The Prophet's Tears
2 Kings 8:13
And Hazael said, But what, is your servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered…

What wonder that Elisha wept? Who would not weep if he could see what is coming upon his country? Whose heart would not pour out itself in blood to know what is yet to be done in the land of his birth or the country of his adoption? If the men of long ago could have seen how civilisation would be turned into an engine of oppression, how the whole land would groan under the burden of drunkeries and breweries, and houses of hell of every name; if they could have seen how the truth would be sold in the market-place, and how there would be no further need of martyrdom, surely they would have died the violent death of grief. The heart can only be read in the sanctuary. You cannot read it through journalism, or criticism, or political comment, or combinations of any kind which exclude the Divine element; to know what Hazael will do, let Elisha read him. The journalist never could have read him; he might have called him long-headed, intrepid, sagacious, a statesman; but the prophet said, "Their strongholds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child:" thy course is a course of havoc. It is only in the sanctuary that we know what things really are. When the pulpit becomes a very tower of God, a very fort of heaven, then the preacher will be able to say, as no other man can say, what the heart is, and what the heart will do under circumstances yet to be revealed. But whence has the preacher this power? He has it as a Divine gift.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.

WEB: Hazael said, "But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?" Elisha answered, "Yahweh has shown me that you will be king over Syria."

The Progressive Power of Sin
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