I thought of the novel Moby Dick today. In case you forgot – Moby Dick, the great white whale, bit off Captain Ahab’s leg, and Ahab spent the rest of his life in hatred, peg legging around his ship as he sailed the ocean chasing the whale. The most memorable lines from the book were the epithet that Ahab screamed at Moby Dick as they battled to the death (or at least Ahab’s death).
I think it was memorable, also, because those same words were what Khan cursed at his longtime nemesis, Captain Kirk, in the final battle of the movie Star Trek II– the Wrath of Khan, as Kahn set off the Genesis machine to destroy both of their spaceships. (Captain Kirk and the Enterprise survived of course)
Ahab and Khan said: “To the last, I grapple with thee. From hell’s heart I stab at thee. For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”
What a terrible way to spend and end a life.
Alistair Begg is preaching a sermon series called “Useful to the Master.” He was preaching from 3rd John and mentioned Diotrephes, who the Apostle John describes as a malicious malcontent. Then John mentions Demetrius as having a good testimony from everyone. Alistair Begg said Demetrius, unlike Diotrephes, was useful to the Master. And then said, to the effect, “wouldn’t that be a great testimony to be able to have on your gravestone – “He (or She) was useful to the Master.”
So, I thought of the end of life, and with the description of Diotrephes, Ahab’s and Khan’s final words came to mind. I thought of, instead of hatred, ending life like Demetrius, having been useful to the Master.
So rather than ending so pitifully with such hateful words, like Ahab and Khan, may we work every day to be useful to the Master and may the Lord bless us to be able to say “To the last, I have fought the good fight. From Heaven’s doors, I behold Your glory. For love’s sake, with my last breath on earth, I will praise thee, my Lord and Savior.”