King Ahaziah, son of Ahab, is badly injured and wants to know whether he will recover. He sends men to consult Beelzebub, the god of the city of Ekron. News of these developments reach Elijah, and he condemns and reprimands the king’s behavior in front of his messengers, announcing that their master will soon die. Ahaziah hears this grim prediction and sends 50 men to bring the prophet to him. When they arrive, Elijah brings down fire from the sky to consume them. An additional unit is sent, but suffers the same fate. When a third group is sent, the captain decides to be more humble and begs the prophet to heed the king’s request. An angel instructs Elijah to comply and so he goes to Ahaziah himself, informing him that he will not recover from his illness because he has sought help from idols rather than from the God of Israel. Ahaziah dies. His demise is punishment for his lack of faith and patience, as well as his inability to cope with uncertainty.
“Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, thatye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?” (2 Kings 1:3)
“Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die” (2 Kings 1:4)
“O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight” (2 Kings 1:13)
Spiritual progress requires hard work; thoroughness means leaving no stone unturned.