Regarding words appearing over this blog post: I don't know how this happened, and am not able to get rid of it, however if you click on the title for this post (at the top) it won't show up and you will be able to read this article without that which hinders a portion of this offering. Sorry about the annoyance.
2Kings 8:7-15 (ESV)
Now Elisha came to Damascus. Ben-hadad the king of Syria was sick. And when it was told him, "The man of God has come here," the king said to Hazael, "Take a present with you and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD through him, saying, 'Shall I recover from this sickness?'" So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, all kinds of goods of Damascus, forty camels' loads. When he came and stood before him, he said, "Your son Ben-hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, 'Shall I recover from this sickness?'" And Elisha said to him, "Go, say to him, 'You shall certainly recover,' but the LORD has shown me that he shall certainly die."
And he (Elisha) fixed his gaze and stared at him, until he (Hazael) was embarrassed.
And the man of God wept
And Hazael said, "Why does my lord weep?"
He answered, "Because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel. You will set on fire their fortresses, and you will kill their young men with the sword and dash in pieces their little ones and rip open their pregnant women."
And Hazael said, "What is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?" Elisha answered, "The LORD has shown me that you are to be king over Syria."
Then he departed from Elisha and came to his master, who said to him, "What did Elisha say to you?"
And he answered, "He told me that you would certainly recover." But the next day he took the bed cloth and dipped it in water and spread it over his face, till he died.
And Hazael became king in his place.
I read this passage a few days ago in my daily Bible readings. As I read this (I've read this before but I think I got tangled up in the various kings and battles and names and somehow I didn't understand what what going on in this passage) , but as I read this a few days ago it struck me again that we often see things in "either/or" when God isn't limited in any way by our limited way of how we think things need to be fulfilled.
In the above passage Elisha says: "Go, say to him, 'You shall certainly recover,' but the LORD has shown me that he shall certainly die."
Now I would interpret that to mean that Elisha is telling this messenger to lie to the king, and indeed as I was reading this I wondered why Elisha would tell this man to lie. Then as I read further as to how the events unfolded I saw that isn't what Elisha was saying at all. The actual events fulfilled exactly what Elisha said would happen, yet it happened in a way that was completely unexpected.
I see from this that Hazael had evil motives against his king (of Syria) and Elisha perceived it. What you cannot see from this passage right away is the fact that the king was so sick that many thought he would die. Even the king himself thought he was going to die from his sickness, but the truth was that he would recover from his illness IF he was allowed to live....but Hazael used the opportunity to pretend that the king died of his sickness, because no one but himself and Elisha knew what transpired between them. I think Hazael became so evil toward Israel because he might have thought they could perceive his evil and didn't like being exposed. Evil enjoys remaining hidden. The truth always come to light.
You see similar events throughout the Bible, but an untrained eye, one that only looks for easy explanations provided by people such as atheists who haven't a clue, they destroy the context or jump to conclusions (like I just did before I realized my error) and never see beyond their initial errors thinking themselves to be so much smarter than "stupid brainwashed Christians".
There have been so many archeological evidences that prove the Bible's accuracy again and again, yet these poor "very super intelligent people" (said with tongue in cheek of course) want to hold on to their feeble misinterpretations as the only right way to read the scriptures. How sad.
I see more and more falling into these mistaken ways, thinking they are now free from having to believe in a true God and heaven and hell. Well, it doesn't matter whether you believe the truth of scripture or whether you want to believe your mistaken ideas...it won't change the truth of the matter....and one day you will see it in panoramic clarity whether you find yourself in the hell you've destined yourself for by rejecting God, or in heaven with God sharing His blessings forever. Time will surely reveal the truth to everyone.