When’s the last time you thought about flies? You know, those pesky little critters with wings and big eyes. The ones that always have to fly in front of your face, instead of staying on the far side of the room. The nasty things that are attracted to stink and rot! Yuck!
Have you thought any lately about The Lord of the Flies? Remember that old movie? When I was in seventh grade our class had to watch the 1963 version of the film.
It definitely was a strange movie!
Its storyline went something like this: during WWII, a group of young British boys were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, without any surviving adults. They had to figure out how to survive until they could be rescued. Some of the boys felt they should establish laws to govern their new civilization, build homes, and work for the betterment of all. Others, however, decided that playing, hunting, and living without rules was what they wanted to do. So there became a split in leadership, and opposing factions were formed. Eventually, and before they could be rescued, the lawless became the hunters and hunted the other group; even to the point of murder.
The “lord of the flies” was symbolized by a wild boar’s head, placed on top of a bloody pole, with swarms of flies covering it completely, inside and out. Nice mental image, eh?
Basically, the author of the book, William Golding, was trying to say that people, left to themselves, will not get better; only worse.
I believe I see his point.
But let’s look at a different “lord of the flies” story; one from the Bible.
“One day Israel’s new king, Ahaziah, fell through the latticework of an upper room at his palace in Samaria and was seriously injured. So he sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether he would recover. But the angel of the Lord told Elijah, who was from Tishbe, “Go and confront the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is there no God in Israel? Why are you going to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether the king will recover? Now, therefore, this is what the Lord says: You will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die.’” So Elijah went to deliver the message.” (2 Kings 1:2-4 NLT)
The city of Ekron, located about 20 miles west of Jerusalem, had their own special “god” to worship: baal-zebub, which means “lord of the fly”. Seems kind of stupid, doesn’t it? I mean, worship the god of flies? Maybe their god WAS a fly. I’m not sure, but either way, it sure doesn’t make sense.
The king of Israel was in a very bad condition. He felt as though he was dying, and he was right. So he sent his messengers to the “Fly God” to find out if he’d recover or not. (The king was trying to get the latest “buzz” on the matter-ha!) Sounds wild!
The prophet Elijah was sent by Jehovah God (the fly’s Creator) to the king’s messengers with a special word; in question form. Again, wild!
Imagine the knuckleheads who would actually seek wisdom from a Fly God! Of course, that happened somewhere around 2500 – 2800 years ago. People were a lot more stupid, more gullible, then anyone today! We’d NEVER try and talk with a fly (unless we missed a few times), or worship a Fly God!
No, we’d rather try and seek wisdom and direction from more reliable sources. Today, our society prefers to listen to whoever Oprah touts as great. Or, we may rather read the section of paper which carries the syndicated horoscope column. You know, find out what you need to know from some “nearby” planet or star!
Fortune cookies “work” for some, while others are beholden to whatever “cosmic revelation” they receive while flitting around the universe in their “mind capsule”. I’ll say it again; WILD!
The Lord’s question to the king is relevant to us today. “Why are you going to everyone and everything else for the answer you need? Why not come to Me?”
I may be wrong, but I believe the reason the king DIDN’T ask the God of Israel for an answer is because he knew he would have to change his evil, selfish, rebellious ways.
You see, flies really don’t care what you believe, what you say, what you look at on the internet, who you “sleep” with, or what you put into your body or spend your money on. Flies just don’t care about anything but food, stink, and other flies.
And that goes for OUR “replacement god’s”, as well.
If you’ve been having more conversations with flies, the television, or the horoscope columnist than with God, maybe it’s time someone asked you the question Elijah had for the king.
“Why the Fly God?”