2 Kings 8:6 (NIV) 6 The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”
On verses 1-6: Elisha the prophet tells the woman whose son he had raised back to life to move away from Israel for a time due to a severe famine that would hit Israel. After being away from Israel for 7 years, the woan returns to Israel, but by this time the government has taken over her land. Now the woman is at the mercy of the king, who has power to decide whether or not to give the land back to her. It just so happens that on the same day that the woman appears before the king to request that her land be restored to her, Gehazi the servant of Elisha had been telling the king about what Elisha had done for this woman. On this basis, the king speaks the word to restore the land to this woman, including all the income that her land had generated during her seven year absence.
Why was this woman’s land restored to her? It’s because the king was focused on the great things that the man of God Elisha had done for this woman. So the king decides to show kindness to her as well. In a similar way, the Bible describes how we went away from God’s kingdom and lost our inheritance in the process. But God brought us back into His kingdom and restored to us all that we had lost not because we deserved it or earned it. Rather, it’s because God was focused on the great things His Son Jesus, an even greater man of God than Elisha, had done for us. Because Jesus decided to show us mercy, the Father decided to show us mercy as well. Praise God that the King has spoken, and therefore we are restored. Here’s believing that even now God sees you with eyes of mercy and is speaking His Word to restore you.
2 Kings 8:10-11 (NIV) 10 Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover’; but the LORD has revealed to me that he will in fact die.” 11 He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael felt ashamed. Then the man of God began to weep.
On verses 7-15: Was Elisha telling Hazael to lie to King Ben-Hadad of Aram about the prognosis of his sickness? Was Elisha instructing Hazael to tell King Ben-Hadad that he would recover when in fact he would not? No. Elisha was simply revealing what was already in Hazael’s heart: his plan to assassinate King Ben-Hadad and take over the nation of Aram.
What can we learn from this? We can’t hide our plans from God. God sees everything inside us, including the most treacherous, selfish or evil thoughts we entertain. But just as Elisha did not stop Hazael from going ahead with what was in his heart, God gives us freedom to make our own choices. God is not amoral or neutral when it comes to our choices. But part of letting us be free and responsible agents is letting us have the freedom to make our own choices. Just as Elisha wept to think of all the harm Hazael would do to the people of Israel, God grieves over the harm that we do when we disobey His commands and do evil instead of good.
Heavenly Father, thank You that because of what Jesus Christ has done for me on the cross, You look upon me and see me with eyes of mercy and grace, and You speak the word to restore me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!