There is a crazy contrast of life and death between two men in 2 Kings 13 and 2 Chronicles 24. Elisha is the prophet of God who pursues God at all costs, and it costs him alot. He lives a life of deep, personal faith in God. He withstands tough trials, he takes on people who hate him for his trust in God, and he sees great works of God done through his hands. And he dies.
Joash was a prince who became king of Judah. He was only seven when he became king, and he reigned for decades. He was guided by a priest named Jehoida, who loved God. Under Jehoida’s guidance, he turned the kingdom back to God, and had amazing success as a king. He lived out a public faith, pointed people to God, faced tough battles with enemy armies, takes on other nations who hated God, and saw great works of God done through his hands. And then, he died.
But when Joash died, it was ugly. Jehoida, the priest, had died years earlier, and Joash quit following God. In fact, he ran the other way, and abandoned God. Because of this, he was wounded in battle, and then later killed in his own bed by conspirators. His faith was wide, but not deep. It was a faith to be seen, but not to be lived personally. When he needed God’s guidance the most, his weak faith did not carry him, and he died a broken ruler who lost his way, at the hands of assassins.
Elisha died of a disease that slowly took his life. But, through it all, he maintained a trust in God that guided his heart and decisions. He died at peace, and was buried. Later, some friends were transporting a friend’s body to a funeral. As they went past Elisha’s tomb, some robbers came by. They stuck their friend’s body in the tomb to hide it from the bad guys. It touched Elisha’s bones, and the guy came back to life. Even in death, God’s power and blessing stayed with Elisha’s body.
That’s a contrast.
Which are you shooting for? A faith that is a Sunday faith, once a week, make everyone like you, and live life your own way the other six days? Are you living off of someone else’s faith? OR, are you working out a faith through tough times and trials that is deep, and just by being around you, people gain new life?
Two similar but very different paths. Which are you on?