2 Kings 8:7-15
And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come here.…
We have here —
I. A DYING KING.
1. This dying king was very anxious. "Shall I recover of this disease?" This was the question he wanted Elisha to answer. Not, you may be sure, in the negative. Knowing some of the wonders that Elisha had performed, he in all likelihood imagined he would exert his miraculous power on his behalf, and restore him to life. All men more or less fear death, kings perhaps more than others. If ungodly, they have more to lose and nothing to gain. Observe,
2. His anxiety prompted him to do strange things.
(1) It was strange for him to ask a favour from the man whose death he had ravenously sought. What a change is this! Dying hours reverse our judgments, revolutionise our feelings, bring the lofty down.
(2) It was strange for him to ask a favour of a man whose religion he hated. Ben-hadad was an idolater.
(3) It was strange for him to make costly presents to a poor lonely man. What is the wealth, the grandeur, the crown, the sceptre of the mightiest monarch to him when he feels himself dying? He will barter all away for a few short hours of life. We have here —
II. A PATRIOTIC PROPHET. "And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him (Ben-hadad), Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the Lord hath showed me that he shall surely die." "There was no contradiction in this message. The first part was properly the answer, to Ben-hadad's inquiry. The second part was intended for Hazael, who, like an artful and ambitious courtier, reported only as much of the prophet's statement as suited his own views." We have here —
III. A SELF-IGNORANT COURTIER. "And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?" The conduct of this man as here recorded suggests two general remarks.
1. The germs of evil may exist in the mind of a wicked man, of which he is utterly unconscious.
2. By the force of circumstances these germs become developed in all their enormity.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither.