In chapter one, Ahaziah, who was the son of the evil king Ahab, and who was himself evil, fell through some sort of lattice work and was injured. We know that Ahaziah was evil because we are told as much at the end of 1 Kings, and the fact is reinforced here in chapter one when he commits the heinous sin of sending messengers to Ekron’s god Baal-zebub to ask if he would recover. This is huge.
And God sent Elijah to intercept the messengers to tell them that because Ahaziah insulted God, intending to ask Baal-zebub, Ahaziah would die from his injuries.
When Ahaziah found out from the messengers who it was that delivered the Lord’s message to them, he ordered one of his captains and fifty men to go and get Elijah.
It is important to note the manner in which the captain approached Elijah. He said, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!’” First, if this captain really believed that Elijah was a man of God, he would not have barked orders like this. A man of God answers to a higher authority, so the fact that the king is speaking would not carry a lot of weight. Also, a man of God does not take orders from anyone other than God, even a king. In essence, this captain was being impudent and disrespectful to Gods prophet.
Amazing how quickly we humans forget. How could Elijah’s earlier experience with false prophets, and God raining down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice not cause these men to approach Elijah with respect?
But, they showed no respect, and God’s fire again came from the sky, and this time the captain and his fifty soldiers were consumed.
This was repeated a second time with a second captain and another group of fifty soldiers.
But the third time, the captain came and kneeled at Elijah’s feet and begged him to consider his life and the life of his men. And since he showed respect, the angel of the Lord told Elijah to go with them to Ahaziah.
When Elijah was before the king, he told him that since he had ignored God and went to Ekron’s god, he would surely die of his injuries.
In chapter two, we see Elijah taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. Listen to what Matthew Henry had to say about this:
God had determined to take him up into heaven by a whirlwind. It is not for us to say why God would put such a peculiar honor upon Elijah above any other of the prophets; he was a man subject to like passions as we are, knew sin, and yet never tasted death. We may suppose that herein, 1. God looked back upon his past services, which were eminent and extraordinary, and intended a recompense for those and then in encouragement to the sons of the prophets to tread in the steps of his zeal and faithfulness, and to witness against the corruption of the age they lived in. 2. He looked down upon the present dark and degenerate state of the church, and would thus give a very sensible proof of another life after this, and draw the hearts of the faithful few upward towards himself, and that other life. 3. He looked forward to the evangelical dispensation, and, in the translation of Elijah, gave a type and figure of the ascension of Christ and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Elijah had, by faith and prayer, conversed much with heaven, and now he is taken thither, to assure us that if we have our conversation in heaven, while we are here on earth, we shall be there shortly, the soul shall (and this is the man) be happy there, there forever.
And some believe that since Elijah has not yet tasted death, he is one of the two prophets that will come to earth during the tribulation, just before Christ returns.
What do you think?