Read 2 Kings 6
Yes, it is normal to be so in tune with God that you hear and do all His Commandments (II Kin. 6:15). The ax head made to float; the King of Syria attacks Israel (6:8); famine in Samaria; Elisha's prophecy fulfilled; the Holy Spirit guides them. God uses the most "unlikely" means to satisfy the prophet's hunger (6:24 — 7:20).
Ben-hadad, King of Syria, was sick, but he was also an idol worshiper. At his request Hazael went to the prophet Elisha to ask if the king would recover from his sickness. Elisha told Hazael to tell the king: "Yes." Then Elisha began to weep and said: I know the evil that thou wilt do to the children of Israel (II Kin. 8:12). Hazael appeared shocked as he asked: Is thy servant a dog (8:13) that he would be so wicked? With deceptive concern, Hazael waited for his opportunity. Then he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his (Ben-hadad's) face, so that he died: And Hazael reigned in his stead (8:15). Covetousness can blind a person to the cruel, unscrupulous actions of which he is capable in order to satisfy greed. Hazael was willing to stoop to any depth of evil in order to gain a favored position immediately. Perhaps in earlier years, Hazael would have been horrified at the thought that he would heartlessly assassinate his royal master.
Circumstances confront us with new temptations which were never before felt. Had Joseph's brothers been told that one day they would consider murdering or selling him into slavery, they undoubtedly would also have asked: Is thy servant a dog (8:13) that he would be so wicked? Like Hazael they were men and sinners by nature (Eph. 2:3). Apart from the indwelling Christ, man yields readily to the passions which war against his soul; he gives way to the circumstances which appeal to his greed. Believers are urged: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. . . . For sin shall not have dominion over you (Rom. 6:12,14).
Hazael could have followed the example of King David who, many years earlier, after he was anointed king by Samuel, had the opportunity to murder Saul. But David refused to take matters into his own hands; he knew that the timing of God was best.
We are perfectly safe when we commit our desires to the Lord first and yield ourselves to be guided by His Word. Only he who is kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (I Pet. 1:5) is safe.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Matt. 6:13).
Thought for Today:
And he said, The Lord is my Rock, and my Fortress, and my Deliverer (II Sam. 22:2).
By Elisha, who wept when he realized what Hazael would do to Israel and its people (II Kin. 8:11-12). We are reminded of Jesus as He wept over Jerusalem: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together . . . and ye would not! (Matt. 23:37).
6:1 strait small, too confined; 6:30 within, next to, underneath; 7:5 uttermost part, borders; 8:11 settled his countenance, stared intensely; 8:26 daughter, granddaughter.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by A Family That Loves Jesus • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Ralph Hall (TX), Gov. C.L. Butch Otter (ID), Sen. David Vitter (LA), Sen. Jim Risch (ID), and Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) • Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa • Major language: Spanish • Freedom for churches at this time • 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray with unwavering faith so that your prayers may be answered (James 1:5-7).
Optional Reading: Romans 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Proverbs 28:9