In the movie, The Green Mile, a man who is sentence to death has been given a unique ability. The prison guard, Paul Edgecomb (played by Tom Hanks), responsible for watching those men on that last “mile” of their life was sick with a urinary tract infection which brought a terrible amount of pain to his life.
An inmate, a giant black man, named John Coffey (played by Michael Clarke Duncan), was on death row for the murder of two little white girls. Paul is kindhearted and notices something different about this convicted murderer—gentleness. One night, Paul is called over by John and John grabs him from between the prison bars.
Although Paul could have pulled away, he started to feel something happening inside of his body. John was using some sort of power to pull the sickness out of Paul’s body. The lights surged with power and exploded and Paul stumbles backward. John begins to cough and choke on something that is caught in his throat.
He tilts his head up and opens his mouth wide and a swarm of little bugs, which looked like flies, pour out of his mouth and into the air. Paul is stunned but feels different and later confirms that he was healed of his infection. Somehow, John Coffey was able to take Paul’s sickness into himself and then expel the sickness through the releasing of flies.
Sounds strange? Yes, it definitely does sound strange, but author Stephen King did not come up with the idea that illness can be caused or represented by flies.
In 2 Kings chapter 1, King Ahaziah, had only just ascended to the throne of Israel when he was out inspecting an upper room and fell through the lattices. The fall injured him greatly and he knew that things were not going right in his body. 2 Kings 1:2
In desperation to know if he would recover and without medical treatment options, Ahaziah sent for messengers and told them, “Go and consult Baal-zebub, the God of Ekron and see if I will recover.” 2 Kings 1:2
There were religions at that time in the ancient world that looked to priests as doctors and all religions had certain gods for certain life issues, like the need for healing.
Ahaziah reached out to Baal-zebub, which translated means, Lord of the Flies. This ancient religion believed that if you were sick, then you had to have flies living inside your body. If you want to recover, you have to pray to the Lord of the Flies and he would remove them from you… because he’s lord…of the flies.
This seems kind of silly in our modern society where flies could be responsible for bringing illness, but only because we know the science explanation of how flies carried germs and liked to land on any and everything.
But Ahaziah and his famous father and mother, Ahab and Jezebel, believed that there were many gods and you go to the one that can meet your need for the moment.
In the Bible, this was a terrible error and a costly one.
Ahaziah’s messengers did as they were told and began their journey to deliver the message to the priests of the Lord of the Flies. However, on their way, they were intercepted by the prophet Elijah. God had spoken to him about what Ahaziah was doing and sent Elijah with His own message.
God said, “Isn’t there a God in Israel that you can ask for healing?” This was definitely a rhetorical question but God was asking it so that those who carried back the message would hear it and know that it was the Lord God of Israel who asked this question.
God made a promise to Ahaziah that he would not get better from his fall and he would die in his bed. And it happened as God said and Ahaziah died, serving only 2 years as king.
What does this mean for us?
First, God is a jealous god. He wants for you to come to Him with all your concerns because He loves you and desires to be your hope and future. God wants priority in your life and that is why He sent Jesus, his One and Only Son to provide you with a way to gain access and priority. Jesus has made a way with his own life, for us to ”…with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.
Lastly, God is showing us a picture of Jesus in the Old Testament. Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the Lord of the Lord of the flies and He has the power to heal you, if you believe and if He’s willing. Jesus is the top of the top. Jesus’s life, work on the cross and his resurrection from the dead has given him a name that is above all names and we should not seek after other things to provide us with what he wants to provide (Philippians 2:5-11).
Do you need help or healing? Turn to Jesus first, let him give you guidance on what you should do through his Word and also turn to your brothers and sisters in Christ for prayer and counsel. God rarely works alone and has chosen to use people as the main ingredient for his help (Matthew 18:20).