Honesty, openness, and confrontation are a few things that keep a hero of the faith a hero. It’s what keeps character in check. The two stories here show us how ignoring this can affect an individual’s life and then how it affects the life of a community. The first, with Elisha confronting Hazael, points out how on individual can look at God’s will for his life and say no. The second story shows how an individual can make decisions that massively affect the community for the worst. The one thing we should remember is that no matter what we think is at stake, our soul and the soul of our community is always at stake in every decision that we make.
In the first story, it is interesting that Elisha called Hazael’s deepest intentions out to his face. Hazael was the servant of a King and if he had any notion towards an assassination, you would think Elisha would be killed for mentioning it. Regardless of that fact, Hazael was being told what evil was waiting for his future, but he did not take note and run away from it. God gave him a way out by speaking through Elisha, but Hazael ignored him and killed his King just to gain power. It shows that God is in the business of not giving up on people. He is always trying to bring people into a journey to bring goodness and love to the world. Amazingly, most of the problems in the world are not some supernatural intervention, but the acts of greed and suspicion on the side of humanity and a fallen world. God is continually telling us to take His plan of greatness instead of our own plans for chaos.
The second story is a similar point, but on a larger scale. People have the potential. You would think that Ahaziah would learn from the mistakes of his father, but he continues making the same mistakes. This almost looks like a familial curse when you read this story, because he seems almost fated to failure. However, the funny thing about familial curses is that they are not uncontrollable curses placed on a family. They are more like listening to possible outcomes because of where and how you were born and accepting them as fate. The truth is that God breaks curses. Through Jesus, all curses are null. The only curse is the one that we place on ourselves. It’s amazing how much patience God has with His people even though they seem to take on a familial or cultural curse as their identity. God sees many kings who would do evil and does not destroy them immediately. God seems to have a more hopeful outlook for humanity. He wants all people to be hope and light in the world, and will continually send messages to bring them towards that reality. Even if it takes hundreds of years, he will try to bring them back to Kingdom living.
If we are going to walk a journey with God and continue as a tribe, we have to be honest with ourselves, open with others, and willing to be confronted by God and his people. Once we see God’s plans and begin to allow this to happen, we can learn, grow, and become a people of hope filled with heroes.