Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of a hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.
And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.
And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. (2 Kings 1:9-12)
The law was not a savior after all. The law was the prison house. The law only made you know you were a sinner. The law pointed out your sin, but it didn’t have any remedy. If the policeman comes, and arrests you, and throws you back in the jail, that’s the law. That shows you you are a sinner, but how are you going to get out? That’s the next thing. The law was just a schoolmaster. It pointed out sin.
And then what did Elijah mean? Elijah was the justice of God. Now, no man can be saved by the law, so I don’t want to hear Moses anymore. No man’s saved by it. Now, no man could be saved by the law. It hasn’t got any grace in it at all. So you can’t be saved by your works, by the law, so then we’ll find out then what Elijah meant. He was the justice of God.
Elijah went up on the mountain. And here’s to show his justice. God told him to go up and set down. And when he did, the king sent up fifty men, said, “Come on down off there, Elijah, want to talk to you.”
Elijah raised up and said, “If I am a man of God, let fire from heaven come and consume you.” And fire fell out of heaven and killed fifty: justice. It was tampering on God’s territory. Who wants justice? I want to know today, who in this church would plead for justice? Not me. I plead for mercy, not justice. I’m justly due to die and go to hell. But it’s the mercy of God that saves me, not the justice. I don’t want it.
“Oh,” the king said, “That might’ve been an accident. It perhaps was a thunderbolt hit the sky. We’ll send another fifty.”
And he sent another fifty, and that old prophet raised up in the stern justice of God, and said, “If I am a man of God, let fire come and burn you up.”
And down it comes again and destroyed fifty more. So it wasn’t an accident. It was the justice of God. How dare anybody to say, “I want justice.” I don’t want justice; I want mercy.