Prediction without Conditions

Prediction without Conditions
2 Kings 1:15-16
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.
And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub 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.

As punishment for such an insult to Jehovah, from a king over His people, the Lord sent His prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, to the messengers of the king who were to tell him that because of this he would surely die.

Whether this was an ordinary angel or one of the members of the Divine Trinity is not clear, but whoever it was this was a ministering spirit [Heb. 1:14]. It was a Divine Person who appeared to Abraham, Moses, and others, and it could have been one here. [v3, 15].

The one prediction was that Ahaziah would not get well; he would die of the sickness he now had because he sought not to the Lord but to an idol god.

This was the message Elijah was commanded to give the messengers of Ahaziah. He forbad them to go down to Ekron, saying they should turn back to their king and gave him a message from God.

One can see from the content of the message why God was intervening. Ahaziah had lost all faith in Jehovah due to the fact that he had been brought up in Israel to worship Baal. His mother, Jezebel had been the chief defender of Baal. Over 850 prophets of Baal and the groves [Asherahs, p.106] had eaten at her table. [1Ki.  18:19]. He himself had been a personal disciple of Baal [1 Ki. 22:51-53]. Though he might have heard of the miracles of Jehovah through Elijah, Ahaziah was not a convert to Him, so he naturally would send to the gods he had faith in. This is what God hated and judged.

This was a repetition of the message, and the king asked “What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words? And they answered him, He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And the king said, It is Elijah he Tishbite” [v7-8]. This could refer to his garment of shaggy untanned skin, as well as to his uncut long hair and long beard. Prophets wore course clothing [v8; Zech.13:4; Matt. 3:4]. By the description of his person and clothing the king recognized him as the prophet Elijah. This was enough proof that he knew of him and his God, so there was no excuse for sending to an idol god in Ekron.

Then – when Ahaziah recognized that it was Elijah who had stopped his messengers and made a prediction of his death, he sent 51 men to get him [v9]. He [Elijah] did not run this time, but sat calmly on a hill perhaps waiting for some word from the king. The captain of the 50 men called to Elijah to come down to be taken to the king [v9]. Elijah answered “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your 50 men” – Fire came down and consumed them [v10].

It could be that the man was haughty and insulting to Elijah, and this needed the judgment of this miracle. It must be remembered that the whole story is not told here.

Again – a second time the king sent 51 men to arrest Elijah, knowing no doubt by now the fate of the first 51 he had sent. There could have been eye-witnesses to the miracle. The second captain demanded that Elijah come down quickly at the king’s command, not humbling himself any more than the first one, Elijah answered as before, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your 50 men.” And again, fire fell and consumed the second 51 men [v11-12].

Again – a third time Ahaziah sent a captain and his 50 men to arrest Elijah. The third captain took a different attitude toward Elijah. He went up the hill instead of demanding that Elijah come down to him and his men. Falling on his knees before the prophet he begged that their lives would be spared and counted as precious in his sight [v13, 14]. Before Elijah had time to act or reply, he received a message from the angel of the Lord who told him that he should not be afraid and that it was all right to go down [v15].

This kind of message indicates that the king had some definite plan to do away with him and that Elijah was somewhat fearful of the outcome of meeting with this new king of Samaria; but now that he had word from the angel he knew all would be well, so he went down with the third captain of 50 men to see the king. [v16 Cp. v6].

Elijah’s message was the same to the king in person as it was when he delivered it to the king’s messengers. This shows the boldness of Elijah. He did not soften the message in the least before the king [v16 Cp. v6].

The one prediction was that the king would not live but die on his bed of sickness because of insulting Jehovah and not trusting in Him in preference to a lifeless idol. It was the third time this prediction was made.

It does not say how long it was after Elijah gave the prophecy before he died; and THERE WAS NO TIME ELEMENT in the prophecy. Neither does it mention the conversation between them, or state whether Elijah offered any advice.


Reader, how many opportunities have passed us by? The important question is how many chances are left for us to make a commitment to God? Has the time elapsed and the window of opportunity closed forever upon us? Seek Him while He may be found, call upon His Name while there yet remains a small measure of time at our disposal. – Sage

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