The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.16 He told the king, "This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!" So he died, according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. (2 Kings 1:15-17 NIV)
The angel of the LORD in the Old Testament is Jesus. To realize this adds so much to the stories in which He appears. Here he meets with Elijah to pronounce the end of the life of Ahab’s son, Ahaziah. Ahaziah had ‘an accident’ and wondered it his injuries would be fatal. He sent men to consult Baal Zebub to ask the answer. That is when Elijah was sent to meet them and tell them the message from Jehovah. “Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?” Ahaziah died, according to the word of the LORD.
Is there a God in your life? Where do you go to seek answers? God tells us to call out to Him for the answers to the concerns in our lives. He promises to show us great and mighty things that we do not yet know. (Jeremiah 33:3) But how often do we look first to the world, to worldly knowledge, to the answers of man? Where we turn in our deepest need says a lot of where we have placed our faith. It speaks of our deepest beliefs.
Ahaziah was like his father Ahab who trusted in the baals. They preferred they answer they got from them because they were unwilling to repent of their life styles. They wanted to be king and not yield the kingdom to the instruction of God. We have our own little kingdom of our life in which we can be just as stubborn. I hope every reader realizes that God’s rule and reign over your little kingdom is for your best and the ultimate rule of God. There is a God in your life. Turn to Him and Him alone.
Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:31-33 NIV)
To be a disciple of Jesus means that you will pay a great price. Jesus’ first example of the price in the passage is family. Family members will challenge Jesus’ place in your life. They will demand that they be first. Your love for them and your Savior will have you sharing the truth of His life with them. When they see your attachment to Him, they will feel their position in your life is threatened. By their choice, relationships will be severed.
Jesus’ second example is of a builder. A building takes careful planning. The complete costs of material and labor must be calculated. If this is not done, the project will be half completed. Everyone who passes that way will see your short-sightedness. It is a monument to your failure to count the cost. How often we see people follow Jesus for a time and then return to the world.
The third illustration is of a king going to war. If you are outnumbered, you should send a delegation to ask for terms of peace. Jesus’ illustrations are about thinking ahead and preparing for what is inevitable. If you choose to follow Jesus as a disciple, you will face loss. You must forsake all things if you desire to follow. Anything you cling to will be a challenge to His lordship in your life.
You can be a believer and not a disciple. You can accept His work on the cross in your place but not go on to learn from Him. A disciple is a learner. To learn you must follow. To follow you must let go of all other things that would compete for first place in your heart. According to Matthew’s gospel (28:19,20), Jesus asked us to go out into the world to make disciples, not just believers. Have you counted the cost? Are you willing to let Jesus take the place He deserves in your life and begin learning of Him? He’s worth it!
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