Magic 8 Ball

2 Kings 1:1-2 (Today’s New International Version)
After King Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now King Ahaziah [Ahab’s son] had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.”

Magic 8 BallWhen I was a kid, I had a Magic 8 Ball. A plastic sphere with a small window, it was filled with liquid, with a 20-sided die inside. You would “ask” it a yes/no question, give it a good shake, then wait for one side of the die to float up to the window. It gave answers such as: “outlook not so good, ask again later,” “you may rely on it,” “maybe,” “my sources say no,” “concentrate and ask again,” “outlook good,” “signs point to yes,” or “no way!”

I remember picking up the little sphere, looking for answers to vitally important queries like, “Will I pass my math test tomorrow?” (reply hazy, try again) or “Should I wear my pink dress today?” (yes, definitely).

Silly, of course. I have no idea what happened to that toy. It probably was put on the 50-cent table at a garage sale when I was a teenager.

But it’s amazing how many places we’ll go, even as rational adults, to get answers to life’s most important questions before we head to the One with the plan. Like King Ahaziah in today’s reading, we forget the power and promises of the God of the universe.

Abraham Lincoln reportedly once said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming thought that I had nowhere else to go.” It is such a blessing to have access to the God who promised us, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). What better place to go with our questions? Because even when the answer to our prayers is not the one we may have chosen, God promises us that we will never be alone, never abandoned, and that we will be loved — forever.

Last time you faced a big decision in your life, where did you turn for guidance?

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