(NIV1984) 2 Kings 1:10 – “Elijah answered the captain, ‘If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!’ Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.”
Wow! Why didn’t Elijah have this abilitpity before? Or maybe that’s the point – the ability was never his but it was always God’s. Anyway – it might seem a little overkill to get the fifty men, too, but the captain probably trained those men to follow him. They might have openly attacked Elijah on the spot instead of holding the proper respect.
And this scene is all about proper respect – not for Elijah, but for God. A man of God deserves respect from the captain – not an order from the king to come down. Elijah obeyed and belonged to a different and higher authority. There should have been some respect of that, but there wasn’t. The captain acted as if Elijah was an ordinary man – and don’t get me wrong, without God, Elijah was an ordinary man. But he knew an extraordinary God Who deserved more respect than He was given in this situation.