Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That’s the age old question. Of course, as Christians, we’d say the chicken.
In the case of this story, which came first, Elisha’s prophesy of Hazael’s assension to the throne, or Hazael’s intention to usurp Ben-Hadad’s throne? I also kind of wonder if Elisha was fulfilling God’s command to Elijah to anoint Hazael as king of Aram(I Kings 19:15), or whether Elisha is merely confirming the message Elijah had already given him.
I don’t know the answer to either question, but I’d like to focus on the first one. I’ve always thought that Hazael heard Elisha’s words, and then took it upon himself to fulfill it by murdering Ben-Hadad.
But there is another possibility. It’s possible that Hazael had already been planning in his heart to take advantage of Ben-Hadad’s weakened condition and to murder him. And what Elisha was doing was to expose what was already in Hazael’s heart.
Whatever the case, nothing is hidden from God. Neither the future, nor what lies in people’s hearts. Everything is laid out before him.
In this, we can take warning…and comfort.
The warning we can take is that we cannot hide the sin that we do, nor can we hide the sin that lies within our hearts. And so we need to be very careful how we live, because we all will stand before God’s judgment seat some day. As Hebrews says,
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)
But we can also take hope in knowing that God holds the future. As David wrote,
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalm 139:16 — NLT)
I mentioned in my last blog that God’s timing is perfect. And if we can remember that God does hold our future, it makes it much easier to trust him and wait for his timing. There’s an old song that I love. It says,
You haven’t rested for days
And you’re so wrapped up in worry
That you can’t even think
You’ve done the best you can do
But the answer still evades you
To the problems that you face
He’ll lead you if you just ask
But you’ve got to trust His wisdom
And believe in His word
He sees what you cannot see
And He knows and wants the best for you
So it’s time that you learned.
God holds the future — He’s got a plan
There’s no need to worry, ’cause it’s all in His hand
So if you are struggling, with what you should do
God holds the future for you.