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Elijah & the Captain of 50 Men: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
3/31/2020 6:00:00 AM by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

What did Jesus mean when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”? What does it look like for somebody to be “poor in spirit”? The story of King Ahaziah in the Old Testament gives some hints.

Ahaziah was one of the kings of ancient Israel during the time of God’s prophet Elijah. One day he fell through the second story railing of his house to the ground below. He was badly injured. So he sent messengers to Baal-zebub, the god of the people of Ekron, to ask if he would recover from his injuries.

Elijah met the messengers on their way. “Give the king this message,” he said, ‘“Why are you going to the god of Ekron? Is there no God in Israel? Here is what the Lord God says to the king: “You will not be able to get up from your bed. You are going to die.”’”

The messengers went back to the king and told him what happened.

“What did the man who stopped you look like?” Ahaziah asked.

“He wore a hairy garment with a leather belt around his waist,” they said.

“I know who that is!” the king said. “That’s Elijah!” And he ordered one of his military captains to take 50 men, arrest Elijah, and bring him to the king.

The captain and his 50 men located Elijah sitting on top of a hill.

“Man of God! Come down here right now!” the captain shouted. “I have orders to bring you to the king!”

“If I really am a Man of God,” Elijah said, “may fire come down from heaven and consume you all!”

Just then a ball of fire dropped from the sky. It landed on the men and they all burnt up.

So the king sent another captain with 50 men to arrest Elijah. They, too, found him on top of the hill. “Man of God! The king says, ‘Come down at once!’” the captain yelled.       

“If I really am a Man of God,” Elijah said, “may fire come down from heaven and consume you all!”

Once again a fireball fell from the sky and killed all the men.

So – can you believe it? – the king sent another captain with 50 men to arrest Elijah.

But this captain was different. He climbed all the way up the hill and fell on his knees at Elijah’s feet. “Have compassion on me and these 50 men!” he begged. “We know what happened to all the others. Fire from heaven fell on those two captains and on their 50 men. Now, please, spare our lives!”

The angel of the Lord told Elijah, “Go down with him to the king. Do not be afraid.”

So Elijah went to the king with the captain and his 50 men. He gave God’s message directly to the king: “The Lord God says to you ‘Do you think there is no God in Israel for you to consult? Is that why you sent messengers to consult with Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? Because you did this, you will never be able to get up from your bed. You will surely die!’”

So King Ahaziah died as God said. He was king of Israel for only two years.

Being poor in spirit means that you realize you are poor and powerless. You don’t have what you need and you have no power to get what you need. To be poor in spirit toward God means that you come to him for what you need realizing that you can’t bribe him to help you, that you can’t manipulate or trick him into helping you, and that you can’t force him to help you. All you can do is ask nicely.

Today’s prayer

Lord I have this problem, I have this need: _____________. I’m poor and You are rich. I can’t bribe You or pay You to help me. All power is Yours. I have no power to solve this problem or to force You to help me. You are too wise for me trick You into helping, and certainly too wise for me to advise You how to help. Have compassion on me, Lord. Help me in my need. Amen.

© 2019 Becky Cerling Powers

For the next few months I will be posting stories that help us understand the Beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mountain. For faith-based family stories to share with friends and older children, check out Laura’s Children: the hidden story of a Chinese orphanage and My Roots Go Back to Loving and other stories from Year of the Family in the Bookstore.


Previous Posts

Music Enriches the Family
9/10/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Pre-School at Home During Covid-19: tips from the Parent Powerline
8/21/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Parenting in the Mess: Tips from the Parent Powerline
8/16/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Grandpa Thure Cerling, Part 2: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
8/4/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Grandpa Thure Cerling, Part 1: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
8/4/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

The Way We Homeschooled, Part 1 Balance: from the Parent Powerline
8/4/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Temptation: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
7/23/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Glen A. Hinshaw

A Simple Way to Help Kids with School: from the Parent Powerline
7/21/2020 9:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Honest Abe Lincoln
7/14/2020 11:00:00 PM  by: Randy Limbird

The Most Conscientious Hunter I Ever Met: a Beatitudes Tale
6/24/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Glen A. Hinshaw

Washing Feet: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
6/17/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers and Lee Merrill Byrd

No Parking: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
6/10/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Ruby Bridges, part 2: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
6/3/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Ruby Bridges, part 1: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
6/2/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Raising Fluent Readers: tips from the Parent Powerline
5/29/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Unwanted Baby: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
5/26/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Eileen as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Family Funnies: Tips from the Parent Powerline
5/22/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Joey's Letters: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
5/21/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Lee Merrill Byrd

Alzheimer Valley: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
5/13/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

New Bride Confusion: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
5/12/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Amaris Luz, Light from Darkness: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
4/28/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Lee Merrill Byrd

Losing Poetry: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
4/22/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

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4/15/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Naaman, Rich in Money and Presumption: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
4/14/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs and Becky Cerling Powers

David, Bathsheba & Psalm 51
4/9/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

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4/8/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

The Beer Would Call Me: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
4/7/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Beatriz Balcort as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Turned Around: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
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Toddlers Helping During COVID-19 and Beyond: tips from the Parent Powerline
4/1/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Elijah & the Captain of 50 Men: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
3/31/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

Fear in Residence: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
3/24/2020 10:00:00 PM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Household Management During COVID-19 Time: tips from the Parent Powerline
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3/12/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

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DIY Plumbing: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
3/5/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Jennifer Cummings

A Brother's Love: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
3/3/2020 7:00:00 AM  by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

My Two Dads, part three: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
2/27/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers

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2/25/2020 7:00:00 AM  by: Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers

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2/20/2020 12:45:00 PM  by: Jennifer Cummings

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2/13/2020 12:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

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The Grumble Family
1/28/2020 7:00:00 AM  by: Anonymous

Afraid to Sleep at Night (Psalm 91): a story to share with friends and grandchildren
1/22/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

How the Camel Got His Hump: a retold story to share with friends and grandchildren
1/13/2020 10:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Growing Up With Polio: a story to share with friends and grandchildren
1/9/2020 10:01:00 PM  by: Laura Jane Cerling

All Things Bright and Beautiful
1/7/2020 6:20:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers, poem by Cecil Frances Alexander

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1/1/2020 6:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

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Mary and the Angel
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First Thanksgiving, Part 2: Beginning in Weakness
11/28/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Rami Scully

First Thanksgiving, Part 3: Gifts & Gratitude
11/28/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Rami Scully

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11/27/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Rami Scully

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part Three
11/22/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Néaouguen Nodjimbadem as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part Two
11/19/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Néaouguen Nodjimbadem

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part One
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11/1/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Jennifer Cummings

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The Love & Diaper (Nappy) Connection
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Avon Perfume Surprise
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Belshazzar
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Reading to Babies
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How the Ostrich Got His Long Neck
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8/20/2019 3:24:00 PM  by: Joe Herman