Discipline and Mercy
2 Kings 13:22-25 :
Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. But Yahweh was gracious to them, and had compassion on them,
and had respect for them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them,
and he didn’t cast them from his presence as yet.
Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his place. Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again
out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war.
Joash struck him three times, and recovered the cities of Israel.
Hazael has been one of the most mentioned kings in the Bible and he wasn't even an Israeli. God even makes sure to
record his death here. Remember that back when Elijah thought that he was the only man of God left, God told him that
He would be using Hazael to help remove the wickedness from Israel. He was a tool of God, even if He didn't realize it.
Even though God used Hazael to discipline His people, we read here that He still had grace, compassion and respect for them.
They certainly didn't have the same attitude toward God. Notice how often as we read through the Old Testament, that God
gives mercy. This is why we are here today. God has mercy on us all, and wants people to have time to come to Him. God will
use people like Hazael to move our hearts in His direction, though.
We have another prophesy recorded here. Elisha's prophesy to Jehoash came true as Benhadad came to power and was
hit three times by Jehoash. God used this to give Israel's cities back. There is no mention that Israel had left its
idolatrous behavior though.