Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, is now king of Israel and he is wicked like his dad. When Ahaziah falls through the lattice of his upper room, he sends messengers to the false god Baal-Zebub to inquire of his injuries. The Lord sends Elijah to intercede by telling his messengers that because Ahaziah sent them to inquire of Baal-Zebub and not the Lord, he will die from his injury.
So Ahaziah sends fifty men to bring Elijah to him. Elijah says to the captain of the fifty men, “ ‘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.” Then Ahaziah sends another fifty men and they too are consumed by fire. Then Ahaziah sends a third group of fifty but this captain pleads for mercy.
The Lord tells Elijah to go with this captain and not to fear. So Elijah appears before Ahaziah and says, “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 to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.” After the death of Ahaziah, Jehoram (Joram), Ahab’s son and Ahaziah’s brother, becomes the next king of Northern Israel because Ahaziah had no sons. Jehoram “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, though not like his father and mother, for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless, he clung to the sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from it.”
When Moab attacks Israel, Jehoram aligns himself with Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and with the king of Edom, descendants of Esau, to fight with him against Moab. Jehoshaphat encourages them to inquire of the Lord regarding the battle, so they find the prophet Elisha. Elisha responds to Jehoram, king of Israel – “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.” So Jehoram tells Elisha that the Lord has brought these three kings together. Therefore Elisha says – “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you.”
Since Jehoshaphat, the godly king of Judah, is present, Elisha goes on to give them the Lord’s battle plan for their attack. Elisha instructs them to dig ditches. Then he says, “For thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind or rain, but that streambed shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your livestock, and your animals.’ This is a light thing in the sight of the Lord. He will also give the Moabites into your hand.” But first they had to dig the ditches in faith to receive the blessing of the divine water and the victory over their enemies.
When the Moabites see the sun hit the water in the ditches they assume it is blood and that their enemies must have turned on each other. So the Moabites go to take the spoils of the Israelite camp and the Israelites attack them and their cities. Out of desperation, the king of Moab “took his oldest son who was to reign in his place and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel. And they withdrew from him and returned to their own land.”
Jehoshaphat dies after reigning over Judah for twenty five years and his son, Jehoram, becomes king of Judah. Jehoram is married to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. “Now when Jehoram was established over the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself and killed all his brothers with the sword, and also others of the princes of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for he had the daughter of Ahab as a wife; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. Yet the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.”
Jehoram had a godly father, Jehoshaphat, but instead of trusting the Lord and obeying His Word like his father, Jehoram allowed the wicked house of Ahab to influence him, leading Judah into idolatry. But although Judah deserves to be destroyed due to their disobedience, the Lord gives them mercy for the sake of David. Because despite the failures of man, the Lord is still faithfully working His plan to bring the Messiah, Jesus Christ, through this bloodline.
Tomorrow Elijah is taken into heaven and Elisha succeeds Elijah as God’s prophet. Keep reading.
(2 Kings 1:1-18, 2 Kings 3:1-27, 1 Kings 22:41-49, 2 Chronicles 20:31-37, 1 Kings 22:50, 2 Chronicles 21:1-4, 2 Kings 8:16-22, 2 Chronicles 21:5-7)