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Bible Pathways 05/01/2002

  • 2016 May 01

May 01

Read 2 Kings 1 -- 3

In Today's Reading:

Death of Ahaziah King of Israel; Elijah taken up by a whirlwind; Elisha purifies Jericho's water; Elisha mocked by the children; Israel defeats the Moabites.

Verse for Today:

Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover (2 Kings 1:2).

King Ahab died in battle against Syria as had been foretold by the prophet Micaiah (1 Kings 22:17-38). Ahab's son Ahaziah then became King of Israel. Soon Ahaziah had an "accident" and was seriously injured. He sent messen gers to inquire of Baalzebub whether he would recover. On the way, the angel of the Lord said to Elijah . . . go . . . meet the messengers . . . and say . . . Is it . . . because there is [no] God in Israel, that [you] go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus [says] the Lord, [you shall] . . . surely die (2 Kings 1:3-4). Ahaziah's servants returned and told the king what the prophet Elijah had said. But, instead of repenting and turning to the Lord, Ahaziah, like his mother Jezebel, expressed hatred for the prophet of God.

Ahaziah refused to repent and recognize that God was sovereign over all the affairs of life. This included Elijah's prophesied death of his father Ahab and would include the prophesied terrifying death of his mother Jezebel. Elijah now prophesies that Ahaziah would not recover. His hostility toward God had hardened his heart. So he died according to the Word of the Lord (1:17).

We may or may not be responsible for our circumstances, but we are responsible for the way we react to them. We can decide to be angry with the people and circumstances that God brings into our lives, or we can see them as messengers from the Lord Who seeks to get our attention that He might transform us into the likeness of Christ.

Ten years before Elijah's departure to Heaven in a chariot of fire (2:11), the Lord had said to him: Anoint . . . Elisha . . . to be prophet in [your place]. . . . So he . . . found Elisha . . . plowing with twelve yoke of oxen . . . and Elijah . . . cast his mantle (robe) upon him (1 Kings 19:15-16), designating Elisha to replace him. At the time Elijah called Elisha to join him, Elisha was a prosperous young farmer with 12 yoke of oxen. The average farmer would be fortunate to own two yoke of oxen. To accept Elijah's invitation would mean that Elisha must forsake all his financial securities, remain unmarried, and follow the itinerant and penniless prophet.

Elisha immediately converted his plows into firewood and offered one yoke of oxen as a sacrifice to God. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him as his servant (19:21). Elisha's actions demonstrate that the key to one's usefulness in the Kingdom of God is to immediately respond to our opportunities to serve the Lord, regardless of how insignificant or overwhelming the task may appear.

Like Elisha, providential circumstances have placed each of us exactly where we are today to determine the sincerity of our commitment to the Lord. [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).

Christ Revealed:

In the taking up of Elijah in the whirlwind and the dropping of the mantle -- a symbol of the presence of God and power that remains with His faithful servants (2 Kings 2:8-15). This is a type of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit to indwell the believers, giving us power to evangelize the world. He was parted from them, and carried up into Heaven (Luke 24:51-53; see also Acts 1 -- 2).

Word Studies:

1:8 girt = clothed; girdle of leather = leather apron around his waist; 2:24 tare = mauled or mangled them; 3:9 fetched a compass = made a roundabout march; 3:27 offered him = as a sacrifice to the god of Moab.

NOTE: Definitions may not agree with present-day usage as given in your dictionary; we attempt to explain the thought expressed in the original language.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Colombia (39 million) in northwestern South America · Major language: Spanish · New government has declared religious freedom · 96% Roman Catholic; 1% Protestant; 1% Indian tribal religions · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will teach you His ways and tranform your life by His Word (Isaiah 2:3).

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: Jeremiah 15:16