“Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. And 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 of this disease. But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed. And when the messengers turned back unto him [the king], he [the king] said unto them, Why are ye now turned back? And they said unto him [the king], There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And he said unto them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words? And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.” (2 Kings 1:1-8)
Ahh… Elijah the Tishbite. The words should ring a pleasant sound in your ears. Here was a man of God, fully approved in his sight, a man who desired to do no other thing than to serve his Master. Every time we read about Elijah the Tishbite — sweet sound as it is — we should remember, “Now here was a man of God!” And we should be willing to learn from him! In this instance, we have the account of God’s dealings with king Ahaziah from Samaria through the prophet Elijah. Now remember, if there was to be righteousness in the land, God **needed** to deal with this wicked king and his sinful ways, who preferred to worship this “Baalzebub the god of Ekron” (an idol, in other words) rather than the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now for the sake of geography and history, there were two kingdoms in the land of Israel at that time, the northern kingdom of “Israel”, located in Samaria, and the southern kingdom of “Judah”, located in Jerusalem. Now I put both “Israel” and “Judah” in quotes here to remind you that the term “Judah” referred to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (1 Kings 12:23-24), while the term “Israel” referred to the ten remaining tribes of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph (1 Kings 11:31, Genesis 49:3-28).
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to what actually happened in our exciting story. What amazes me about this story is the precision of God’s word to Elijah, as well as Elijah’s truly awesome response — one of obedience. Here was a God who could depend upon this man Elijah to do his bidding. “Oh Lord, make me like Elijah” you may have said. Or, perhaps you simply stood in awe of this man, who performed miracle upon miracle. Perhaps your response has been to learn from him, but to not want to be like him, for perhaps you have been taught (misled, really) to believe that “God doesn’t do such things today, such as speaking to people, or performing mighty signs and wonders like he did in Elijah’s day.” Phooee on that, non-sense, utter lies and deceit! He does … yes, he still does, … and he will … to the Elijah’s of our day. If only such would come forward and be known by God, to be used of him in the same fashion — yes, ah, yes, the Lord would do his wonders again. It only takes one, by the way, so don’t think you need a lot of support to volunteer yourself. As the Scriptures clearly teach, Elijah’s tend to stand ALONE, but their net result is that they influence MANY. God is looking for that faithful ONE … and that ONE is YOU, if you will but let him take you and mold you to become what he wants of you.