What we hold to be most important in our lives affects every decision we make as well as every action we take. This ultimately sets the course that our life will follow and whether we are aware of it or not, it determinesour final destination. In 2 Kings 1 we read about a King of Israel in ancient times who abandoned the Lord God to pursue the false god Baal, which was one of the popular fertility cults of that time and region. In today’s reading we find a description of how God sends the King a message through Elijah the prophet.
And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the LORD, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? (v. 6)
The consequence of setting Baal-zebub above the God of Israel for King Ahaziah was that the Lord intercepted his messengers with a message from the God of Israel to inform Ahaziah that he would not recover from his illness. As we consider this from our twenty first century perspective, we find it fairly simple to identify Ahaziah’s error, yet perhaps we are blind in regard to our own, even as he seemed unable to see his.
Very often our first action when we encounter a problem is to attempt to apply common worldly solutions? If we have a financial shortage – we go to the bank and extend our credit. If we have a health issue – we go to a doctor expecting him to correct it. If we have an emotional meltdown – we go a psychiatrist in hopes that he will prescribe a pill that will make us feel better. Now, certainly the case can be made that God has given these men and women the knowledge and wisdom to have studied the science of how our bodies and minds function or how the economy works for the purpose of helping us solve these dilemmas. The problem is not that we make use of what God has made available, the problem arises when we leave God out of the equation altogether!
What is it that happens when the doctor or the banker can’t or won’t help us? Most often it is only then that we hear ourselves conclude – “well I guess then all we can do then is pray.” It typically comes as a last resort – when all our efforts have failed – only then do we consider trusting God with our problem as an option. Should that not be a believer’s first line of defense? It would seem to me that if we claim to believe that God is still in the business of healing our bodies and providing our daily needs, that He should be the first One we go to when we have a need. It is entirely possible that His answer might be to us that He has made available to us a doctor whom He will use to solve the problem, or He may have a different solution, but the point is that as far as we are concerned, if He is first in our life as we claim, perhaps He should also be the first One we go to in any crisis situation. Could it be that He allows some of the crises we face to arise to help us see where our hope really lies?
Perhaps if we could become consistent in our practice of seeking God first – we would find that His solutions to our issues are typically much better than what the world has to offer. It may end up saving us a whole heap of trouble, quite likely some time, and perhaps even a little money!