2 Kings 1 … Consider Him Who Presents Himself

Originally posted: 3/02/2020

But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?’” (1:3).

As if He needed an introduction, the LORD intercepts the messengers of Ahaziah by sending His prophet, Elijah.

And in this rhetorical question repeated three times by the LORD, comes the answer: Now, you will be reintroduced to the One True and Living God as He Presents Himself to a nation’s leader rushing after the counsel of a lifeless pagan god.

Consider Him Who Presents Himself

  •  He Presents Himself as Omniscient.
    • Ahaziah’s pursuit of counsel from a lifeless pagan god is foiled by the One Who knows the intent of man’s heart and schemes.
      • And Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber which was in Samaria, and became ill. So he sent messengers and said to them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I will recover from this sickness.” But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and say to them… (1:2-3).
      • Even before there is a word on my tongue,
        Behold, O Lord, You know it all,
        (Psalm 139:4).
  •  He Presents Himself as Sovereign.
    • Ahaziah’s feeble attempt to forcefully place Elijah under his authority through military might is reduced to ashes by the One True King.
      • Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him, and behold, he was sitting on the top of the hill. And he said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” 10 Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty,” (1:9-10).
      • “See now that I, I am He,
        And there is no god besides Me;
        It is I who put to death and give life.
        I have wounded and it is I who heal,
        And there is no one who can deliver from My hand,”
        (Deuteronomy 32:39).
  •  He Presents Himself as Merciful.
    • The third captain wisely realizing his life is at stake, humbly makes his desperate plea to the Only One able to save his life.
      • When the third captain of fifty went up, he came and bowed down on his knees before Elijah, and begged him and said to him, “O man of God, please let my life and the lives of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight. 14 Behold fire came down from heaven and consumed the first two captains of fifty with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight,” (1:13-14).
      • But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
        Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth,
        (Psalm 86:15).
  •  He Presents Himself as Righteous in Justice.
    • His Law repeatedly and strictly prohibited going after the gods and practices of the surrounding pagan nations; and because He is Righteous in Justice, He will judge the sin of idolatry.
      • “Thus says the Lord, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but shall surely die,'”(1:6).
      • Yahweh spoke to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: I am Yahweh your God.Do not follow the practices of the land of Egypt, where you used to live, or follow the practices of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. You must not follow their customs.You are to practice My ordinances and you are to keep My statutes by following them; I am Yahweh your God. Keep My statutes and ordinances; a person will live if he does them. I am Yahweh,” (Leviticus 18:1-5).
  • He Presents Himself as Patient.
    • This is the third time the LORD repeats Himself in asking the king why he would seek a pagan god when the God of Israel is in his midst, “is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word?” Three times, He patiently provides an opportunity to acknowledge Him, to repent and turn back to Him, the Only True and Living God. (Consider how He responded in mercy to the wicked Ahab as one example, 1 Kings 21:27-30).
      • Then he said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron—is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word?—therefore you shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but shall surely die.’” (1:16).
      • The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance, (2 Peter 3:9).

How do we respond to Him Who Presents Himself?

He is ever-present, ever-available to us as He Presents Himself through His Son, His Holy Spirit and His Holy Scriptures.

  • He Presents Himself through His Son.
    • God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, (Hebrews 1:1-2).
    • He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, (Colossians 1:15).
  • He Presents Himself through His Holy Spirit.
    • For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, (1 Corinthians 2:10-12).
  • He Presents Himself through His Holy Scriptures
    • “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law,” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
    • and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:15-16 NIV).

And as He Presents Himself to us each day, through our faith in His Son, through time in His Presence enabled by His Holy Spirit, and in the pages of His Holy Scripture, may we see clearly to believe and respond in faith.

  • He Presents Himself as Omniscient that we would grow to reverently and passionately seek to discover His knowledge.
    • My son, if you will receive my words
      And treasure my commandments within you,
      Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
      Incline your heart to understanding;
      For if you cry for discernment,
      Lift your voice for understanding;
      If you seek her as silver
      And search for her as for hidden treasures;
      Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
      And discover the knowledge of God,
      (Proverbs 2:1-5).
  •  He Presents Himself as Sovereign that we would grow to bring honor and glory to Him, our only King.
    • Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen, (1 Timothy 1:17).
  •  He Presents Himself as Merciful that we would grow in our confidence to draw near to Him in time of need.
    • Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need, (Hebrews 4:16).
  • He Presents Himself as Righteous in Justice that we would grow to trust His lovingkindness and timing in His Judgment.
    • Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
      Lovingkindness and truth go before You,
      (Psalm 89:14).
    •  Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. 17 I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,” for a time for every matter and for every deed is there, (Ecclesiastes 3:16-17).
  • He Presents Himself as Patient that we would live as grateful examples before a lost and dying world.
    • It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life, (1 Timothy 1:15-16).

Let us pray for ourselves, our families, our communities, our churches and our nation. Oh, that we would seek the counsel of the One Who is Able, the wisdom of Him Who Presents Himself, that we would know and live His Truth.

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” (John 8:32).

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me, (John 14:6).

Let’s Grow Together!

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