Summary: An amazing turn in the story of the child who was raised from the dead by Elisha’s prayer.
2 Kings 4:32-35 KJV And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.  He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.  And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.  Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
l. THE STORY SURROUNDING 2 KINGS 4
-There is a Scripture that appears very early in this story that sets the tone for this lady’s impact on her family.
2 Kings 4:8 -- “8 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.”
-The writer inserts a word there when describing this woman. He says that she was a “great” woman.
-What was it that made this woman great? She discovered the ability to not allow her surroundings to dictate to her where the real source of greatness came from. Even in a life that was no doubt very busy, she never allowed the little duties of her life to relegate her to being little.
-She was gifted with a kind heart that while her focus was centered on her home, she reached out to a world that needed her beyond her four walls.
-As one reads the story laid out to us in 2 Kings 4, we find that this great woman had an incredible sense of self-control. How quiet she was in all the tests of life that came to here. It stands as an excellent display of her inner character. But there would come a day in her life in which every fiber of her soul would be tested.
A. The History of the Child
-We find that the prophet Elisha was traveling through the land of Shunem one day and having stopped in at this little home, he was given a great meal by this little lady. Soon it became a ritual that as he came through the country, he would stop in and have a meal with this family from Shunem. There were just two in this little family, the great woman and her husband.
-After several visits, Elisha returned and found himself very surprised that this family had built a small little room for the wandering prophet. When he came to visit, he would not only find a table to eat but also a room for rest and comfort.
-So the man of God determined one day to return blessing for blessing. His request came: What can I do for this family? It was then that the answer came almost as a lightning bolt from heaven, this couple was childless and so Elisha pronounced a promise that a child would soon grace their home.
-And so it was that some time later, a small baby entered the home. As the years rapidly flew by, I am sure that as Elisha traveled through Shunem that over the course of the years he had come to enjoy the friendship of this young man. But as one reads in 2 Kings 4:18, this young man went out one day to work with the reapers.
-There are times when everything goes on smoothly, and one day is like another. Again, there are times when changes come, and whole years of joy and sorrow may be concentrated into a single day. So it was in the house at Shunem. When Elisha came (v. 8) it was a joyous time. When the child was born (v. 17) it was a joyous time. But the most memorable of all those days was that day when the only son was lost and found; was dead, and received back to life again.
-It took no more than a moment for the brightest day to become suddenly clouded with disaster. The day was quickly darkened by sorrow and the shadow of death.
-There came a cry in the middle of innocent work in the field. Life was progressing well. Yet surrounded here seemingly in a safe environment trouble struck. Working in the simplicity and purity of the farm in the countryside a major problem occurred.
-The young man had left home that morning running full on life but was brought in from the fields nearly cold and lifeless.
-Only one complaint had issued from the young man’s mouth: My head, My head!!!