November 17: When in Need
2 Kings 1:1–2:5; Mark 13:24–14:21; Proverbs 6:1–5
When we encounter trouble, we tend to look wherever we can for help: We turn in whatever direction seems most promising at the moment. In doing so, we may unwittingly walk away from Yahweh. Should practicality or convenience stand between God and us?
When King Ahaziah falls through a lattice and is injured, he seeks help from a foreign god rather than Yahweh—likely because it seems natural or right. He thinks the god of Ekron, Baal-Zebub, can provide the healing he needs. But what Ahaziah sees as a desperate situation is actually an opportunity for Yahweh to act; Yahweh plans to use this situation for His glory.
When Ahaziah sends messengers to Ekron, Yahweh intercedes. Elijah approaches them bearing a word from Yahweh that had been spoken to him by an angel: “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?” (2 Kgs 1:3).
When we experience physical or spiritual pain, do we first recognize Yahweh’s power and seek Him, or do we turn to other sources? Does our turning to other places demonstrate a lack of faith? What do we really believe in when we seek people, ideas, or things rather than God in our time of need?
The consequences of turning away from Yahweh can be tragic. Elijah goes on to declare: “The bed upon which you have gone, you will not come down from it, but you shall surely die” (2 Kgs 1:4). Let us turn to God before it comes to this. Let us choose Yahweh.
Whom are you turning to right now in your time of need?
JOHN D. BARRY
Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.