Once more the king sent a third captain with fifty men. But this time the
captain went up the hill and fell to his knees before Elijah. He pleaded with See how the fire from heaven came down and destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him, and don’t be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went with him to the king.him, “O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants. 2 Kings: 1:13-15
When last we left Elijah he was calling fire down from Heaven to burn up some enemy soldiers. You would think that after losing fifty servants to the flames of God King Ahaziah would have wised-up and left well enough alone. Twice more, though, he sent squadrons of fifty to apprehend the rebel prophet. The second time the results were the same. Fifty soldiers went up the hill fifty cremated bodies were carried down the hill.
But the captain of the third squadron was a little wiser than the first two. He was smart enough to know that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So instead of confronting the prophet the third captain humbled himself before God and his man. That won the day. Elijah was given the God go-ahead to come down to Ahaziah. All God was looking for was a man humble enough to admit his need rather than rattle his saber.
We aren’t called to tough it out in our own strength. We are called to pray it through by throwing ourselves on the mercy of a God who is so much bigger than we are.