May 9, 2021. II Kings 4:8-37

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MOTHERS DAY 2021.  5/9/2021. A STAR IN SHUNEM.  II Kings 4:8-37.

II Kings 4:8-37 [New King James Version]

8 Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. 9 And she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. 10 Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.” 11 And it happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there. 12 Then he said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite woman.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13 And he said to him, “Say now to her, ‘Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ ” She answered, “I dwell among my own people.” 14 So he said, “What then is to be done for her?” And Gehazi answered, “Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.” 15 So he said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. 16 Then he said, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!” 17 But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her. 18 And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, “My head, my head!” So he said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. 22 Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.” 23 So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.” 24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25 And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! 26 Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’ ” And she answered, “It is well.” 27 Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.” 28 So she said, “Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me’?” 29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Get yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child.” 30 And the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her. 31 Now Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Therefore he went back to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child has not awakened.” 32 When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34 And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. 35 He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” 37 So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.

  1. A woman of a sensitive spirit toward God
    1. She was from Shunem in territory belonging to Issachar (approximately 20 miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee)
    1. We do not know her name (God does)
    1. She was both observant and sensitive to the things of God
      1. She sees Elisha pass by frequently on the way to Mt. Carmel or south toward Samaria
      1. She knows that Elisha is a prophet of God
    1. She loves God and wants to do something for his prophet
    1. We know nothing of her husband’s spiritual state
      1. He is much order than she is
      1. He seems to greatly value her
      1. He gives her wide latitude of freedom of action (demonstrates trust and confidence in her)
  2. Faith in action
    1. She decides to invite Elisha and his servant, Gehazi, to dinner (she must persuade Elisha to accept)
    1. She persuades her husband to build Elisha a room on top of the roof for a place to stay when he is traveling by their house
      1. Husband = may be of faith
      1. Building the room would have been an expenditure of time and resources
      1. Elisha would become a frequent house guest
      1. It appears that his love for his wife was such that he rarely refused any of her requests (she was wise, gentle, discerning, and charitable)
    1. All she did for Elisha was by her own will
      1. Elisha never asked for anything
      1. She was looking for ways to support the man of God (God will honor the desire to serve him)
    1. Proverbs 31:10-31 – her motivation is honorable, kind, respectful, and selfless
  3. Elisha shows his gratitude
    1. Elisha tries to find a way to thank the Shunnemite woman
      1. He has Gehazi call her to his room
      1. He asks her what she would desire (speak to the king on her behalf (2 Kn. 8:1-6 she eventually does stand before the king to get her land back, and Gehazi vouches for her)
    1. She wants nothing form Elisha
      1. She is pleased to serve the Lord without expecting anything in return for her charity
      1. She wants no credit for her service
    1. Elisha asks Gehazi what can be done for her
      1. Gehazi tells Elisha that she has no sons
      1. Elisha tells the Shun. that she will have a son
    1. She thinks that Elisha is being cruel
      1. Her husband is too old to sire a son and they have had no children throughout their marriage
      1. She would rather not have a son than false hope
    1. She does conceive and bears a son
      1. After a time her son has a heatstroke and dies
      1. She traces Elisha down at Mt. Carmel
        1. She accuses him of mocking her
        1. A test from the Lord

                f. Elisha prays and lays down over the boy and he is raised

                g. She gave all, expected nothing, and was greatly blessed

Key verse: Proverbs 31:10-31

10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil // All the days of her life.

13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.