The Destructive Weapon Of Fear And Authority
One of the things that distinguished the life of Elijah in the Bible was the uncommon authority he manifested, one of which got him the popular name of “prophet of fire” after a contest he put forward to the worshipers of Baal to convince them of the true God as recorded in 1 Kings 18. No doubt, a man that could command the humanly impossible and change circumstances in his days by the authority of heaven must be an obedient servant of God and a praying warrior. However, there is a part of human weakness that could affect anyone in the flesh. And that is Fear.
Related article: The God kind of fear
At some point in life, fear tends to present itself through certain occasions that cause us to drift or temporarily lose focus on God. It happened to Elijah when his life was threatened by Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, upon hearing what has befallen the 350 prophets of Baal, and on a second occasion, fear resurfaced in 2 Kings 1 when the king of Israel, Ahaziah had summoned Elijah after his supposed unsolicited and unpalatable message to the king’s servants concerning the king’s health condition. Actually, the king has sent his servants to enquire at the mouth of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron because of his current predicament, but not long after they were gone they returned to him with the message of God by the mouth of Elijah.
2 Kings 1:2-3
“And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baal–zebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease. 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 unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baal–zebub the god of Ekron?”
2 Kings 1:5-6
“And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said unto them, Why are ye now turned back? And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baal–zebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.”
One of the challenges those who obey God faces is delivering such kind of message. And generally speaking, it is not very convenient to pass a piece of evil news, especially to another authority figure in the land. However, Elijah was only doing the bidding of God and wouldn’t say less. He and all other prophets of God were known for this brave characteristic – to speak the truth in their rawest form without fine-tuning the message. Unfortunately, that did not go down well with Ahaziah, king of Israel, and here came the captain of Ahaziah with his fifty men to Elijah on the hill where he sat and demanded, “…Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.”
Fear And Uncertainty Overcoming God’s Prophet of Fire
Maybe Elijah had guessed this would happen and wasn’t sure of what response to give the king, and considering the tone of their demand, fear stole the moment and put him into a defensive mode.
He replied, “…If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.” – 2 Kings 1:10
One of the destructive weapons of authority in a man’s life is when it is manifested together with any negative emotion. In such a situation, it becomes a threat and not a blessing as it has the capacity to completely rob a man of the room to manifest faith for the moment, which in turn may lead to a destructive prayer. But if God still has a word or two for Elijah, then the mission is not yet over.
When the children of Israel provoked the Lord to anger in the wilderness, he could have destroyed them for their continuous complaints and murmurings, but for His name’s sake, he endured long with them because of the prayer of Moses. So, God endured to not destroy the children of Israel in the wilderness because of one man’s prayer. On another occasion, he destroyed two sets of people because of another man’s prayer. The point is, FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE. Whatever would give an occasion for the enemies of God to mock – either mocking Him by mocking his servant or his children, he will not allow. Except they had sinned without repenting and … Continue reading God is not necessarily pleased with destroying the captains and armies of king Ahaziah, men who were only doing the bidding of the king, but for his name’s sake, he honored the prayer of Elijah because he will not give a reason for the unbeliever to deride him. That was the same reason Moses gave Him not to destroy the children of Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 14:15-16). Moreover, God’s answer to Elijah’s request was another indirect way he communicated to Elijah in the midst of his fears.
“God may not answer Elijah because he delights pleasure in consuming men with fire from heaven, but he may answer in his Omniscience, not for Elijah but for His name’s sake”
Two consecutive times and the prayer of Elijah was answered. It was as if God was saying to him, “If I can answer you by consuming these men this two times, I can also deliver you from the hand of the king.” God was assuring Elijah of his presence but it seems Elijah wasn’t getting the message and God had to speak out. “Go down with him: be not afraid of him…” Vs. 15
The Pleading Of The Third Captain With His Fifty
2 Kings 1:13-15
“And he [Ahaziah] sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight. And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.”
The Bible says in Romans 12:14, “…Bless, and curse not.” Whatever produces pain or serves as a source of affliction to a brother, sister or anyone can be a curse. As New Testament believers, Christ should become our role model not the prophets of old nor a man in our contemporary time because of the limitations in the flesh. The pattern Christ wants for us is to trust him at all times. He told his disciples in Matthew 10:19, “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.” So we can trust God for a word when confronted with the crippling effect of fear
The Pattern of Jesus
“How God anointed Jesus Christ of Nazareth with the holy ghost and with fire, who went about doing good…”
In his earthly ministry, Jesus went about doing good to all men, yet he was on fire and anointed. This was what he came to teach us. But some of the disciples then haven’t learned so much from him as they were still adopting the mindset of the old schoolmaster in a new regime.
Coming up article: Becoming Free From The Curse of the Law
For two of his disciples – James and John in Luke 9:54 said, “…Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” Now you can tell whose students these disciples truly were. They wanted to call down fire on poor ignorant Samaritans who needed help themself. This sound interesting, but Christ rebuked them for their statement because that was not his mission. His mission is to seek and save lost souls. It was a sharp contrast between their desire and the desire of God.
Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”
As new testament believers who have a better covenant based upon better promises, we are to emulate the Lord Jesus Christ by going about and spreading that goodness, because he has not given us the ministry of destruction but of reconciliation. Also, his indwelling Spirit is there to always help us during times of fear and uncertainty if we rely on him at such moments. Also, we should understand that fear is a part of every human. At times a lot of courage is needed to know and do the will of God. We need to trust him with our lives because he has the power to save us. We must not become defensive and use authority as a weapon of destruction.
1 Peter 2:21
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”
Born in the Western part of Nigeria, is a teacher of God’s word and a promoter of purposeful living. She is on a mission to bring humanity closer to God through her inspired God-centered teachings, and help Christians live their lives in full for God’s glory
|Whatever would give an occasion for the enemies of God to mock – either mocking Him by mocking his servant or his children, he will not allow. Except they had sinned without repenting and without an intercessor