Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday - II Kings 8 - God Governs

Frankly, it's difficult to pick out any clear thematic continuity in this chapter. The role of Elisha is obvious. The downfall of Benhadad in Syria, and the need for a downfall of the royal family of Ahab in Israel is also rather apparent.  Yet, perhaps most significant of all is the way that God was governing even in a time when hardly any of the main characters in the narrative were interested in God's plan.

Of course, there was one character who was in tune with God: Elisha. II Kings 8:1-6 reveals that God was more than willing to vouch for Elisha's prophetic validity.  Not that he required or demanded such validation. II Kings 8:7-15 shows how much respect that even the gentiles had for Elisha in his day. Benhadad inquired from Elisha concerning his future health.  And, when Hazael (Benhadad's replacement) came to Elisha personally, he treated the prophet with great reverence.

Now, at this juncture in the history of the Hebrews, both Israel and Judah were patterning their ways after their wicked mentor, Ahab. There were 2 different men, both named Joram (or Jehoram), who ruled in the North and in the South. And, in fact, Jehoram king of Judah had married Ahab's daughter and had thereby forged a familial league with Israel. When he died, then Jehoram of Judah was replaced by his son Ahaziah. It didn't matter much though... other than a change of names. They were both evil kings.

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