2 Kings 8* A famine in Israel, The Shunammite obtains her land. (1-6)Elisha consulted by Hazael, Death of Benhadad. (7-15) Jehoram'swicked reign in Judah. (16-24) Ahaziah's wicked reign in Judah.(25-29)1-6 The kindness of the good Shunammite to Elisha, was rewardedby the care taken of her in famine. It is well to foresee anevil, and wisdom, when we foresee it, to hide ourselves if welawfully may do so. When the famine was over, she returned outof the land of the Philistines; that was no proper place for anIsraelite, any longer than there was necessity for it. Time waswhen she dwelt so securely among her own people, that she had nooccasion to be spoken for to the king; but there is muchuncertainty in this life, so that things or persons may fail uswhich we most depend upon, and those befriend us which we thinkwe shall never need. Sometimes events, small in themselves,prove of consequence, as here; for they made the king ready tobelieve Gehazi's narrative, when thus confirmed. It made himready to grant her request, and to support a life which wasgiven once and again by miracle. 7-15 Among other changes of men's minds by affliction, it oftengives other thoughts of God's ministers, and teaches to valuethe counsels and prayers of those whom they have hated anddespised. It was not in Hazael's countenance that Elisha readwhat he would do, but God revealed it to him, and it fetchedtears from his eyes: the more foresight men have, the more griefthey are liable to. It is possible for a man, under theconvictions and restraints of natural conscience, to expressgreat abhorrence of a sin, yet afterwards to be reconciled toit. Those that are little and low in the world, cannot imaginehow strong the temptations of power and prosperity are, which,if ever they arrive at, they will find how deceitful theirhearts are, how much worse than they suspected. The devil ruinsmen, by saying they shall certainly recover and do well, sorocking them asleep in security. Hazael's false account was aninjury to the king, who lost the benefit of the prophet'swarning to prepare for death, and an injury to Elisha, who wouldbe counted a false prophet. It is not certain that Hazaelmurdered his master, or if he caused his death it may have beenwithout any design. But he was a dissembler, and afterwardsproved a persecutor to Israel. 16-24 A general idea is given of Jehoram's badness. His father,no doubt, had him taught the true knowledge of the Lord, but didill to marry him to the daughter of Ahab; no good could come ofunion with an idolatrous family. 25-29 Names do not make natures, but it was bad forJehoshaphat's family to borrow names from Ahab's. Ahaziah'srelation to Ahab's family was the occasion of his wickedness andof his fall. When men choose wives for themselves, let themremember they are choosing mothers for their children.Providence so ordered it, that Ahaziah might be cut off with thehouse of Ahab, when the measure of their iniquity was full.Those who partake with sinners in their sin, must expect topartake with them in their plagues. May all the changes,troubles, and wickedness of the world, make us more earnest toobtain an interest in the salvation of Christ.
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