Saturday, March 19, 2016

2 Kings 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Kings 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • 2 Kings starts exactly where 1 Kings left off. If you've been doing our reading plan on the weekends (we go through the New Testament on weekdays, and go through Old Testament books on weekends), this is like the sequel to what you've been reading.
  • Ahaziah was Ahab's son. We saw in 1 Kings 22 that when Ahab died, Ahaziah takes over. At the end of this chapter Ahaziah dies, and because he did not have a son, his brother Joram succeeds him as king.
  • Ahaziah is the king of a nation who have pledged their allegiance to God, but he wants to consult with a deity, he turns to a (false) god of another nation, Baal-Zebub (verses 1-2).
  • God knows all, and he knows what Ahaziah is doing. So he uses his prophet Elijah to stop what's going on and to send a clear message about who the true God really is (verses 3-9).
  • Ahaziah ignores the message and stubbornly sends a company of men to get Elijah. They pretend to pay Elijah honor, calling him "Man of God" but they do not mean it. The men are all killed by fire (verses 9-10). This still doesn't change Ahaziah's attitude, so he sends another company of men, who suffer the same fate (verses 11-12). Even that doesn't change Ahaziah's attitude, so he sends another company of men. This one, however, is led by someone who sees what's happening and shows humility and submission to God. That humble submission saves his and his men's lives (verses 13-15).
  • Ahaziah never repents of resisting God and, because he doesn't, suffers the consequences of his disobedience (verses 16-18).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Ahaziah turns his back on God by seeking a prophecy from another (false) god. Elijah clearly proves to him that God is the only real God, but that doesn't change his mind. He still stubbornly persists in resisting God. The third captain, on the other hand, humbly submits himself to God (through Elijah). We need to humble ourselves before God and accept His will for our lives, instead of stubbornly resisting it.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Reading this story Ahaziah may seem crazy for stubbornly persisting in resisting God. But ... are you stubbornly persisting in resisting God? Where might that be true? God has made His will for your life clear in so many areas. For instance, you are to:
    • love God most and make Him first
    • serve other people putting their needs above your own
    • be content with what you have instead of always wanting more
    • give the first 10% of your income back to God through your church
    • serve in your church
    • treat your spouse the way Jesus treats the church
  • And you are not to:
    • have sex before or outside of marriage
    • gossip
    • lie
    • rage at others
    • envy others
  • So ... where have you been stubbornly persisting in resisting God's will for your life? And what do you need to do to change that?