SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Remember the name of this book of the Bible? It's "Kings." Though this book does contain lots we can learn for and apply to our own lives, it's purpose is to provide a history of the kings of what was once a united Israel, but is now a divided nation (typically referred to as Israel and Judah). Much of this chapter is sharing that history.
- We see Elijah's prediction about Hazael's evil treatment of Israel partially fulfilled in chapter 10, verses 22-23.
- Once again we see someone (Jehoram) marrying outside of their faith, with someone who worshipped false gods and idols (8:18). This further brings Baal worship into Judah.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- In this chapter we see the compassion of Elisha. He had cared (in a previous chapter) for a widow and her son, and we now learn that he had warned her about the famine so she could get away to a better place. We also see him weeping for the people of Israel. We need to have the compassion of Elisha for hurting people.
- Back in 1 Kings we saw Israel being led by David. David was not perfect, but he did love and worship God and when he sinned, repented. Under David, Israel mostly thrived. Now, being led by Kings who do not love and worship God, we see Israel experiencing more and more problems. The further they get from God the deeper they fall into painful consequences. The same is true in our lives.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- If you were put on trial for not having compassion for hurting people, how would you prove that you do? What evidence is there in your life that you have Elisha-like compassion? And, if you're lacking it, how could you get more of it? Have you prayed for it? Have you jumped on opportunities to do acts of compassion?
- Where in your life (past or present) do you see yourself suffering painful consequences for drifting away from God? Is there anything you need to confess to Him and repent of right now?