Then he sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty men.
And he answered and said to him: “Man of God, thus has the king said, ‘Come down quickly!’ ”
So Elijah answered and said to them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
Again, he sent a third captain of fifty with his fifty men. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and pleaded with him, and said to him: “Man of God, please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight. Look, fire has come down from heaven and burned up the first two captains of fifties with their fifties. But let my life now be precious in your sight.”
And the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king. Then he said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’ ” (2 Kings 1:11-16)
Bad things happen to those who oppose God and don’t ask for mercy. Ahab, the king of Israel in Samaria had died and his son, Ahaziah had become king in his place. His mother, Jezebel, was still alive. Ahaziah fell through a lattice and seriously injured himself. Instead of seeking God’s help, he sent messengers to consult a false god. Elijah intercepted the messengers and told them that Ahaziah would die from his injuries.
Unlike his father Ahab, who repented at the prophet’s words, Ahaziah sent soldiers to arrest Elijah. The first group died when Elijah called fire down on them. Ahaziah sent a second contingent to get Elijah, and the same thing happened to them. And so Ahaziah sends a third group. The leader of the third group begged for mercy, and Elijah granted it. Elijah went with them and when he faced Ahaziah, he simply reiterated what he had told the king’s messengers: you’re going to die. So Ahaziah died and his brother Joram took the throne in his place. Unlike his father Ahab, Ahaziah did not repent or humble himself before God. He remained defiant and suffered accordingly.