Summary: The outline for this sermon comes from GE MacCartney in "The Protestant Pulpit." Based on a great Old Testament story that most people don't know.
The Unknown Self
(or "Who'd have thunk it'?")
2 Kings 8:7—15
“Who’d ‘of thunk it?” or for the English majors. - "Who would have guessed it?"
That is what you hear over and over, every night as you watch the news... who would believe such a thing?
who would guess such a thing could happen?
who would have thought he/she could do that?
This is what you always hear after disasters. - especially MORAL.
Our scripture today is the quintessential example of such a moral disaster.
King Benhadad is very sick, and fears he is about to die... no one can seem to help him no medical, magical hope
He sends Hazael to the prophet Elisha to get a word from God,
"Am I going to die'?"
No need for this God when things are well serves false gods
false gods have failed him
Turns to God because he needs him
The prophet is not surprised to see him
he knows things are serious
I don't think he is angry that the king only seeks God in the time of need.
He is just glad for this chance to minister
Elisha tells Hazael two things.... GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS
1. The king shall surely die.
2. But not of this illness.
Then Elisha CRIES
This is confusing to Hazael....
he is going to die, but not from this sickness?
what kind of death will he die if the prophet is crying?
Hazael asks, 'Why are you crying, my Lord?"
He is not prepared for the answer he receives.
Because of YOU!!
Then the prophet painted the most gruesome picture of assassination of the king seizing of the throne by treachery smoking cities devastated families butchered women slain children
In shock, Hazael drew back and cringed...
Is Thy servant a dog?
Who but an animal could do such a thing?
Is that what you think of me?
"NO WAY, JOSE"...you've got the wrong man.
But Elisha said. "There is no mistake, it will happen
THE LORD HAS SHOWN IT TO ME
Hazael returned to the palace, to give the message to the king...
"You will not die. .OF THIS ILLNESS
But, HE ONLY TOLD THE KING 1/2 OF THE TRUTH
Already a lie
Already a conspiracy
Already planning the dastardly deed
RELIEVED.... Benhadad went to sleep
As he slept... AFTER a long night of conspiracy by Hazael
A wet cloth over the face of the weak king...
it was easy
it was accessible
it was convenient to hide
IT WAS DONE
But, even as he stood there... towel in hands... he heard his own words to Elisha.
Is thy servant a dog?
Like Peter standing by the fire...
cursing, and denying... hearing the cock crowing
1. Our IGNORANCE of our own selves.
We do not really know ourselves
the evil of which we are capable
We buy into the Humanistic belief that man is basically good and is on the way to becoming perfect... society will become a Utopia
Hazael drew back in horror and disbelief
I could never...
other things, maybe, but THIS NEVER!!!!!!!
We believe that we could break commandments 1, 2, and 6 but NEVER 3, 5, or 8
YOU DO NOT KNOW THE EVIL THAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF
The scripture says, “A man’s heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things, no one can understand it.” Jeremiah 17:9