2 Kings 1

Who was Ahaziah?
[A] The son of Ahab (1 Kings 22:51). He succeeded his father as king over Israel (1 Kings 22:40, 51).

[B] “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother…” (1 Kings 22:52). Ahaziah is the only king of which the writer noted that he walked “in the way of his mother.” Ahaziah’s evil mother, Jezebel, was still living when he ascended the throne and surely continued to exert her evil influence over her son. As for “the way of his father,” Ahaziah apparently failed to learn from all of the acts of God performed during his father’s reign. Two godless parents raised poor Ahaziah.

[C] He served and worshiped Baal (1 Kings 22:53). Ahaziah knew about the God of Israel but chose instead to serve Baal and in so doing “provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger according to all that his father had done” (1 Kings 22:53).

[D] He reigned two years over Israel (2 Kings 22:51).

What initial trouble did Ahaziah face when he became king?
As soon as Ahab died Moab rebelled against Israel (2 Kings 1:1). The Moabites had been vassals to Israel since the time of David. They saw Ahab’s death as an opportunity to cast off their yoke of tribute.

Why was Ahaziah unable to suppress the Moabite revolt?
Ahaziah was unable to suppress the revolt because he was incapacitated by a fall from his upper chamber which was in Samaria (2 Kings 1:2).

What course of action did Ahaziah take to ascertain the outcome of his health?
Ahaziah sent messengers to the Philistine city Ekron to inquire of Baal-zebub (the lord of the flies) regarding whether he would recover from his injury (2 Kings 1:2). This action was a direct violation of the first commandment (Exodus 20:3) and the prohibitions of Leviticus 20:6 and Deuteronomy 18:14. This was nothing less than a public declaration that the king placed and sought the counsel of a Philistine god above the God of Israel. It is no wonder why Ahaziah “provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger” (1 Kings 22:53).

What course of action did God take to hold the king accountable for his foolish decision to send messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub?
God sent Elijah to intercept the king’s messengers. Elijah confronted them and asked, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?” (2 Kings 1:3). A convicting question, to say the least. Ahaziah did not turn to God in his distress, but to a heathen idol. Someone has said, “The man who has forsaken God is without refuge in his distress.”

Elijah then pronounced God’s judgment upon the wicked and idolatrous Ahaziah: “You shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but you shall surely die” (2 Kings 1:4). Elijah’s words made such an impression on Ahaziah’s messengers that they did not fulfill their errand, but returned at once to their bed-ridden king (2 Kings 1:5).

What report did Ahaziah’s messengers deliver to him upon returning?
The messengers reported to Ahaziah exactly what happened and exactly what Elijah had said to them (2 Kings 1:6). The messengers referred to Elijah as “a man” who met them on the road. Ahaziah asked, “What kind of man was he who came up to meet you and spoke these words to you?” (2 Kings 1:7). The messengers described the man in detail (2 Kings 1:8) and the king said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.” Ahaziah would have gladly received and accepted any word from Baal-zebub, but was unwilling to receive any word from God!

What did Ahaziah attempt to do to Elijah?
[A] Ahaziah decided to capture the prophet. He appointed “a captain of fifty with his fifty” (2 Kings 1:9) to find the prophet and bring him back to Samaria. They found Elijah, a lone figure on a hill, and commanded him to return with them to the king. Elijah instead called down fire from heaven, which consumed the entire military company (2 Kings 1:10).

[B] The king then sent out another group of fifty, which met the same fate as the first group (2 Kings 1:11-12).

[C] Finally, a third group of fifty went to Elijah. The captain of this group bowed before Elijah and pleaded for mercy for himself and his men (2 Kings 1:13-14). Elijah, having been instructed by an angel, accompanied this group to the king (2 Kings 1:15) where Elijah simply repeated the message of God’s judgment upon the king (2 Kings 1:16).

What happened to Ahaziah?

[A] “So Ahaziah died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken” (2 Kings 1:17).

[B] Jehoram, Ahaziah’s younger brother, became king in his place because he had no son (2 Kings 1:17).

Practical Considerations

Both parents influence children.
Ahaziah was influenced to do evil by both his father and his mother. In some cases, the evil influence of one parent is offset by the godly influence of the other. In Ahaziah’s case however, he was influenced to do evil by both parents. God will hold parents accountable for their influence on their children.

We should seek the Lord in times of distress.
When Ahaziah was severely injured as a result of a fall from an upper story chamber, he did not turn to the Lord. He sought the counsel of a pagan system and did not acknowledge the Lord in any way. Many people do not turn to the Lord in their distress but to the god of Ekron. Many people today turn to the Ekron god of their own resources and pride and try to deal with their distress with their limited strength and understanding. “The man who has forsaken God is [indeed] without refuge in his distress.”

God will hold men accountable for their insolent foolishness.
Ahaziah’s foolish action of seeking the counsel of a pagan idol did not go unnoticed by God. The king’s action declared that he did not acknowledge the God of Israel. Ahaziah’s blatant disregard for God and His Word brought a severe judgment upon him.

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