Close at Hand

King Ahaziah, who fell and became ill, sent messengers, saying, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I will recover from this sickness.” But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?’” (II Kings 1:2-3, all emphases in today’s post are mine.)

Despite several warnings, King Ahaziah died without turning to the one true God, according to II Kings 1:17. We, too, sometimes look to the wrong source for help because we don’t recognize that God is close at hand.

Many people in Jesus’ day had the same problem. Slow to recognize that He was God in the flesh, they responded in various ways. In Galilee, according to Luke 4:15, when Jesus “began teaching in their synagogues, he was praised by all.”

But when he said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown,” and supported his conclusion with examples from their history (Luke 4:24-27), “they were filled with rage as they heard these things” and tried to throw him over a cliff. (Luke 4:28-29)

In Capernaum, after Jesus healed the demon-possessed man, Luke 4:36 says the people were amazed and asked each other, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.”

Thus, Jesus’ reputation spread across the world and down through the centuries, all the way to us.

From June readings for Days 12, 13, and 14
I Kings 19-20, 21-22, and II Kings 1-3
Psalms 119:89-96, 119:97-104, and 119:105-112
Luke 4:13-30, 4:31-37, and 4:38-44
Ephesians 6:1-9, 6:10-24, and Philippians 1:1-11

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