Read 2 Kings 1

Highlights:

Death of Ahaziah; Elijah taken up by a whirlwind; Elisha heals Jericho's water.

But the Angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite . . . say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? (II Kin. 1:3).

Since the decline in Israel's power was not yet evident from the standpoint of numerical strength, the destruction of the ten tribes of Israel seemed most unlikely. Yet, their rejection of the Word of God made their eventual captivity inevitable. Hear ye this Word . . . O house of Israel. . . . Seek the Lord, and ye shall live. . . . and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you (Amos 5:1-15). II Kings remembers each king for a single personal choice; whether he did that which was right (II Kin. 12:2) or whether he did not that which was right in the sight of Lord (16:2). Leadership in life should be sought in God's Word always. Those who do not seek from it will usually find they will have to hear from it later.

Nothing weakens a nation's strength like ignoring the Scriptures, so God raised up Elijah to proclaim His Word. Just as Elijah had confronted Ahab with the judgment of God (I Kin. 17:1), he boldly faced Ahab's evil son, Ahaziah, saying: Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub . . . thou shalt not come down off that bed . . . but shalt surely die (II Kin. 1:16). Many throughout the ages have thought they could find prosperity in sin. However, like Ahaziah, they soon find themselves in the hands of God, the Righteous Judge of all mankind.

Elijah remained faithful to God even when he faced an evil king. Elijah did not have to be fearful or humbled by this evil king. God had chosen him for this mission. Those whom God appoints to a good work will find He will see them through to its end (Phil. 1:6). Even so today, as we faithfully read His Word and seek His will, the Holy Spirit creates within us a new revelation of our wonderful Lord and a deeper understanding of why He dwells within our lives. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock (Matt. 7:24).

This enables the Word to speak to our hearts just as clearly as Elijah heard from God. Yes, it is true, God speaks to us through His Word and it calls us into service for our King. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27).

Thought for Today:

God imparts His strength to those who remain faithful to Him.

Christ Revealed:

In the taking up of Elijah in the whirlwind and the dropping of his mantle — a symbol of the presence and power of God that remain with His faithful servant (II Kin. 2:8-15). This is a type of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sending the Holy Spirit to indwell and empower believers to evangelize the world. He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven (Luke 24:51-53; Acts 1 — 2).

Word Studies:

1:8 girt with, wearing; girdle of leather about his loins, garment around his waist; 2:19 naught, polluted, bad; 2:24 tare, mauled or mangled; 3:9 fetched a compass, circled around; made a roundabout march; 3:27 offered him, burned him alive as a sacrifice to a god of Moab.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for our Military worldwide • International Broadcasts in memory of Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Rep. Ed G. Perlmutter (CO) • Country: Cape Verde (405,000) 15 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 390 miles off the coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Crioulo • Religious freedom • 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Let the Lord have all your worries and cares; He is always thinking about you and things that concern you (I Pet. 5:7).

Optional Reading: Romans 4

NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:35