Have you ever wished that you could call down a bolt of fire from the sky to sort out a problem. Being able to use lightning or bolts of fire is often a popular powerful weapon in computer games. Normally one must do certain tasks or achieve/collect certain things to get this skill but once acquired it is very useful.
But having the capacity to call on thunderbolts of fire is not just for computer games, as we read about Elijah in 2 Kings 1 being able to call on lightning and in this case it hits and kills a captain of the guard and fifty of his men by incinerating them. The captain had challenged Elijah and questioned if he was a “Holy Man”.
The captain had been sent by the king at that time Ahaziah to get Elijah to come to him as Elijah had prophesied that the king would not get better having fallen through some balcony railings on the rooftop of his house in Samaria. -
The king had sent some messengers off to consult Baal-Zebub the god of Ekron, but Elijah had met them on their way and given them a true prophesy from God
Elijah said 'You're not going to get out of that bed you're in—you're as good as dead already.'" Elijah delivered the message and was gone. 2 Kings 1 verse 4 (The Message). The King did not think much of this when the messengers came back and told him what Elijah had said.
I somehow think that was probably a bit of an understatement – I can just imagine him ranting and raving calling for Elijah as he wanted to confront him and wanted Elijah. Hence the captain and fifty solders were dispatched to go and get Elijah and bring him before the king.
Once Ahaziah heard that the captain had been killed he dispatched a second captain and fifty more men to nab Elijah. Elijah is just sitting there when the guard comes along. He says "O Holy Man! King's orders: Come down. And right now!"
Elijah answered, "If it's true that I'm a 'holy man,' lightning strike you and your fifty men!" Immediately a divine lightning bolt struck and incinerated the captain and his fifty. 2 Kings 1 11-12
News gets back to the king and I can just imagine how cross he is this time, and so he sends a third captain and fifty more men. This time the captain is a bit more respectful. I would think seeing the incinerated remains of over 100 men would help focus his mind.
Elijah goes with him to the king and I can imagine King Ahaziah asking Elijah what did you say would happen to me?
Elijah told him, "God's word: Because you sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub the god of Ekron, as if there were no God in Israel to whom you could pray, you'll never get out of that bed alive—already you're as good as dead." and he died, exactly as God's word spoken by Elijah had said. 2 Kings 1 16-17 (The Message).
Most of us probably don't have anything to do with prophecy in our day to day lives other than looking at the weather and trying to guess when our British summer will start and it will start to warm up.
But the God of Elijah as recorded in the Old Testament in the Bible is the same God of the New Testament and is the same God of the 21st Century and He has given people the power of prophecy all through the ages including now.
The first two captains of the guards in our story did not recognise God working through Elijah, and sadly suffered as a result. We need to keep our eyes and ears open so we can recognise God at work in people today.
You can read more about what happened to Elijah at this time in our notes from our Bible Study on this passage here.
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.