Blue Whale. We are not talking the big fish in the sea. The “Blue Whale,” referred to in this piece, is an online game that ultimately dares its players to act out a death-wish – their own! This smartphone game pushes the users of this game to carve an outline of a Blue Whale on their skin and eventually drives them into suicide. That’s one reason this game got the name “whale” – a fish with suicidal-tendencies that is known at times to deliberately swim towards beaches only to die. If a player refuses to obey the “dare” for a dangerous task, threats such as, “We will have your parents killed…” rapidly follows. Yes people – including children and teens – World-over are either talking about the Blue Whale challenge or playing it.
The Blue Whale is ultimately indicative of a “true tale” – certain truths about Life – life about living with capital L. Only a person deeply disillusioned with life would take the lead from games such as this and eventually decide to end it. But the Bible, God’s Word in human words, presents Satan as the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:9). It is quite possible that Satan uses online games such as the Blue Whale, get unsuspecting folks to fall-in-line with his sinister plan of destruction. In the Bible, we read of a demon-influenced man ‘cutting himself with stones’ – attempting suicide (Mark 5:5). Satan does not just sow inside of us thoughts of suicide. The Bible teaches that His primary goal is to lead us towards fleeting-pleasure offering sin – something that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) and robs us of all lasting joy. “Joy” leaving our lives, when “Sin” enters is not just a fact found in the Bible (Lamentations 5:15; Psalm 51:12) but an experience we all relate to in our day-to-day lives. The shot-put ball of guilt in the heart after a sin – be it an affair with a colleague in the work-place or hours of porn-surfing when your spouse is asleep – stands testimony to that.
No, we do not read of anyone in the Bible narrative playing the Blue Whale game. But we do read of some folk who ended up committing suicide. The circumstances in which they committed suicide gives us key-perspectives about why people think of taking their own life. Abimelech (See Judges 9:54 in the Bible) did not want to be killed by a woman, and so he asked a young man to kill him instead. We see here that PRIDE (the first ever sin of the universe, according to the Bible) cannot give us purpose and meaning in life. But tragically, it can even be instrumental in the finishing of our life.
Let’s move on Suicide No. 2 recorded in the Bible. King Saul feared torture by enemy forces as a prisoner of war and he decided to fall onto his sword while on a battle field to finish-off his life (See I Samuel 31:4). In his case, PANIC (the result of sin according to the Bible – See Genesis 3:10), robbed him of his desire to live and he sadly chose to put a fullstop to his own life.
Now moving on the suicide story number 3 in the biblical records. Ahithophel, a professional Counselor to the king, upon discovering that his advice was not followed, decided to hang till he stopped breathing (2 Samuel 17:23). He chose to hang, instead of a life of having to hang his head in shame. However awesome a PROFESSION is, it cannot that person meaning, purpose, lasting joy in life. This I figure-out from this story.
The next suicide event in the Bible relates to a once-servant-of-the-king turned throne-usurper Zimri. His reign was short-lived as Omni, the commander of the army gathered around the place he stayed. Instead of owning up his sin of usurping the throne, Zimri, set fire to the house of the King, where was put up and died as the flames enveloped him (I Kings 16:8-18). He committed suicide unwilling to face the ramifications, the BY-PRODUCT of his sin. Even today, people commit suicide being afraid of the consequences of their sin. Here’s the goodnews: your sin may be unprintable, it can be still forgiven (see Isaiah 1:18 in the Bible). There may be an earthly punishment for it. But Christ is able to give a place in heaven to worst of sinners, if only they would repent and turn to Him, in faith.
Let’s get into the last story of suicide found in the Bible – the story of the Jesus-betrayer, Judas. The hole in his heart became bigger after receiving a PAY for leading an arresting party to the place the only the God-in-flesh, Jesus, often met with his disciples. This suicide story tells me that money cannot bring ultimate purpose and meaning to life.
This leads me to a well-known statement that Jesus made that is found recorded in the Bible: “I have come to give Life – Life to the full”(in John 10:10). This implies, apart from the “alone and apart from everyone” Jesus (Jesus said he was the ONLY WAY in John 14:6 of the Bible) no one can find that paramount peace, that supreme serenity, that maximum meaning, that Himalayan happiness.
Apostle Paul, a Jesus-follower, wrote about the “purpose in each step” (I Corinthians 9:26, NLT, The Bible) that Jesus gave him, when he followed Jesus through the smooth and stormy phases of his life.
One of Jesus’ names in the Bible is this: “Author of Life” (Acts 3:15). He is also the maker of life – this the Bible teaches (John 1:3). Human Life was made “for” Jesus Christ, the Bible notes (Colossians 1:16-17). When we wade though “the book of life’s journey” living “for” Jesus, life will become meaningful and purposeful!
The same Jesus who said, “I have come to give you life,” also mentioned that he came to die as a ransom for the sins of the World. This, the Bible records (Mark 10:45). This was the price he he had to pay to give us a meaningful life – through his cruel death on the Cross. When Jesus shed his precious, sinless blood for us, he opened the door for each one of us to escape from living an “empty” life on this earth, the Bible declares (I Peter 1:18).
Jesus rose from the Dead. Jesus promised to return again to judge the World. Those who firmly and finally reject Jesus, the name of the only person who qualifies to save humankind by the virtue of his absolute sinlessness, will live a life of “living” hell here and now and go to a “literal” hell.This the Bible, a book which has never gone wrong when it comes to predictions, predicts.
As I end this essay, let me narrate a Bible Story that involved a big fish – a whale perhaps. A disobedient prophet named Jonah ended up in the stomach of a fish. It seemed all over for him as the digestive juices of that fish started working on him. But that’s when he cried out to God from the belly of that “whale”. God heard his wailing from inside of a “whale”. He was rescued miraculously. The “whale” obeyed the “spit-him- out” order of God. Then the Word of God came to Jonah the second time, the Bible records (Jonah 3:1)!
The God of the Bible wants to give you a second opportunity! Have you been fooled into thinking by the Blue Whale Challenge or any other life challenge (a heart-breaking divorce around the corner/a dreaded disease that is taking its toll/etc) that “all is over and there is no hope whatsoever – therefore the only way ahead is to commit suicide”? Don’t buy that black lie from the Devil. When the Devil speaks, he speaks his native language which is telling lies, the Bible declares (John 8:44). God wants to give you a second chance, like he gave Prophet Jonah. Would you turn to him in repentant prayer? Would you not turn to Christ, God-incarnate, who died and rose again for your sake, right now?
What should we do now, exactly? Would you pray this prayer with faith? ‘Dear Father in Heaven, I come to you in Jesus name. I turn from sin (Luke 13:1-5, The Bible). I come to Jesus in faith (Matthew 11:28 & John 1:12, The Bible). I am coming now (2 Corinthians 6:2, The Bible). Please forgive me. Please cleanse me. From this day on, I will live for you, with your Spirit enabling me. I love you Jesus. In your name I pray.”
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