“What am I, chopped liver?” If the Lord ever used urban language, He might have used this expression in 2 Kings 1. King Ahaziah sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, as to whether he would recover from an injury he sustained when he fell through the lattice in his upper chamber. Instead of seeking God’s face for the answer, he wanted to consult with the “lord of the flies” (the meaning of “Baal-zebub”).
Bottom line: God was being treated like chopped liver! He was being ignored. He was being viewed as having little value or worth. And that proved to be a deadly mistake.
To guide your reading of 2 Kings 1, here are some plot points:
- The Injury (2a)
- The Inquiry (and Idolatry, 2b)
- The Interception (and Insult, 3-4)
- The Interrogation (5-8)
- The Infernos (9-12)
- The Intercession (13-14)
- The interruption (15-18)
Four Life Lessons from 2 Kings 1.1-18:
1. There are no accidents with God.
Ahaziah’s fall in verse 2 may appear to be an accident, but you need to read 1 Kings 21.21-22 where God promised Ahab, Ahaziah’s father, that all his sons would be cut off. In other words, God’s sovereign plan was being fulfilled. Ahaziah hardened his own heart, did that which was evil, and treated God like chopped liver.
God is always accomplishing His divine purposes. “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115.3). “Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 135.6).
2. Occult involvement must be avoided.
Just like Ahaziah, scores of people today (and some of them Christians!) want to know the future, but not in the way God has prescribed. They check their horoscopes. They call a psychic hotline or consult with a palm reader. They play with a Ouija board. God’s position on such activity has always been definitive: Stay away!
Notice Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 10.19-20: What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.
So, Paul is issuing a stern warning: Investigation can open the door for demon infiltration!
If you want to know more about the future, read the Bible!
3. Disregarding God is always an act of stupidity.
There a number of ways we do it: blatant disobedience, ignoring biblical preaching and teaching, snubbing the admonition of our parents, turning a deaf ear to the wise counsel of a loving friend or coach, etc.
And when you treat God like chopped liver, you run the risk of getting out of God’s will, leaving His protective care, facing His corrective punishment, or even meeting an untimely death (just ask the Corinthians)!
4. Persistent impenitence leads to an incredibly hard heart and inevitable judgment.
Ahaziah’s life story is tragic and sad. It’s one filled with rebellion and hatred of God. He blatantly refused to repent of his sinful ways. He was brazen, arrogant, and threw away his last opportunity to repent. He traveled that awful path previously taken by the Egyptian Pharaoh who conversed with Moses. He, too, hardened his heart and God destroyed him.
There is a time – we know not when – a place we know not where,
That marks the destiny of men – from glory to despair.
There is a line – by us unseen – which crosses every path,
A hidden boundary between – God’s mercy – and His wrath.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy (Proverbs 28:13 ESV).