12(2Kings 01) Time to Repent
2 Kings 1:1-17
A Compassionate God.
God gives us many opportunities to repent. The God of Israel is gracious and long-suffering.
Psalms 103:10-12 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. NKJV
Our God is a compassionate God.
Ahaziah Choose Baal.
1 Kings 18 we see how God sent his prophet Elijah to Mt. Carmel to demonstrate that the true king of Israel was not Baal.
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people answered him not a word. NKJV
Baal was proven to be impotent and a lie. This was a sign to Israel to abandon Baal and worship the true God of the covenant. It was a warning to submit to Jehovah.
But Ahab, Jezebel and their children refused to serve God, and God killed them all.
In 835 BC, Ahab died and Ahaziah became king. No doubt he knew who Jehovah was and that He was the true God. But Ahaziah refused to worship and submit to God. He was stubborn and rebellious.
Baal worship seemed good to Ahaziah. He hated Jehovah, because God hates sin, but Baal loves it. He knew that Jehovah requires repentance, but Baal allows man to be arrogant.
Thus Ahaziah provoked the God of Israel. (1 Kings 22:51-53).
Every time when we sin, we are challenging God and provoking Him to anger. But the truth is, the God of Israel was patient with the king. God gave Ahaziah many opportunities to humble himself and return to the true worship of God.
Opportunities to Repent.
God allows trials and difficulties into lives that those affected might become sober, repent and call upon Him. God gave Ahaziah many such opportunities to repent through troubles.
1. Political humiliation.
a. When Ahaziah became king, Moab rebelled against Israel. Moab had been subject to Israel, but now they perceived a weakness in the new king. Embarrassment.
b. Did the king repent over this? No.
2. Economic trouble.
a. In 2 Chronicles 20 we read that Ahaziah entered into a shipbuilding venture with Jehoshaphat. Both kings wanted to trade and make a lot of money in joint venture.
b. But Ahaziah was not serving God, so God used this to get Ahaziah’s attention. (2 Chronicles 20:35-36).
c. They were looking for a great return, and instead lost everything.
d. Have we done this? We may have invested all our money and dreamed it would set us up for life. But God touched your investment and made it to be nothing.
e. You may think God is dealing with you out of anger, but it is out of love. He is bringing you down to the dust so that you can call upon Him and repent.
3. Personal health.
a. Did Ahaziah repent? No. so God touched him with health trouble. (2 Kings 1:2).
b. This was an accident. But when God is trying to get our attention, there are no accidents.
c. Eutychus had an accident in Acts 20. He fell out of a third story window and died. But Paul came down and prayed for him, and he revived to the glory of God.
d. God will not tolerate our treating Him or His Word with contempt. If we do, he has a way of touching us, just as he touched Ahaziah.
Ahaziah Shows His Heart.
He was still alive. He could still turn to Jehovah and repent, and seek God. Did he? No. he refused to call on God.
Instead he called on Baal. When we are in serious trouble, we will show our heart, we will demonstrate where our trust really is by how we respond. Do we call on God? Do we ask others to pray for us/with us?
Ahaziah did not trust in God. He proved by his actions that he did not think there was really a God in Israel. He would rather trust the devil (Baal) than God. He trusted more in the God of this world than the true God. Sound familiar?
Why did he never seek God? Maybe because to come to God we must truly repent, humble ourselves and confess our sins. We don’t have to repent to Baal, so we prefer him.
Even though he was dying, he hardened his heart, determined to oppose God to his last breath. I have great respect for any person who humbles himself and weeps before God. But when I see someone brazen, arrogant, arguing and self-justifying, I grieve.
Remember the Egyptian Pharaoh? Time after time, yet he hardened his heart.
More Opportunities to Repent.
He called a captain and sent 50 soldiers to arrest Elijah. Fire consumed them. Did he repent? No.
Called for another 50. Same thing. Repent? No.
Another fifty were sent, this time the captain was humble. He demonstrated himself what God was looking for in Ahaziah, so a different result, he lived. Elijah went to the king.
He personally delivered God’s Word to him. Repent? No. he died.
Why do some people, when they are in trouble, argue, justify their actions, and oppose God? It is a problem of sin.
Refusing to Repent.
Revelation 9:20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. NKJV
Did they repent? No.
Revelation 16:10-11 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds. NKJV
2 Chronicles 16:12 And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians. NKJV
If the Holy Spirit is speaking to you through this, I hope you will stop arguing. I have heard some of the arguments, and I assure you that if you will open your heart, that today He is showing you mercy and giving you an opportunity to repent.
Jeremiah 8:20,22 "The harvest is past, The summer is ended, And we are not saved!"
22 Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there?
In 2 Kings, “is there no God in Israel?” “Is there no balm in Gilead?” what is the answer? YES! There is a God, the true and living God, in Israel? Yes, there is a balm in Gilead. Never say there is no God to help you.
Jeremiah 2:13 "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water. NKJV
Jeremiah 3:12-13 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: 'Return, backsliding Israel,' says the LORD, 'I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,' says the LORD; 'I will not remain angry forever. 13 Only acknowledge your iniquity,
Jeremiah 17:5-6 Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. NKJV