God is Your Rescue.
Where do you go when life hurts? God is our rescue but we can go to so many things pursuing relief. But nothing can be our rescue—only God can. Don’t numb your pain. Go to God. Because God is with us we can say, “it is well”.
We are starting the book of 2 Kings today, which continues the account of the events that happened to Israel. 1 and 2 Kings used to be one book and were divided into to, perhaps due to length.
“The Book of 2 Kings is a history of Israel’s and Judah’s kings. Until Solomon died, there was one nation called Israel. But after his death, the nation divided into two kingdoms. The southern kingdom was called Judah. The northern kingdom was usually called Israel. The author of 2 Kings writes about the events in both of these kingdoms in turn.” (Easy English Bible Commentary).
In 1 Kings Elijah was the main prophet and now in 2 Kings Elisha comes center stage. But Elijah’s was not taken up yet at the beginning of our reading.
God is Your Rescue—Not a false god.
2 Kings opens up in a dramatic way. King Ahaziah, the son of King Ahab, had fallen through a window and wondered if he was going to die. And he went to the god of the Philistines for his rescue.
Reading from 2 Kings 1:2-5, “Ahaziah fell out the window of his second-story room in Samaria and was hurt. He sent messengers, telling them, “Go to Ekron’s god Baal-zebub, and ask if I will recover from this injury.” But the Lord’s messenger said to Elijah from Tishbe, “Go, intercept the messengers of Samaria’s king, and ask them, ‘Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you are going to question Ekron’s god Baal-zebub?
4 This is what the Lord says: You will never get out of the bed you are lying in; you will die for sure!’” So Elijah set off. 5 The messengers returned to Ahaziah. He said to them, “Why have you come back?” 6 They said to him, “A man met us and said, ‘Go back to the king who sent you. Say to him, This is what the Lord says: Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you’ve come to question Ekron’s god Baal-zebub? Because of this, you will never get out of the bed you are lying in; you will die for sure!’”
Seeking The Lord of the Flies Won’t Fly
Baal- Zebub was a god worshiped in Ekron. The Easton Bible Dictionary says “BAAL-ZEBUB means —fly-lord, the god of the Philistines at Ekron (2 Kings 1:2, 3, 16). This name was given to the god because he was supposed to be able to avert the plague of flies which in that region was to be feared. He was consulted by Ahaziah as to his recovery. Literally, Lord of the Flies.
After sustaining a potentially fatal injury, Ahab’s son Ahaziah went to consult the god Baal-Zebub (בַּעַל זְבוּב, ba’al zevuv), literally, “Lord of the Flies” (2 Kgs 1:1–2), who had a temple in the Philistine city of Ekron. Elijah severely reprimanded him for doing so (2 Kgs 1:1–2).
God is Our Rescue—Not the evil one.
In Mark 3:22, the Jewish scribes called Jesus “Beelzebul” (Βεελζεβοὺλ, Beelzeboul), referring to the chief ruler of evil; this term had its origin with the name of this Philistine deity.
Mark 3:22-24 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. 23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Ahaziah sought help from a false god who had become the main god of the Philistines, from Baal. So today there are a lot of false religions as well as mysticism just like back then but there are some that perhaps have slipped in and been “ok” for people to inquire of.
God is our Rescue—Not our Zodiac Sign
Where do people seek help today? What are we steeped in our culture that we might not recognize has become a refuge and a rescue for us?
Horoscopes and astrology would be a parallel I would draw today. Even this past week I saw on Facebook that someone said that the Zodiac signs have shifted. I looked this up and confirmed it is the case.
Our Identity is in Our Rescuer
People were upset that they were no longer the same “identity”. Thank God my identity is not in a Zodiac sign. Neither is yours.
Isaiah 47:13 “Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, Stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.”
God wants to be our refuge. He is the only one who can save. We can recognize false religions and astrology as being sinful, but sometimes we can go to things for our rescue instead of God.
God is our Rescue—not good things
Even good things on this earth cannot take the place of God. Watching Netflix ad nauseum. Eating chocolate. Immersing ourselves in work. all things I have done. None of these can rescue us. Don’t let yourself be numbed by even seemingly good things.
Elijah Resumes the Work of Elijah
“God had promised Elijah that Elisha would continue his work (1 Kings 19:16). In this chapter is the end of Elijah’s work as a prophet. But there is also the beginning of Elisha’s work as a prophet. Because of Elijah’s work, there were now groups of people in Israel who were loyal to God. Elisha would make those believers stronger. And he would deal with some of the troubles that remained in that country.” (Easy English Bible Commentary)
In 2 Kings 2, Elijah is taken up in a whirlwind and Elisha does not want him to go. But before Elijah goes, he asks if he can do anything for Elisha:
A Double Portion
2 Kings 2:9, “When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “What do you want me to do for you before I’m taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Let me have twice your spirit.”
A double portion. This makes me think of Paul’s plea for us to ask God for gifts for the building up of the church.
1 Corinthians 14:1, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”
1 Corinthians 12:31, “Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.”
Have we asked God for a double portion? Asked for gifts in teaching that we might be used by Him to help lead others to Himself?
Why not ask like Elisha did?
Elisha does several miracles here in the first 5 chapters of 2 Kings. But it is the story of the Shunammite that challenges me today.
Scripture of the Day: 2 Kings 4:25-27 (NASB)
“25 So she went and came to the man of God to Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her at a distance, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, there is the Shunammite. 26 Please run now to meet her and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’” And she answered, “It is well.” 27 When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came near to push her away; but the man of God said, “Let her alone, for her soul is troubled within her; and the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me.”
It is Well
This woman had no son. God used Elisha to make that ache become a reality and she had a son. Then the son died one day as his head began to hurt. The woman’s response is such a challenge to me in the face of suffering. God gives and He takes away. We don’t own anything. This is hard for us. We have eternity in our hearts living in a temporary world. And when it is taken away, what is our response?
Can we say, “it is well” when it does not seem so? Have you ever lost someone you love? We have eternity in our hearts in a temporary world.
How can we say it is well when we lose things? Because we will never lose our God.
God is Our Recue—God is with us
This is our hope – how we can say it is well – God is with us.
I had asked God to never let me go through a miscarriage. Don’t ever do that. I never wanted to go through that. And then when it happened, it was indescribable and inexplicable the peace God gave me following the surgery and traumatic loss.
It was after a miscarriage that I discovered a peace I had never known.
Psalm 119:67-72 reminded me of the love God had for me, even when I was afflicted.
In my most painful moments in this life, when what I thought I had was lost, God gave ne faith to say, “it is well”.
The very thing we dread, He is our Savior. He is our ever-present help in time of need.
Are we in the place of receiving miracles? We are if we depend on God, not man.
God wants to be our rescue.
Where do you go when life hurts? Don’t numb your pain. Go to God.
We have two different examples in today’s reading. Ahaziah went to a false god and the Shunammite woman went to God.
- Where do we go when life hurts?
- Don’t numb your pain. Go to God.
- And may we trust God at all times.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #184: 2 Kings 1-5
Scripture of the Day: 2 Kings 4:25-27
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