2 Kings 1:3 - But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Go and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?
King Ahaziah had been injured in an accident and was afraid he would die. Instead of seeking help from God, he sent a messenger to a foreign land to inquire of their false god if he would recover from his injury. Elijah, the prophet of God, met the messenger on the journey and asked, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?”
Time and again throughout the history of God’s people, God had proven Himself to them. God had worked miracles on their behalf. It was inconceivable to Elijah, in light of all that God had done for His people, that they would seek advice from a false god. Yet, that is what King Ahaziah did.
As we think about our own lives, we have also witnessed God’s power time and again. How many times have we had some close call in our lives and knew someone must have been watching out for us? How many times have we prayed in a time of crisis and God came through for us? God has been there for us in both big and small ways our entire lives. It is inconceivable that we would seek help from any other source but God. Yet, like King Ahaziah of old, we often do that very thing. We call psychic hotlines. We read fortune cookies. We watch shows on television in which pop-psychologists give us the latest fad in human thinking, even if it goes completely against God’s Word. We dabble in New Age philosophies and Eastern religions seeking truth. We ask friends who do not know the Lord for advice instead of seeking it from the Bible or from trustworthy pastors.
In the biblical story, King Ahaziah died because he sought help from the wrong source. It may sound cruel for God not to help him in his situation, but remember, King Ahaziah did not ask God for help. He asked a false god for help and received exactly the kind of help that false god could provide: nothing. Essentially, God decided to give King Ahaziah what he asked for, and it did not end well. As we consider our own relationship with God, why do we think God will help us when we have called upon everyone but Him in our distress? What if God let all the false hope and bad advice we sought come to fruition in our lives? It would be a disaster.
Thankfully, our God is a God of grace who often helps us even when we do not deserve it. But I do think from time to time He withholds His help while we seek all those other deadends. He wants us to see that those deadends lead nowhere, so that when we finally come back to Him, we will be more faithful than we were before. If we tarry too long in turning back to Him, all we have left is the false hope, false comfort, and false help this world offers. It only leads to disaster. Let’s commit ourselves to turning back to the true God of the universe today and serve Him with all of our hearts.
Lord, remind us to seek help from You in times of need instead of looking to the false hope this world offers. Amen.
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