Hadad: the Pressure of Destiny
1 Kings 11:21-22
And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh…

David, and Joab the captain of the host of Israel, wrought great desolation in Edom; "for six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom." Amongst those who escaped was a little child, comparatively speaking, an infant member of the royal house. He was so little that he could not have made his escape alone, but he was taken care of by certain Edomites of his father's servants, and in their company he fled into Egypt. Pharaoh was very kind to his royal exile. "He gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land." With growing years he came into growing favour, and by and by he married the sister of the queen of Egypt. It would seem, then, that he did well to escape from his own ill-treated country, and to put himself under the protection of the mighty and gracious Pharaoh. It came to pass, however, that Hadad (that is the name of the Edomite) said to Pharaoh, "I want to go home; let me depart, that I may go to mine own country." Pharaoh was astounded by the inquiry, and began to wonder whether Hadad had been unkindly treated in Egypt, and in the frankest manner he said, "What hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country?" A very proper question; to which Hadad appears to have returned an ungrateful and insufficient answer — "Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise." You will find the secret in the fourteenth verse of the chapter: — "And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom." It was a Divine stirring! It was a restlessness sent from God! It was a hunger created in the heart!

1. Men cannot always give an account of their impulses. We seem to have every. thing, yet we want something else. What that something else is, we perhaps seldom know, or if we do know, we cannot put the want into words. We have all Egypt, yet we are willing to leave it for Edom.

2. What we mistake, either in ourselves or in others, for mere restlessness may be the pressure of destiny. We blame some men roughly for desiring a change, and when we question the men themselves as to their reason, they tell us that they have been treated well, even handsomely, yet they want to go! Then we condemn them as unreasonable, and we predict many a judgment for them! Alas, how ignorant we are, and how cruel to one another!

3. We may judge of the value of our impulses by the self-denial imposed by their operation. Consider what Hadad had to lose! "Except a man deny himself and take up his cross daily," he cannot be moving in the Divine direction. Remember in the cases quoted David was impelled to war, and Samuel to make revelations which must have cost his heart no small strain. Are our impulses towards self-enjoyment?

4. Is it not by some such impulse that the good man meets death with a brave heart? How else could he leave loved ones, home, manifold enjoyment, and social honour? Yet he pines for heaven. "I have a desire to depart." "Oh that I had wings like a dove"

To thee, O dear, dear country,

Mine eyes their vigils keep.God surely sends this home-sickness into our hearts when He is about to call us up higher.

5. Remember how possible it is to overrule our. best impulses. Pharaoh said stop, Hadad begged to be allowed to go. Peter said, "That be far from Thee, Lord," but Christ called him an offence, and drove him behind. "Grieve not the Spirit." "Quench not the Spirit." Is not the Spirit of Christ urging every man to leave the Egypt of sinful bondage? "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord." "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life."

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.

WEB: When Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, "Let me depart, that I may go to my own country."

Hadad the Edomite (Love of Country)
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