The cry of the Lord these past two years continues to be the same as the 2,000 before, “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” By all means care for your physical body, after all it is the temple of the Lord. But do not let these physical pursuits blind your eyes from Him who is eternal and who freely gives life to all who ask, seek, and knock! Death is coming. Today then is the day to find life by believing in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me you would surely recover.” But it happened on the next day that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place.
II Kings 8:14-15
Earlier this week during a driving rain I drove past a Covid testing center. More than 100 people were standing outside waiting for their chance to have a Covid test. The next day I passed a drive thru testing site where cars were lined up for more than a mile. The news is full of similar stories as the world risks sickness from exposure to the elements and spends massive amounts of time for the opportunity not to be treated for Covid, but simply to find out from tests if they might have Covid. The world has trained many to consider health the most important thing in life and worthy of all sacrifice to maintain it for as long as possible.
King Ben-Hadad and his armies had killed untold numbers of people. Men, women, and children had starved under his sieges, kings had been killed in his battles. But when sickness came upon him, Ben-Hadad was so worried he sent 40 camel-loads of gifts to Elisha not as payment to be healed but as payment for the knowledge of whether or not he would survive the illness. On that note, Elisha had good news. Ben-Hadad would recover. The results of the test? The disease was not fatal! The bad news was Ben-Hadad was focused on the wrong thing. He should have been concerned for his soul and his spiritual health more than his physical health which will one day abandon us all. Ben-Hadad was going to die anyway and in a way he seemed to have least expected — his long-time servant Hazael would smother him in his own bed!