God through His ministers, calls for reformation and obedience, and if the calls be not regarded,
men may expect plagues and evil days to come,
for He WILL be heard (v. 1, 12).
II Kings 1
1 Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.
2 And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.
3 And it came to pass at the seven years’ end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land.
4 And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.
5 And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.
6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.
7 ¶ And Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben-hadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither.
8 And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
9 So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Ben-hadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
10 And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die.
11 And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept.
12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
13 And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.
14 So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, What said Elisha to thee? And he answered, He told me that thou shouldest surely recover.
15 And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead.
16 ¶ And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign.
17 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.
19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant’s sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children.
20 ¶ In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves.
21 So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents.
22 Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time.
23 And the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
25 ¶ In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign.
26 Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.
27 And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the LORD, as did the house of Ahab: for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab.
28 ¶ And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramoth-gilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram.
29 And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
II Kings 1 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Kings 8:1-15 – The Power behind the Throne.
Nothing happens in our life or in the world apart from the divine appointment or permission. Behind every event and incident there is a divine providence. The Shunammite who had done so much for Elisha was remembered and cared for, years afterward. The King has a wonderful memory for those who fed him when he was hungry, and ministered to him when he was in need. “When saw we thee…? Inasmuch as…” (Matthew 25:37-40). This conversation between the king and Gehazi might have seemed an accident, but it was a providence. If we abide in the will of God, life will be sown with divine coincidences.
Here is another instance: Elisha comes to Damascus, evidently at God’s bidding, just when Ben-hadad is sick. That sickness would not be mortal, but he would die prematurely from another cause. Would that men of God today had more of this gift of weeping over sinners and their destiny! No ome resented hearing D.L. Moody talk of hell, because his voice always faltered. The prophet read Hazael’s destiny from the Book of God, – not from his set face, – and how astounding it was! Ah, what depths of wickedness there are of which we are capable! “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins” (Psalms 19:13).
2 Kings 8:11—And the Man of God wept.
Elisha foresaw all the evil that Hazael would inflict on Israel, and it moved him to tears. Though he was a strong man, able to move kingdoms by his message and prayer, yet he was of a tender and compassionate disposition. This was he who one moment upbraided the king of Israel for his crimes, and the next called for a minstrel to calm his perturbed spirit with strains of music. The men that can move others are themselves very susceptible and easily moved.
The nearer we live to God, the more we deserve to be known as men and women of God, the more will our tears flow for the slain of the daughters of our people. Consider the ravages that drink, and impurity, and gambling, are making among our people; enumerate the homes that are desolate, the young life that is wrecked as it is leaving the harbor, the awful dishonor done to woman; and surely there must come times when tears well up for very humanity’s sake, to say nothing of the pity which they acquire who look at things from God’s standpoint.
Jesus beheld the city and wept over it. Give us this day, O Son of Man, Thy compassion, Thy love, Thy tears, that we may speak of Thy grace graciously, of Thy love tenderly, and even of Thy judgments with brimming eyes.
A broken heart, a fount of tears:
Ask, and it shall not be denied.
Wouldst thou avert such issues; begin with the cradled babes of your homes. Win them for God; teach them how to curb passion and subdue themselves. Tenderness and wisdom may arrest the making of Ben-hadads.
2 Kings 8:16-29 – Athaliah’s Wicked Husband and Son.
Jehoram’s history furnishes a terrible example of how an ill-marriage may mar a man’s life. He had a good father, but a bad wife, and the latter more strongly influenced him than the former (2 Chronicles 21:6). The fuller story of Jehoram’s reign, and the apparent extinction of the royal family, is told in 2 Chronicles 22. But notice especially v. 19. The lamp was kept burning for David’s sake (Psalms 132:17). Surely the grace of God can keep that same lamp burning in the hearts of our children. A lamp, as we learned from the Chicago fire, may make a very great conflagration.
Ahaziah followed in the steps of his parents. What could be expected from the training of such a mother! Misled by her, he followed the dreary steps of Ahab. The close intimacy between the two houses led to alliance in war and a common fate. Little did Jehoshaphat realize all the evil that would result from his dealings with Ahab (1 Kings 22:4). The story told in these pages is sad reading, but through it all God’s purpose moves on (Matthew 1:8). As a water-lily grows from a muddy bottom, so the pure life of Christ came, on the human side, out of this family. God’s purpose shall finally emerge from this present strife in a further revelation of the Son of man.