June 28, 2019
2 Kings 1:1-16
by Janet Hanks
Laity of First UMC Pulaski, VA
Today’s scripture tells the story of Ahaziah, who was not one of the more famous kings of Israel for a reason. He had the misfortune of being the son of Ahab and Jezebel, and like them, he never managed to understand who God was or what God wanted. Ahaziah made the mistake of sending people to consult Baal-Zebub rather than God when he had a serious accident, and the prophet Elijah told him bluntly that God was not happy about this at all. The king would die from his injuries. It’s a really obscure little story, but it illustrates a really important point—we go consulting everything from the nightly news to Google to social media trying to find out what’s going on and what we should do, but God waits for us to consult God.
Are these other “authorities” really better than God? Do they really know more? Or is it that they tell us what we want to hear, and tell us what we already believe? Can it be that seeking counsel from the gods of our age is easy, while seeking the Lord is hard and requires us to walk in a humble and penitent relationship with God?
In other words, if we accidentally ran into Elijah on Twitter, what would he say to us?
Difficulties in life are guaranteed, and through them, God longs to draw us to Himself. Our news outlets may mislead us and Facebook friends may fail us, but God is steadfast and quick to reach down to us in our difficulties. David tells us in Psalm 16 that we have security and blessing, hope and sustenance in God alone. We don’t need to be afraid of the times in which we live or the forces that surround us and seem so insurmountable. Our God is the Lord, whose deeds are mighty and who is not any less able to save us than David. What a relief! The Holy One is on our side! He asks only that we turn to Him in our hardships and trust Him rather than all the gods of this world. Then we can say with David “I will praise the Lord who counsels me . . . with him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”