2 Kings 1:2 – Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, where I shall recover from this sickness.”
After King Ahab dies, his son King Ahaziah is just as wicked as his father and at least five generations before him. After Baal is defeated on Mount Carmel, Ahaziah continues leading the people in worship of and prayer to this pagan god.
God’s anger is stirred because He is willing to hear and answer prayers, as we see throughout the life of Elijah. Here, King Ahaziah is not praying to God, but instead choosing the demonic counterfeit, namely witchcraft. Through divination, sorcery, and fortune telling, people seek to get answers and help from the spirit-world and, in so doing, engage with demons.
God’s people are expressly forbidden from such witchcraft. Leviticus 19:31 says, “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 20:6 says, “If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”
This tolerance of the demonic was a longstanding problem. Centuries earlier when God’s people took possession of this region, the people they defeated were into every sort of demonism. God commanded His people to drive the evildoers out of the land, which they did not. This set the stage for the ongoing corruption and conflict in the days of Elijah.
The disobedience that led to the demonic is reported in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (NLT) which says, “…never sacrifice your son or daughter…do not…practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.”
The moral of the story is that a small act of compromise and disobedience can lead to generations of demonic strongholds and evil.
Do you struggle with God’s judgment of evildoers? Why? Why not?
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