Knowing the Future

In 2 Kings 8 there is a story of an ill king who sends his servant to inquire from Elisha about what his future holds. Here is a snippet.

He found the prophet and said, “Your servant, King Benhadad, wants to know if he will get well.”

10 “Tell him he will,” Elisha said to Hazael. “But the Lord has already told me that Benhadad will definitely die.” 11 Elisha stared at him until Hazael was embarrassed, then Elisha began crying.

12 “Sir, why are you crying?” Hazael asked.

Elisha answered, “Because I know the terrible things you will do to the people of Israel. You will burn down their walled cities and slaughter their young men. You will even crush the heads of their babies and rip open their pregnant women.”

13 “How could I ever do anything like that?” Hazael replied.

In the end the king did recover from his illness but only to be assassinated by the same servant.

I was struck by the response of each man to evil.  Elisha, having been shown by God a glimpse of the evil to come, wept being overwhelmed. Also the servant did not believe he had such a capacity for such evil.

I cannot imagine the grief God must experience knowing he sees all present evil as well as all evil to come.  If I were God, and knew humanities capacity for evil, I would judge and not invest in people. God is different, he gifts us His Son to remove sin and he gifts us His Spirit to transform. His Spirit gifts us with everything we need to do his work.  Let’s do the work of Jesus today, the future can worry about itself.

Denis Oliver