In the last session, we looked briefly at the misappropriation of authority by overstepping a boundary and, instead of upholding the word and the will of God, we exercise our own word and will. However, that’s not the only way Belial can influence us with regard to authority. Sometimes we can fail to exercise the authority delegated to us and thereby thwart the timing on God’s will coming to pass.

A startling series of examples of such negligence is evident in the lives of Elijah, Elisha and Jonah—three prophets commissioned to carry out a task that, because they couldn’t bring themselves to engage with the opportunities God placed before them, had to wait seven centuries for completion.

When Elijah had run from Samaria to Mount Horeb, fleeing in panic from Jezebel, the still, small voice of God gave him some instructions: anoint Jehu as king of Israel, Hazael as king of Aram and Elisha as his successor. He throws his cloak over Elisha, perhaps that counts as anointing, but then sometime between nine and twenty-five years goes by—and even though he has an opportunity to anoint Jehu, he doesn’t avail himself of it. The tragedy of Naboth’s vineyard and the death of an entire family could have been avoided, had Elijah done as instructed.

After he was taken up in a whirlwind, another twelve years went by. Elisha knew the royal appointments had not been made but when he met up with Hazael in Damascus, did he anoint him? No.

He did, however, send one of the sons of the prophets to anoint Jehu—and tradition says it was young and fast Jonah who was finally dispatched with some oil for the job. The likelihood it was Jonah makes a lot of sense in the light of what Jesus eventually does in commissioning Simon, son of Jonah, with an almost identical task to one originally given to Jonah of old.

Now it may come as a shock to realise it wasn’t just Jonah who defied God—his mentors, Elijah and Elisha, did too. They condemned God’s choices; they overrode the plans and purposes of God and judged them to be worthless. The mind control of Belial, the worthless one, was so severe that a tell-tale reversal occurred. They saw God’s plans as abusive instead of compassionate. They’d become complicit with the spirit Jezebel employed—she hired some ‘sons of Belial’ to set Naboth up and get him killed. 

It might seem unimaginable that Elijah and Elisha could be so blind—or that we can be so blind about their defiance of God. They were aware the call on the lives of both Jehu and Hazael was a divine one but they refused to authorise it. These ruthless army commanders were not worthy, in their eyes, to be kings. 

And yet the king of Israel was sending to Beelzebub, otherwise Belial, for advice, while the king of Aram was sending to Yahweh. The opportunity to bring Yahweh to the nations was there—more than once as a matter of fact—but it was simply ignored.

It’s only when we realise that Jesus set up Simon, son of Jonah to finish the work of the three prophets, Elijah, Elisha and Jonah, and bring the Gentiles into the kingdom of God that we can look back and see that God’s plans for the army commander Hazael, vision of God, were the same as His plans for the army commander, Cornelius, who on seeing a vision sent for Peter and so became the first of the Gentiles to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and be included in the family of God.

That’s what Elijah and Elisha were supposed to usher in—the worship of Yahweh by the Gentiles. But they were unable to break off their complicity with Belial. If this is a shock, it shouldn’t be. The prophets were so flawed, there was a very good reason God had to send Jesus—in part, to finish the work they chose to ignore.

They were men of astonishing faith but it was a complex mixture, alloyed with dark, adamant doubt. Sometimes we can be like them and not authorise others to take their rightful place—we deny others their calling because we refuse to acknowledge the voice of the Spirit that they are the ones chosen for a particular position.

Sometimes of course we’re on the receiving end of a refusal to obey God. We may have a deep sense of calling to a position but, time after time, we see others with less experience and less qualifications appointed to it. This is a difficult place to be because, in frustration, we can make unwise choices and, in our turn, also become complicit with Belial. That’s the last thing we should ever want.

Both Jehu and Hazael eventually became king, but their time was long-delayed. Hazael at least did not receive the anointing and blessing he should have.

We can trust God to bring about His will for us, despite the dishonour and even despising of others. And if we feel we lack a blessing or an anointing, then we should ask Him directly to amend that. Rather than allow Belial to cheat us of our inheritance, we should simply ask the Lord to bring it to pass.

This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May your choices always align with the Spirit’s voice.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of for the background music.

More on the spirit of Belial can be found in the paperback, Dealing with Belial: Spirit of Armies and Abuse, Strategies for the Threshold #8. More on the spirit of Kronos (another face of Belial) can be found in the paperback, Dealing with Kronos: Spirit of Abuse and Time, Strategies for the Threshold #9.