King Ahaziah of Israel was the son of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. This king ruled from 853—852 BC. He did great wickedness before the Lord. Ahab and Jezebel introduced Baal worship into the land and caused the nation to apostatize from the Lord. Sadly, their son Ahaziah walked in their ways. Thus, Ahaziah of Israel “aroused the anger of the LORD” (1 Kings 22:53) because of his worship to the false god Baal and his example that led Israel into idolatry. This king ruled for only two years.
At one point, King Ahaziah of Israel tried to ally with King Jehoshaphat of Judah. However, after a warning from one of God’s prophets, Jehoshaphat cut his alliance with Ahaziah of Israel (verse 49; 2 Chronicles 20:37). God sent a divine judgment on his fleet and it was ruined. After that, Jehoshaphat refused to renew his earlier alliance with Ahaziah.
Ahaziah seeking healing from the pagan god Baal-Zebub
King Ahaziah of Israel fell out of a window. And as a result, he was seriously hurt and was bed-bound. But instead of praying to God, he sent messengers to ask Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if he would get well (2 Kings 1:2).
In his lifetime, Ahaziah had seen many of the mighty miracles of God during the reign of his father Ahab. He had seen God’s power to heal. He also knew the dreadful judgments that fall upon the wicked. So, to turn now to a god of Ekron was to reject the Lord and cause judgments to fall on his life.
The Lord sent His prophet, Elijah, to give the messengers of the king a word from God. Elijah said that the king would not get well and would instead die (2 Kings 1: 4). Those who turn from the true God to the false gods, find death not life (Revelation 21:8). It is God alone who is the source of healing and restoration (Ezekiel 33: 11).
When the messengers returned to King Ahaziah and communicated what Elijah had said to them, Ahaziah was angry and sent his captain and 50 soldiers to get Elijah. The captain demanded that Elijah would come, but the prophet refused. He said, “May fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men” (2 Kings 1:10). Just as the prophet said, Ahaziah’s men were consumed by fire. Then, Ahaziah sent another group of soldiers to Elijah for the second time and the same thing happened to them. Finally, the third time Ahaziah sent another group to Elijah but this time the captain of the 50 humbled himself before God. He came to Elijah on his knees, not as a worshiper but entreating to come (verse 14).
So, Elijah went with him to the king and repeated God’s message of judgment. The word was fulfilled and the king died. As Ahaziah had no sons, he was succeeded by his brother Jehoram or Joram (verse 17). In 2 Kings 3:1, we are told that Joram came to the throne in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat of Judah.
King Ahaziah of Israel rejected the Lord and reaped the deadly consequences. God was ready to manifest Himself in such wonderful ways to the king. The king had the chance to lead his people away from idolatry to the true God. He could have experienced healing, prosperity, peace, and victory over his enemies. But the king refused to accept the God and seek His face (2 Chronicles 7:14). How different things could have been if he had made the right choices!
In His service,