Monday, January 26, 2015

Shunnamite Sequel

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Gehazi is in the book of Second Kings, chapters 4, 5 and 8. In chapter 4 we find him traveling as a servant with Elisha, stopping at a home at a lady’s request:

And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. (2 Kings 4:8 KJV)

Our church has a small apartment, a bedroom with small kitchenette and bath, set aside for traveling missionaries – much as this great woman created for Elisha:

And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. (2 Kings 4:9-10 KJV)

Elisha did stop, and appreciated the kindness, wanting to repay her, and asked Gehazi to bring her to him so he could offer her a return on her kindness:

And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people. (2 Kings 4:13 KJV)

I love her answer! To me it means “I’m happy where I am.” Gehazi had a suggestion, though. The lady was childless and her husband old. Perhaps one miracle would please her. So, she had a son.

I’m going to skip a bit – you can read the rest of this story in chapter 4, where the child died, Gehazi followed directions but no response, then Elisha restored the son to his mother. That has lessons of its own. I’m skipping to chapter 8:

Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. (2 Kings 8:1-2 KJV)

Apparently she was widowed by this time – there is no mention of her husband in the household. She followed Elisha’s suggestion and survived the drought, only to return to find her land confiscated.

And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land. (2 Kings 8:3 KJV)

For that time and place (as it is in many lands today) it would be difficult for a woman to be heard before a court, much less the king. God prepared for her to be heard:

And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done. And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. (2 Kings 8:4-5 KJV)

Timing. There is nothing like God’s timing. This woman looked after God’s prophet. She was rewarded not only with a son, but her son’s life was returned, she was cared for during a drought and the way prepared for her property to be returned. God directed her path.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:6 KJV)

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