2 Kings 8:7-15 (Part 1) – What Makes God Weep?

Posted: June 14, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 8:7-15 (Part 1 of 2)

Hazael Murders Ben-Hadad

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you see something bad about to happen either to yourself or, especially, to someone else and you try to scream but nothing comes out of your mouth? You attempt with all of your might to scream but it’s just these low guttural sounds that only you can hear! I have had those dreams like many of us have had. You see the monster about to attack one of your friends but you can’t get the words out and you lose your friend. Or you are about to have something bad happen to you in a dream that you try to scream for help and nothing comes out and you are about to get hurt physically or extremely traumatized emotionally and then you wake out all out of sorts and you feel weird the rest of the day.

That’s kind of the feeling I get in today’s world where the world seems to purposefully be straying from God. The world seems to be glorifying behaviors that are clearly against the Word of God in the name of personal freedom. If you oppose the expressions of personal freedom then you are backwards and out of step with the culture. In the culture, there is a general belief in God still, I believe, but it is a God that is different from the true God revealed in the pages of the Bible. It is a god that is simply happy for you to be self-actualized. It is a god about you realizing your full self. It is a god about you being happy. It is a god that cuts deals with you about what the Bible says. It is a god that just wants you to be the best you that you can be. It is a god that serves your needs. When you simply point out that this type of god is not the God of the Bible, then you are labeled as being against personal freedom and backwards. God is a god of love and a god of love only.

That was the thing that I thought this morning as I read 2 Kings 8:7-15. The thing that I thought of was the fact that there seems to be a trend toward changing and fashioning God into who WE want Him to be to suit our needs. I think that God weeps over this. Just because we want to change God into who we want Him to be does not change Him. That’s the thing that makes God weep. He sees us going off the rails and he weeps over our free will choices knowing that something bad is going to happen – like in those dreams that I talked about. With that idea in mind, let’s read this passage now for the first of two times. This time let’s look at it, asking the question why does Elisha weep in this passage:

7 Elisha went to Damascus, the capital of Aram, where King Ben-hadad lay sick. When someone told the king that the man of God had come, 8 the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift to the man of God. Then tell him to ask the Lord, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”

9 So Hazael loaded down forty camels with the finest products of Damascus as a gift for Elisha. He went to him and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad, the king of Aram, has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”

10 And Elisha replied, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover.’ But actually the Lord has shown me that he will surely die!” 11 Elisha stared at Hazael[a] with a fixed gaze until Hazael became uneasy.[b] Then the man of God started weeping.

12 “What’s the matter, my lord?” Hazael asked him.

Elisha replied, “I know the terrible things you will do to the people of Israel. You will burn their fortified cities, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women!”

13 Hazael responded, “How could a nobody like me[c] ever accomplish such great things?”

Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you are going to be the king of Aram.”

14 When Hazael left Elisha and went back, the king asked him, “What did Elisha tell you?”

And Hazael replied, “He told me that you will surely recover.”

15 But the next day Hazael took a blanket, soaked it in water, and held it over the king’s face until he died. Then Hazael became the next king of Aram.

In this passage, we see Elisha, the man of God, began to weep when he was about to tell Hazael of his vision of upcoming events. The choices that men were going to make both among Israel enemies and among Israel’s leaders that will lead to this vision coming true. God weeps over our choices. It grieves His heart. He does not condemn us to hell as hellfire and brimstone preachers might think. We condemn ourselves by our own choices, our own sins. In that, God weeps.

What makes God weep? He weeps when we decide for ourselves that we know better than He. He weeps when we say that what is eternally true by His definition is no longer true. We decide for ourselves that it is now OK and that what God said was for a different time and a different people. When we do that, we start defining for ourselves what is true and right and holy. God weeps.

When we wrest control of the truth and make it our own. God weeps. When the truth is no longer external to us. God weeps. When we say sin is no longer sin. God weeps. When we think God has only love but no justice. God weeps. When we think God and me have a deal concerning our pet sin(s), God weeps. When we no longer trust His Word as the final authority in our lives, God weeps. When we pick and choose what parts of His Word we believe, God weeps. When we make God into our own personal god like a personal vending machine, God weeps.

God is external. God defines what it true and real and He defines what is holy and what is sin. Not us. Let us be a people that gives the truth back to God. Let us be a people that allows Him to define truth for us and that we recognize that it is external to us. Otherwise, God weeps. God weeps because He sees the coming disaster. God weeps for our own condemnation.

Thank God that He has provided us the truth. Thank God that He has provided us with the Holy Spirit to draw us to the truth that we innately need and often don’t even know it. Thank God we have Jesus Christ to free us from our own blindness. Thank God we have Jesus Christ to free us from our own condemnation.

Amen and Amen.

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