Fire in my Bones Youth for Jesus

Read the signs|Fire in my bones|By: J.O. Lawal

Date: September 14, 2022|Series: Youth for Jesus|Number: Vol. 5, No. 18

“So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!”” (2Kings 1:13-14NIV)

The story of how Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume two companies of soldiers and their two captains is without doubt a very popular one. As the story goes, the king of Israel once sent a captain of his army and his company of fifty men to bring Elijah to him anyhow. Why? It was because the latter had pronounced a judgment of death on him for consulting Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, for healing instead of consulting God. Unfortunately for those soldiers, Elijah was not at all in a mood to condone any form of arrogance at the time. So, he called down fire from heaven to consume them.

Now when the king of Israel heard about that, he got even more upset and sent another captain and his company of fifty men to get Elijah to come to him. In like manner, Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume them as well. And they were consumed.

But did that stop that stubborn king from sending more soldiers to arrest Elijah? No! He still sent yet another captain with his company of fifty soldiers to arrest the man of God. Why? He was a wicked person that cared about no one but only about himself and whatever he wanted. And the world has never been in shortage of people like him, people who don’t care at all about whose lives get ruined or destroyed in their quest to have certain things, get to certain positions or punish certain people that they see as enemies.

If you, then, have your way, avoid any form of dealings with such people. Otherwise, they may end up sacrificing you one day for their selfish desires. And that was what happened to those soldiers of King Ahaziah. They were sacrificed by him for nothing. And the same thing would have happened to the third captain and his fifty men that he sent to arrest Elijah, if that man had ignored the signs of death that were staring him in the face.

As a soldier, that captain had no choice but to obey his master, even if he was being sent to his death. But he also knew that he did not have to die a needless death. All he needed to do to avoid that was to pay attention to the signs left behind by those soldiers before him who died while trying to arrest Elijah and use them to his advantage. And that was exactly what he did, as we see in our opening bible text. He could see that Elijah could not be arrested like any common criminal. You had to beg and persuade him to follow you to wherever you wanted him to go, even if it was a king that you wanted him to meet. Otherwise, you may end up dead in the process. So, he literary begged Elijah to spare his life and those of his men and follow him to the king that had wanted to see him. And that man of God listened to him.

What is the point of all this? It is that, in handling life’s matters, it is important that we learn to read the signs left behind by those who went ahead of us and not foolishly walk into the traps they fell into. Yes, by praying to God and trusting Him, He can protect us from any kind of trouble. But it is not every trouble that praying to God will save us from. There are some troubles that God Himself wants us to make use of the sings pointing to them and avoid them. And if we fail to read such signs that can keep us safe from certain troubles, God may not do anything else to save us from them. This explains why righteous and good people sometimes perish needlessly.

So, learn to pay attention to signs of failure, death, danger or destruction left by others for you. That way, you can receive wisdom from God to utilise them and keep yourself safe. For example, if you come to an office or a place where those before you failed woefully, died mysteriously or got disgraced before leaving, don’t just hurry to start doing this and that in that place. Instead, first find out what was responsible for what those people suffered, instead of assuming that you know it all. Otherwise, when signs of danger start showing up, you may not even know at all, not to talk of get yourself ready to deal with what is coming. And by the time you fall the way others fell, you will not even believe it, if you are still alive to tell the story.

Furthermore, lean to pay attention to signs of success left by others for you. That way, you can make your journey to greatness smoother and quicker. But if you are just walking on in life and ignoring all the warning and direction signs left by others, you may end up missing your opportunity for promotion or enlargement before it even shows up. So, be wise and give heed to the signs on your life paths.

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