2 Kings 8

* A famine in Israel, The Shunammite obtains her land. (1-6)

Elisha consulted by Hazael, Death of Benhadad. (7-15) Jehoram's

wicked reign in Judah. (16-24) Ahaziah's wicked reign in Judah.

(25-29)

1-6 The kindness of the good Shunammite to Elisha, was rewarded

by the care taken of her in famine. It is well to foresee an

evil, and wisdom, when we foresee it, to hide ourselves if we

lawfully may do so. When the famine was over, she returned out

of the land of the Philistines; that was no proper place for an

Israelite, any longer than there was necessity for it. Time was

when she dwelt so securely among her own people, that she had no

occasion to be spoken for to the king; but there is much

uncertainty in this life, so that things or persons may fail us

which we most depend upon, and those befriend us which we think

we shall never need. Sometimes events, small in themselves,

prove of consequence, as here; for they made the king ready to

believe Gehazi's narrative, when thus confirmed. It made him

ready to grant her request, and to support a life which was

given once and again by miracle.
7-15 Among other changes of men's minds by affliction, it often

gives other thoughts of God's ministers, and teaches to value

the counsels and prayers of those whom they have hated and

despised. It was not in Hazael's countenance that Elisha read

what he would do, but God revealed it to him, and it fetched

tears from his eyes: the more foresight men have, the more grief

they are liable to. It is possible for a man, under the

convictions and restraints of natural conscience, to express

great abhorrence of a sin, yet afterwards to be reconciled to

it. Those that are little and low in the world, cannot imagine

how strong the temptations of power and prosperity are, which,

if ever they arrive at, they will find how deceitful their

hearts are, how much worse than they suspected. The devil ruins

men, by saying they shall certainly recover and do well, so

rocking them asleep in security. Hazael's false account was an

injury to the king, who lost the benefit of the prophet's

warning to prepare for death, and an injury to Elisha, who would

be counted a false prophet. It is not certain that Hazael

murdered his master, or if he caused his death it may have been

without any design. But he was a dissembler, and afterwards

proved 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 did

ill to marry him to the daughter of Ahab; no good could come of

union with an idolatrous family.
25-29 Names do not make natures, but it was bad for

Jehoshaphat's family to borrow names from Ahab's. Ahaziah's

relation to Ahab's family was the occasion of his wickedness and

of his fall. When men choose wives for themselves, let them

remember they are choosing mothers for their children.

Providence so ordered it, that Ahaziah might be cut off with the

house of Ahab, when the measure of their iniquity was full.

Those who partake with sinners in their sin, must expect to

partake with them in their plagues. May all the changes,

troubles, and wickedness of the world, make us more earnest to

obtain an interest in the salvation of Christ.

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