when lattices fail and leaders fall

Perhaps it was a hot day in Israel when Ahaziah leaned back on his upper room lattice and fell to the ground injuring himself. (2 Kings 1)  Ahaziah must have been stricken with dread as he was picked up by the servants and laid out on a couch.  He couldn’t wait, fear of the future took over, he had to know what the future held for him.  Would this fall be the death of him?

What he did next reveals the true condition of his heart and the devotion of his life.  Ahaziah sent messengers to consult with Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if he would recover from this injury.  However, on this day, what may have been the usual practice of Ahaziah was interrupted.  “The angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?  Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on.  You will certainly die!”

Now Elijah’s message from God set up a series of confrontations with Ahaziah’s military leaders. 102 were consumed by fire from heaven.  The third leader pleaded for the lives of his men and himself.  Ahaziah never repented and died on his bed.

When the walls you have built to provide security and protection fail, who are you going to call on first?  What patterns of devotion and worship have you established in your life?  Is your security in Jesus Christ or in your own health, ability, savings, or savy?  Are you dependent on false gods, sinful habits, shallow people for assurance of your own well-being each day?  What will the crisis reveal about the integrity of your heart? 

The writer of Hebrews calls on us to enter into the presence of Jesus Christ and pursue his holiness in our lives.  Pressure whether it is economic or in the realm of our physical health will come.  Choices remain to be made in a crisis.  However it is the pattern of our hearts devotion that is most likely to prevail when times are tough.  Stick close to Jesus even when times are good; stick close to Jesus even when times are tough.

Hebrews 10:19-39

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”   31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while,

“He who is coming will come and will not delay.
38 But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back,
I will not be pleased with him.”  

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.