King Ahab’s son Ahaziah did not pretend to be a follower of God. In fact, he was blatant in his pagan worship. When he became seriously ill, he sent messengers to “inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron” (2 Kings 1:2). The word translated inquire, darash suggests that Ahaziah worshipped Baal-zebub (1875) and may have offered sacrifices to the god of the Ekronites.
Ahaziah’s role as king of Israel required him to submit to the LORD and to execute God’s will for his people. Ahaziah had usurped God’s authority and was guilty of violating God’s commandments. Whereas king Ahab’s heart was divided between God and Baal, Ahaziah had no allegiance to God whatsoever.
While Ahaziah’s messengers were traveling to Ekron, God sent Elijah to intercept them. As instructed, Elijah told them, “Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shall surely die” (2 Kings 1:4). When the messengers returned and gave Ahaziah the bad news, he sent 50 soldiers to capture Elijah and kill him (2 Kings 1:9).
King Ahaziah thought he could annul God’s word by killing his prophet. Ahaziah was so steeped in the ways of pagan worship, that he was oblivious to God’s control over his life. Not only did God have the power to remove Ahaziah from his office, but God had the right to punish Ahaziah for his idolatry. The problem with Ahaziah’s way of thinking was he placed himself above God. Ahaziah actually thought he could subject God to his will and could overcome his illness with the help of Baal-zebub.
After three attempts to capture and kill Elijah, king Ahaziah was confronted with the truth:
And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. (2 Kings 1:16)
“So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken” (2 Kings 1:17).