Heartbroken Over Sin (2 Kings 8:11–12) - Radical

Heartbroken Over Sin (2 Kings 8:11–12)

“And he fixed his gaze and stared at him until he was embarrassed. And the man of God wept. And Hazael said, ‘Why does my lord weep?’ He answered, ‘Because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel. You will set on fire their fortresses, and you will kill their young men with the sword and dash in pieces their little ones.'”
-2 Kings 8:11–12

This passage depicts Elisha weeping because he knows the implications of the word he is proclaiming. He’s speaking here about evil and injustice and sin and destruction and death that’s going to come upon the people of Israel, and he’s overwhelmed by it. In other words, he’s not disconnected from the words he’s proclaiming, the words God has shown him. He’s not detached from what he is hearing from God and speaking here. He knows the implications of this, and he’s overwhelmed to the point of weeping.

God, help us not to be emotionless when we read in your Word about the consequences of sin and evil in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

As I see Elisha here weeping, I think about you and me as we read God’s word and the warnings all throughout it of coming judgment, of God’s holy wrath due sin and sinners.

I just want to encourage you, even challenge you as I’m encouraged and challenged by this text, not to be disconnected from the implications of God’s word. Think about people around me, people around you who don’t know Jesus. We know what God’s word says is coming for all who don’t trust in Jesus, what Jesus himself describes as fiery torment that will never, ever, ever end. We know the consequences of sin and evil in this world and beyond this world.

So we pray, God, help us to have a feeling sense of that which we read in your word in ways that cause us, compel us to proclaim your word with passion and with emotion. God help us not to be unfeeling, emotionless, just stoic when we read in your word about the consequences of sin and evil in our lives and in the lives of those around us. God, we pray that as we read about eternal judgment coming, that we would not just read words like that in your word and then close it and move on with our lives, business as usual, or even just coasting through a Christian faith marked by monotonous religion and just motion week in and week out as if these are not truths that have massive implications for everybody around us and massive implications for people far from us. God, we pray that you would give us your heart in your word for people around us that might compel us to proclaim your word, that might compel us to speak about your grace, that they might be saved from judgment.

God, we pray for this right around us, far from us. God, we pray for the Harasi of Oman. God, we pray. No known believers among them. God, we pray for them. We plead for them. We know what your word says. If they don’t hear the gospel, if they don’t believe the gospel, they’ll spend eternity in judgment due to their sin. God, we pray you’d cause us to weep for them, for the Harasi in Oman and for people right around us. God, give us Holy Spirit-driven emotion when we read your word that we would be excited and exhilarated when your word elicits that in us, that we would be burdened and heavy when your word elicits that in us. God, we pray that you would keep us from emotionless, unfeeling Christianity that reads and hears truth with such implications and yet feels nothing and oftentimes does nothing with what we have read.

God, we praise you for your word and we pray that you’d help us to internalize it. God, we pray that you would help us to internalize it and then to live according to it. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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