2 Kings 12
This chapter recounts the tale of Joash—a king of Judah who did some very good things, such as rebuilding the temple, but apparently didn’t end up so well. His downfall started after the death of Jehoiada, the high priest: "Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there." (vs 2-3)
Later in his reign, Joash fell away from worshiping the God of Heaven and reverted back to the worship of pagan gods. When that happened, Hazael king of Aram attacked Jerusalem and carried off all the sacred, treasured objects. What started out so well ended up so tragically!
The really interesting thing for me was remembering that it was God who directed Elijah to anoint him King of Syria! Even though Hazael wasn’t a follower of the true God nor a king over God’s people, God (in 1 Kings 19) anointed him through Elijah to be ruler of Syria. Subsequently, in this case and others, God used him as a kind of policeman in regards to Israel and Judah—when they decided to run away after false gods who couldn’t protect them.
It’s true that God can use anyone. He is such a genius that He can find a way to cause people to fulfill His purpose—even when they don’t know Him or acknowledge Him as God. He is not limited in working out His plan, even by people who don’t want to have anything to do with Him. So the next time you’re wondering if God can use you, be assured that He can! If He can use a person like Hazael, how much more can He use a willing soul!