2 Kings 8
-This chapter gives some intriguing history into the both the northern kingdom of Israel and Judah in the southern kingdom. It begins with an interesting side note of personal concern from the prophet Elisha towards the Shunammite woman whose son he had raised from the dead. Because of a seven year famine, Elisha sent this beloved family to sojourn and live among the Philistines for their preservation and well-being. Upon their return after the seven year period her land and house was returned to her through a providential meeting with Gehazi, Elisha’s servant and the king of Israel (2 Kings 8:1-6). *Application* Again we see the evidence of the LORD taking good care of His people who have blessed the people of God in difficult circumstances. It must have been hard to leave behind land and houses to go to a foreign place for seven full years. But, this was how God kept them during the famine, and He made sure they were able to return and be restored of all their fortune in the end. God is good to those who are good to His saints. Blessings will return.
-Now Elisha finds himself in Damascus speaking with Hazael who was sent from Ben-hadad, king of Aram. Elisha’s reputation as “the man of God,” which had preceded him, was known and he was sought out for a word concerning the king’s sickness and possible recovery. The prophet’s word and gaze were filled with the knowledge of the Most High as he related what would occur to the usurper, Hazael, who quickly assassinated the king who would have otherwise recovered. Hazael became king who would fulfill the wrath of God upon an unregenerate Israel (2 Kings 10:32-33) at the word of the LORD (2 Kings 8:7-15).
-The story of the succession of kings in Judah is briefly described (2 Kings 8:16-29). These two kings, Jehoram (also known as Joram) and Ahaziah, were connected with family ties to the northern kingdom and walked contrary to the ways of David and the LORD. Nevertheless, “the LORD was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David His servant, since He had promised him to give a lamp to him through his sons always (2 Kings 8:19).” Revolts in Edom caused some conflicts as they named a king over them and Libnah also revolted from under the sovereignty of Judah, which went back to the time of David. There was an alliance by Judah with the northern kingdom in fighting with the Arameans again under Hazael, and King Joram of Israel was wounded in this conflict. *Application* The persistent attacks of the enemy correlated to the downward spiritual trend in the divided kingdom of Israel. When we are not fully and wholly committed and surrendered to God, we will also face the constant attack and temptation of the spiritual enemy in our lives. Stay close to God and He will make even your enemies be at peace with you (Proverbs 16:7).
Verse to Memorize: 2 Kings 8:19