Reading: 2Kings 4:8-37
When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.” 2Kings 4:27 (NIV)
I. An Unasked promise
A. The Shunammite woman is Content
1. “I have a home among my people” (v.13)
a. Elisha wants to do something for her
b. She’s fine, she has what she wants.
2. She asks nothing of Elisha
a. She offers him a place to stay
b. She asks nothing in return
B. She is Generous
1. She gives him a meal
a. This is their first encounter
b. Elisha liked the food– he came back!
2. She builds him a place to stay
a. She provide him with a private room
b. She furnishes it for sleeping and prayer
C. Elisha promises an unasked Blessing
1. Elisha chooses to reward her generosity
a. He’s grateful and wants to show it
b. He asks through Gehazi
c. She doesn’t want anything!
2. Gehazi notices her need
a. No son–old husband.
b. She will have no one to care for her.
c. Daughters? Maybe.
3. Elisha promises a son for her.
a. She didn’t ask but God would bless her with one anyway.
b. He doesn’t ask if she wants a son–he doesn’t have to.
II. An Unexpected loss
A. Beyond Hope, the promised child is born
1. She had no more hope for a child
a. Her hopes for a son died long ago
b. She has gotten used to her loss
2. She resists the possibility of hope
a. She doesn’t want to go thru that again!
b. It’s easier to live without hope than to have our hope’s fade away.
3. The child is born anyway
a. Not a reward for strong faith!
b. A reward for selfless giving.
B. He Dies in his mother’s arms
1. A few years later–a tag-along with dad
a. “The child grew. . .” old enough to be out with dad and to talk.
b. Kids were weaned at about 3 or 4 y/o
2. He gets a head-ache and is sent home
a. Kids get “head-aches” all the time–no cause for alarm here, is there?
b. He’s sent home to mom–dad’s busy in the fields– mom’s know what to do.
3. He dies as mom holds him.
a. Mom holds her sick son on her lap
b. How many moms haven’t done that?
c. How many who’s sons died in their arms?
C. “It’s All Right” (v.23b)
1. She doesn’t mourn the child’s death
a. Typically a body is buried the same day
b. Mourning was an elaborate ritual
c. She does none of it.
2. To her husband “It’s alright.” (v.23b)
a. She decides to pay Elisha a visit.
b. Why go now? “It’s all right”
c. A diversion? What about the boy?
d. Maybe she believes what she says!
3. To Gehazi: “Everything is all right.” (v.26b)
a. Same response as to her husband
b. Explanations reserved for Elisha
c. She trusts that Elisha can resolve this
III. An Unrelenting determination
A. She heads Directly for Elisha
1. She puts the child on Elisha’s bed
a. As close as she can get her son to him
b. Closes the door to hide what happened
c. This was where she heard the promise
2. She heads out non-stop for Elisha
a. Probably just a few miles away
b. Hopes to be there & back today
c. “Don’t slow down unless I tell you” (24)
B. She Demands he return with her
1. She grabs his feet and won’t let go.
a. Gehazi sees this as improper.
b. She is determined however
c. 1st hint she is in “bitter distress” (27-28)
2. She trusts Elisha–not his staff!
a. Elisha sends Gehazi with his staff (29)
b. Why? Hoping the staff would cure? To teach a lesson? Something else?
c. Mom doesn’t go with the staff, she’s not going anywhere without Elisha.
d. She trusts him, not his staff–a symbol.
e. She binds herself to him with a vow.
C. Elisha Returns her son to her
1. The staff didn’t work?!
a. Gehazi runs ahead but the staff does nothing.
2. He goes in and prays for the dead boy
a. For the 2nd time we learn he’s dead
b. He goes in alone and prays (33)
c. His prayers warm the boy’s cold body
d. He does it a second time–2 stage miracle
3. He gives the boy back to his mother
a. He sneezes 7 times–involuntary action
b. He asks Gehazi to get his mom.
c. “Take your son.” 1st time he speaks to her directly, since the promise.
4. She thanks him first then takes her son.
a. She falls at his feet–to honor him
b. Her priority is thank God 1st then take her son back into her arms.
c. In all 4 stages–barrenness, child rearing, loss of a child, restoration–she was faithful to God (imperfectly?!).
The Bottom Line:
|A woman of Faith stands Firm in the Lord through Any circumstance.|
R#538 A Christian Home v.2