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Why did God select 'Hazael' (an official of King Benhadad) and anoint him through the prophet Elijah as a king of Syria in spite of the horrible acts he did to the people of Israel?



      

1 Kings 19:15

ESV - 15 And the Lord said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.

Clarify (1) Share Report Asked March 11 2019 Mini Subrata Dutta

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Despite the fact that Israel was God's chosen nation, it repeatedly engaged in disobedience and idolatry from the very beginning of its occupancy of Canaan following the exodus from Egypt (as recounted in Judges 1-21), and especially after the split between Israel and Judah that occurred following the death of Solomon (1 Kings 12). 

Because of this, and because God is sovereign over all nations (not just Israel), He used foreign nations and rulers (even if they did not acknowledge Him as God) as His instruments in punishing Israel.

However, He also later showed mercy to Israel through foreign rulers, as in the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem after it had been destroyed (Ezra 1-10; Nehemiah 1-13). 

These events involved not only Hazael of Syria (as noted in the passage cited in the question), but also rulers such as Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and Darius, Cyrus, Xerxes, and Artaxerxes of Persia, whom God referred to in various passages in the Bible as His "servants", His "shepherds", and even His "anointed". 

God also, in the same way, later used the Roman emperor (Caesar Augustus) in issuing the taxation decree that caused Joseph and Mary to travel the ninety miles from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea (which I would say would have been very unlikely for them to have done under "normal" circumstances or of their own volition, due to Mary being in the advanced stages of her pregnancy), so that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (their ancestral city as descendants of King David) in fulfillment of prophecy (Luke 2:1-5; Micah 5:2).

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