The prophet said to the next king (and prophetically to the candidate that will win the American election):
- “You will set fire to their FORTIFIED PLACES (the systems, values, and security of the nation would be deliberately compromised and become vulnerable to outside aggression),
- kill their YOUNG MEN with the sword (waste the future of the nation),
- dash their LITTLE CHILDREN to the ground (incoming generation would be hopeless),
- and rip open their PREGNANT WOMEN (destroy unborn children –abortion).” (2Kgs 8:12, Parenthesis mine).
It will be a disastrous implosion if America chooses the candidate who is strong on the last point.
King Ben-Hadad of Syria was ill. He said to his trusted servant, “Take a gift with you and go to meet the man of God. Consult the Lord through him; ask him, ‘Will I recover from this illness?” (vs. 8) The name of this servant is Hazael.
What Hazael was to King Ben-Hadad is what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are to America. Hazael was a dependable man and loved his master, the king, just like the American presidential candidates love their people and the nation, forget about the name calling, the opening of can of worms on each other, accusations and counter-accusations. Hazael took with him “forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus.” “He went in and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’” (vs. 9)
Prophet Elisha replied and said to him, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover...” (vs.10). If we stopped here, without concluding the statement, we can rejoice at the words of the prophet.
Many would stop halfway at the words of the prophets when it starts with such a good news. Of course, these are the words would-be leaders say to the people. The better and more comforting words politicians say to the people, the better their chances of winning their votes, even if all are lies. Don’t we all human love to be pampered a little with sweet nothings! The ears of many Americans are tuned to hearing these and the candidates are giving them just that. But that is not the conclusion of the message. The concluding part of that statement is troubling and that is what is hidden to America right now: “…Nevertheless, the Lord has revealed to me that he (the king) will in fact die.” (vs 10)
But why did the prophet first say that he would “certainly recover” when the Lord already revealed to him that the king would die? I believe the first answer was the prophet’s personal wish and what the king (America) wants to hear. But the “fact” is that God’s judgment is already in place and it supersedes all other things, even the prophets’ wishes. If wishes were horses, even beggars would ride. The wish of many Americans is to once again see America in her glory, but that has to be reconciled with God’s determinate counsel on a nation that has enjoyed so much of God but no longer want him.
Just like king Ben-Hadad was a good King, America was a good country - God’s own country. It was founded on the tenets of God, Christian values, prayers, and so on. But when she was full and when she rose in power and glory, in her prosperity, she forgot about God.
After Prophet Elisha delivered God’s prophecy about the King, “He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed. Then the man of God began to weep.” (vs. 11)
Why would the prophet weep just looking at Hazael! Was he weeping over the king’s illness, imminent death or over the nation? He wept so much that Hazael was embarrassed and asked, “Why is my lord weeping?” Prophet Elisha replied: “Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites,” he answered. “You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women.” (vs 12)
Prophet Elisha’s words further embarrassed Hazael. How could he, a mere servant unleash such inhumane havoc to a city when he was not the king! He said to the prophet, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?” (vs. 12-13). He even called himself “a mere dog” and he was sincere about it. The prophet replied: “The Lord has shown me that you will become king of Syria.” (vs 13)
Hazael had been ordained to do “harm” to the people and destroy the city from inside. Set fire on their FORTIFIED PLACES, “kill their YOUNG MEN” “dash their LITTLE CHILDREN to the ground” and “rip open their PREGNANT WOMEN.” The destruction is from inside and would cut across family, social, and religious life! It is the end of another empire!
The prophet wept because it had been determined and it would happen, and it did.
Immediately he heard this, “Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master. When Ben-Hadad asked, “What did Elisha say to you?” Hazael replied, “He told me that you would certainly recover.” But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it over the king’s face so that he died. Then Hazael succeeded him as king.” (vs 15)
America goes to the poll in a few days from now, but the “king” has been determined in judgment. The time to pray to change this was then!