Lectionary Calendar
Monday, March 4th, 2024
the Third Week of Lent
There are 27 days til Easter!
For 10¢ a day you can enjoy StudyLight.org ads
free while helping to build churches and support pastors in Uganda.
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 1

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-18

By Chuck Smith

Now as we finish First Kings, we were dealing with basically the northern kingdom under Ahab with his wicked wife Jezebel who had brought the northern kingdom of Israel into its lowest state morally and spiritually, as they led the people into idolatry and more specifically, the worship of Baal, which was introduced by Jezebel who was from the area of Zidon, and that was one of the major gods of Zidon. And so, she introduced that to the children of Israel in their worship. And thus the... Israel was sinking into a state of great spiritual apostasy.

Now at the end of First Kings, we came to the death of Ahab, and his son Ahaziah ascending to the throne who reigned for over, for only two years over Israel. And during the time of Ahaziah, Moab, which of course is across the Jordan River, the present area known as Jordan, who were vassals and tributaries to the king of Israel, rebelled against Israel.

And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria ( 2 Kings 1:2 ),

So he had an accident and fell down through this latticework from the upper chamber and was injured. And he ordered his servants to go to Ekron to inquire of the god of Ekron, which was Baalzebub.

Now the word Baal is a word that means lord. And so the people were worshipping the lord, but the lord wasn't God. It was their lord, and Baalzebub is actually lord of the flies. So these people in Ekron were evidently worshipping flies.

Now, to me it is always strange how otherwise normally intelligent people who, when they reject the worship of God, will believe and do such stupid things. I'm always amazed at the almost lunacy of people in their ideas, in their concepts when they have forsaken the true and the living God. David said, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" ( Psalms 53:1 ). And certainly when a person tries to rule God out of their lives, they become guilty of extremely foolish things. Can you possibly imagine worshipping a fly? Calling it your lord? Now in Romans chapter one, Paul gives us a little insight into man "who when he knew God, failed to glorify Him as God, neither was he thankful; therefore his foolish heart was darkened." And Paul tells us how he "worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forevermore" ( Romans 1:21 , Romans 1:25 ).

Now, there are people today who look at a flower and say that is God. Or they'll look at a tree and say that is God. So it's not much different than looking at a fly and saying that is God, for they are worshipping sort of nature. And people say, "Well, I find God in nature," and they worship nature. As Paul said, "They worship and serve the creature more than the Creator." Now that is an irrational way to look at creation. You are looking at the creation of God and then you're worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. The true rational way to look at creation is to marvel at the genius of design, but then worship the Creator rather than the creation.

Now in reality, a fly is designed very ingeniously. They are a pest, but yet, they are remarkable little creatures. I'm amazed at their determination to get into the house and their ability to do so. Just sort of cruising around the door until you open the door and zoom, right past you. And I like to observe flies. I've studied many of them under the microscope. I'm intrigued at their vision, the ability to see almost in a 360-degree capacity. You try to sneak up behind them and they see you coming. They have great vision, and I really am intrigued with the many facets within a fly's eye that gives them the capacity of such tremendous peripheral vision. I'm fascinated with the little gyroscopes under the wings that help him in his equilibrium as he flies. And I've always been curious how they can land feet first on the ceiling. Now how close do they get to the ceiling before they flip over so they can land feet first? You ever thought about that? So they are a marvelous little creature. But surely they are not to be worshipped.

And yet man, poor man, so ignorant in his worship once he has ruled God out. Worships things that to look at them with just a rational mind is absolute idiocy. People have created their own concepts of God which they worship. Their own ideas.

And he sent these servants down to Ekron to inquire of the god of Ekron, Baalzebub, to find out if he was going to recover from the injuries he sustained in this accident.

And Elijah the prophet came out to meet the messengers and he said,

Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron [that the king is sending to Ekron to find out concerning his condition]? Now therefore thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. [You go back and tell him that the Lord says he is not going to recover from his illness, but he's going to die] ( 2 Kings 1:3-4 ).

This is only after two years of reigning. The message from the Lord.

And when the messengers [servants] turned back unto him, he [the king] said unto them, Why are ye now turned back? [How come you came back] ( 2 Kings 1:5 )?

I ordered you to go to Ekron.

And they said unto him, [Well,] there came a man up to meet us [on our way], and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him ( 2 Kings 1:6 ),

He told us to return to you with the message from Jehovah that you are going to die.

And he said unto them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words? [What did the man look like?] And they answered him, He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite ( 2 Kings 1:7-8 ).

Now, John the Baptist was a rugged kind of character, and no doubt Elijah was a very rugged character, wearing just sort of a leather skirt around his waist and a very hairy guy. Showing up here and there, and yet, a man who was in touch with God in such a mighty way.

Then the king sent unto him [ordered] a captain of fifty [men to go] with his fifty [men down and take Elijah and bring him back to the king]. And he went up to him [so the captain with his fifty men regiment came to Elijah]: and, behold, he sat on the top of a hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down [the king sent me to take you to him]. 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 thy fifty [men]. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him [the captain] and his fifty. Again also he [the king] sent unto him another [a second] captain of fifty with his fifty [down to take Elijah and to bring him back] ( 2 Kings 1:9-11 ).

And Elijah still sitting there on the hill, the second captain said, O man of God, the king has sent for you to come to him.

And Elijah answered and said, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty [men]. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up [out with fifty men], and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, [have mercy on me] let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in they sight ( 2 Kings 1:12-13 ).

I'm only doing my duty. I'm a family man and all of my men here are family men. But the king has requested that you would come down to him, if you don't mind. We sure wish you'd go.

And the LORD spoke unto Elijah and said, Go with him unto the king. So Elijah came unto this king [who was the son of Ahab]. And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as you have 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 you're surely going to die. And 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 the king of Judah; because he had no son. Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the book of chronicles of the kings of Israel ( 2 Kings 1:15-18 )?

Now watch it here. You've got a Jehoram ruling in the north, and a Jehoram ruling in the south. So things are going to get confusing here for a little bit. Ahaziah was young when he started to reign. He did not have any sons. He reigned only for two years and he died. And so his brother Jehoram began to reign over Israel. Because there was no eldest son to pass it on to, then the next oldest son of Ahab took over the throne in Israel. Now he took it over. His name was the same as the name of the king of Judah. So for a little bit here, it's going to be a little difficult to follow the kingdom of the north in contrast with the kingdom of the south because they are both ruled over at this point by men whose name is Jehoram.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Kings 1". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-kings-1.html. 2014.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile