Monday, June 19, 2017
Looking for Answers in the World
2Kings 1:2 Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay injured; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.” 3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Get up, go to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?’
When the king suffered from a traumatic injury his first inclination was not to seek advice from the prophet of God. Instead of going to his own God — he sought out the advice of the neighboring god. Oddly, the neighboring god had no track record with Israel like the LORD did. There was no history of bringing the people out of Egypt and making provision for them by the god of Ekron. Why go somewhere else for advice? Could it be that the king didn’t want to submit to the God of Israel? The result was that he, along with many of his own men suffered as a result of his stubbornness. His pride became the ruin of many.
Sometimes it seems that followers of Jesus Christ will go everywhere to find answers to their problems, but to God. I’ve heard people claim that God isn’t concerned with the mundane and ordinary issues of our lives, but only wants to be engaged in the big picture items. I’m not sure where we have gotten that idea. God is concerned about everything in our lives and far too often we fail to bring our needs and concerns before the Lord in prayer.
Is our first inclination in times of difficulty to go to the Lord — or to find a friend who will give us advice? We may not think that we go to the god of Ekron — but do we? By seeking for solutions for our problems from our friends, or even the specialists of the world, we may be ignoring God. I’m not saying that God doesn’t often provide help for us by way of the world’s specialists — but if we go to them first, without direction from God we may be missing out on what the Lord has in store.
Ahaziah had no personal relationship with the Lord, therefore in his time of trouble, he didn’t even think about going to God. The same will happen to us if we don’t have such a deep personal relationship with the Lord that we automatically go to the Lord first thing. The problem is, even those who have been spending time with the Lord will face the temptation from time to time to go to Ekron. We may not think that we are seeking help from a foreign god, but we may be asking our friends for advice. We may be asking what they think we ought to do about a particular situation in life, and well-meaning friends will give us their opinions. But isn’t this looking for answers from the world, before really seeking the face of God? And could it be that we are simply going to others because they may give us the advice that we want to hear? God may ask us some really tough questions about our circumstances and that may make us uncomfortable. Our pride keeps us from truly seeking the face of God.
God really does care about every single thing that we face — every single day! Learning to bring everything before the Lord will be transforming to our lives. When we constantly look for answers in the world, our actions are declaring that we don’t believe that there is a God who cares. God does care and is patiently waiting for us to come with our concerns, no matter how big or how small.
Lord, thank you for the reminder that you care about all the details. May I seek you and your face rather than listening to voices that may tell me what I want to hear. Amen.