by Mike Noble
When king Ahaziah, after suffering a tragic accident, was told by Elijah that he would “not come down from the bed,” but would “surely die,” he sent a battalion of fifty soldiers to detain the ‘bearer of bad tidings.’ When this attempt failed (God destroyed all fifty with fire from heaven), Ahaziah sent another fifty. Once again “the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed” them. When Ahaziah sent a third party of fifty men, their captain pleaded (not surprisingly) with Elijah for his life. Elijah, under counsel from the angel of the Lord, finally went down with the captain and went in to the king. And just what did Elijah tell the bedridden dignitary? “Thus says the Lord… you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.” The message hadn’t changed, had it? After all of Ahaziah’s pressure tactics, not one bit of God’s word on the matter had been diminished or altered. (The account of these events is found in 2 Kings 1.)
There is a simple lesson in that chapter for you and me, and it is this: God’s word remains true and sure, no matter how we might react to it. God’s word is “faithful” (Titus 1:9) — it is trustworthy. It “lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23) — it is “incorruptible.” Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:35). “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13).
Becoming angry with God’s word will not change it in the least. We may cut a copy of it up and toss it in the fire, as did another infamous king (Jer. 36:23); yet we should know that “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89).
Nor, for that matter, will it alter God’s message one bit to become furious with the bearer of it. We have known of some who have become upset with this preacher or that one when presented with a specific point from the Bible. Did their wrath change God’s ordinance? While we would not deny anyone’s legal right to be upset, we still yet inquire as to how such misbehavior has a bearing on what the Bible says. Who do we humans think we are to suppose that a display of vehemency (or any other emotion, for that matter) on our part will change what God’s word says about the plan of salvation, or what it declares concerning fellowship, or what it states about the subject of divorce; etc.?
“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). The Lord spoke those words, not this writer. We’d best put our anger, sullenness, or what-have-you aside and be glad that not only are we able to “understand what the will of the Lord is,” but as well that the Lord has been most gracious in providing us with numerous opportunities to obey it.