahaziah Dies from HIs Injury

1 Kings 22:51 - 2 Kings 1:4 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, because he walked in the ways of his father and mother and in the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. He served and worshiped Baal and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger, just as his father had done. After Ahab's death, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, "Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury." But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?' Therefore this is what the Lord says: 'You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!'" So Elijah went.

Like father like son: Ahaziah followed his father Ahab's footstep. And like his father Ahab, he came under divine judgement and died of his injury sustained from a fall. 

But Ahaziah was given two opportunities to repent, but he didn't. Firstly, Elijah intercepted his messengers who were on the way to consult Baalzebub, the god of the Ekron. Elijah delivered God's judgment that Ahaziah would not leave his bed and would die on his bed. Secondly, Elijah met him face to face and declare the same message. But there was no indication that Ahaziah humbled himself like his father Ahab did. So, he died according to the prophecy given to him.

Prophetic declaration of God's intention is not irreversible. God is known to relent from what He has planned to do when confronted with genuine repentance and humility. He relented when Ahab humbled himself. He relented too when the king of Nineveh humbled himself at Jonah's preaching: "When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened" (Jonah 3:10).

If we repent, God will relent. That is grace. Law punishes, but grace forgives. But it is conditional on our act of confession of our sins (admitting we are wrong and turning away from our sins): "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). The God of the NT is also the God of the OT -- He has not changed.

Father, thank You that You are always faithful to forgive whenever we confess and acknowledge we have sinned against You. You did it for Christ's sake for Christ's death has paved the way for Your grace to be made effective in everyone who repents. Amen.

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