Shunammite Lesson

Shunammite Lesson: When you are full of faith, your response to all circumstances, good or bad, is to go to God. Honour him, Worship him.  He who gives and takes away.  And full of faith, we go to God knowing that the Lord is able to do more than we ask or imagine…

8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.

Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”

15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”

“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”

17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!”

His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.

24 She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on; don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the Shunammite! 26 Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’”

“Everything is all right,” she said.

27 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.”

28 “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”

32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.
2Kings 4:8-21,  24-28, 32-37

The Shunammite woman had generous faith. She invited Elisha to meals when he came through town, and recognizing that he was a holy man of God, she created a bedroom for him to stay in when he came to eat.  Her hospitality toward him flowed out of her reverence toward God.

How hospitable are you?  We sometimes get in our own way when it comes to hospitality.  The house isn’t clean enough.  We’re tired. We need some me time. Or we time.  It’s easy to come up with excuses to not welcome and host other people, isn’t it?

God rewards the faithful.  Elisha was moved to do something for her, and gave her the words from God that she would have a son to carry on the family name and take care of her when her husband passed on.  The woman could hardly believe it.  Don’t mislead me… that’s just mean… yet it was true.  She had a child the next year.

Unfortunately, the boy died, and this is where the Shunammite woman took her next steps of faith.  On the surface, it looks like she was confronting Elisha when she found him, to blame him for raising her hopes and then her son dying.  She didn’t go all that way just to blame him, though.  She knew that he could do something.

When your hopes are dashed and your circumstances change downward fast, do you go to God?  We have a choice to wallow or go into a tailspin when our lives get tough, and that’s not the response of the faithful.  When you are full of faith, your response to all circumstances, good or bad, is to go to God.  

We worship God, who gives and takes away.  And we can ask God to help us, knowing that God is able to do more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).  Her son was raised to life, which shows the power and faithfulness of God in our midst.

You might ask, why would God allow her to suffer that way, only to raise her son? God allows many things to test our faith because he is glorified when we turn to him in our times of need.  


Marc Kinna

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One Response to Shunammite Lesson

  1. Pingback: God Providing Before We Ask | marckinna

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