Second Kings 8 Commentary
During the time of Joseph in Egypt, the LORD decreed a famine for seven years. The LORD provided for Jacob in a very unique way by sending Joseph into Egypt. The problem was solved by management. During the time of Elijah, the LORD decreed a famine for three and half years. The LORD provided for the widow of Zarephath by making sure that the little oil and the little flour never ran out. During the time of Elisha, the LORD provided for the Shunammite woman by ‘escape’.
Who can tell what the LORD does and how?
The Shunammite woman shows up just when Gehazi begins to tell the king her story. The world may call it coincidence but we call it divine providence. We are happy when the LORD causes these coincidences to provide for His people. It is sovereignty at play. We can also see generosity expressed through art. It is absolutely beautiful.
Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?” Interesting. Elisha has just described horrific things, inhuman acts by Hazael against Israel, and Hazael thinks of it as a great achievement! It tells you how Syria, Aram, thought of Israel; only if they had the chance. Many saints feel they are welcome neighbors in this world of sin. How wrong they are!
Unlike Israel, Judah is blessed to still have the goodwill of David’s name. So the bad King Jehoram doesn’t exactly bring down the nation. It is because of David’s son, or more appropriately, the Seed whose actual role was screen-played by David, that the sinful saint finds his forgiveness. The world never understands this mystery: two sinners, same sin; Israel has a rope around its neck while Judah limps on. Because of Jesus, a man can live again.
This chapter should be talking about Jehoram and Ahaziah, the two wicked kings of Judah. Instead, we are hearing about Ahab again. There is a reason why the church insists that saints marry from amongst themselves. A long-dead Ahab was very much alive in the blood of both kings, by marriage. These things can have long-term effects. It’s a good time to pray, seriously.
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