2 KINGS‬ ‭1‬:‭13‬-‭17‬ ‬‬

“Once more the king sent a third captain with fifty men. But this time the captain went up the hill and fell to his knees before Elijah. He pleaded with him, “O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants. See how the fire from heaven came down and destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life!” Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him, and don’t be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went with him to the king. And Elijah said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: Why did you send messengers to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether you will recover? Is there no God in Israel to answer your question? Therefore, because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die.” So Ahaziah died, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah. Since Ahaziah did not have a son to succeed him, his brother Joram became the next king. This took place in the second year of the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.”

2 Kings‬ ‭1‬:‭13‬-‭17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The third captain, with his fifty men, was in a precarious position. On the one hand, he needed to serve the king. The king was clearly a man determined by an inherited and deeply rooted vitriol for God and Elijah. On the other hand, he needed to serve his soldiers and himself. He knew that Elijah was not a man to be trifled with. He knew, based on what had happened to the units before him that this was a losing battle. His answer was to do his job but do it seeking cooperation from Elijah. He pleaded that Elijah would show him mercy and allow him to complete his task. Here we see God’s mercy. The scripture says, the Angel of the Lord showed mercy. This may have been a pre-incarnate Christ. God has no need to show his power by force. He would much prefer to show his power by providence. There is an important lesson in this story about how to approach God. I center if we feel that we cannot escape an undesired future, should we approach him respectfully, he will often show mercy. Even if we are “just doing our jobs,” respect goes a long way with God.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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