II Kings 8
From Elisha's Journals
I didn't look forward to Ahaziah's reign. He was only twenty-two years old and had already chosen to rely on his mother's advice. She did not fear God and would cause her son to continue leading Israel away from worshiping and honoring the God of our fathers. Such sad news.
God instructed me to go to Damascus in the north to visit Ben-Hadad, king of Aram. I don't always know ahead of time why God sends me on journeys, but He always has a purpose.
Ben-Hadad was an evil king. His people, the Arameans have a close connection to our people. The father of their people was Laban. Laban was the brother of Abraham, the father of the Israelites. Our nations are as cousins. We should be friends, yet Ben-Hadad continues to battle against us.
When Ben-Hadad heard I had come for a visit, he said to Hazael, a ranking official in his army to "Take a gift and go meet the man of god. Ask him to consult the Lord to find out if I will recover from this illness."
Hazael brought forty camel-loads of all the finest wares from Damascus for a gift. He bowed to me and said, "Your son, Ben-Hadad king of Aram, has sent me to ask if he will recover from his illness."
The Lord gave me an answer right away. "Go and say to him, 'You will certainly recover.' I must tell you, though, the Lord has told me Ben-Hadad will indeed die, but not from the sickness."
I stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael felt ashamed. During this moment of silence, God revealed the most terrible news of what would happen. I couldn't help but weep.
Hazael stretched his hand forward. "Why is my lord weeping?"
I didn't want to tell him, but when the Lord gives me a message, I must deliver it. "I am weeping because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites. You will set fire to their fortified cities, kill our young men, kill the pregnant women and the children."
Hazael took a step back and lowered his head. "How could I, your servant, a mere dog, do such a thing?"
"The Lord has shown me that you will become king of Aram."
Just as every other word of the Lord has come true, so did this. Hazael left me and returned to his master. Ben-Hadad asked him what I had said. He answered, "He told me that you would certainly recover." But the next day Hazael took a thick cloth, soaked it in water, and spread it over the king's face. Ben-Hadad died and Hazael succeed him as king.
Just as God said.
1. Wow. Life doesn't seem to be going well in Israel with ______ as their new king and in Aram with __________ as the new king.
2. Who deliver this special message from God?
3. What was Ben-Hadad's problem?
4. How old was the new king of Israel?
5. Did he worship God? Why or why not?