Summary: A woman of faith who served the Lord.
“A Great Woman”
2 Kings 4:8 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.
One of the first names ever heard by the human ear was the name mother and for thousands of years that name has engendered feelings of love, respect and heart felt emotion. We gather here today to honor that name again. Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Elisha passed to Shunem - This city was in the tribe of Issachar, to the south of the brook Kishon, and at the foot of Mount Tabor.
“Where was a great woman;” - In Pirkey Rab. Eliezer, this woman is said to have been the sister of Abishag, the Shunammite, well known in the history of David.
Instead of great woman, the Chaldee has, a woman fearing sin; the Arabic, a woman eminent for piety before God. This made her truly great. (Gill)
“Where was a great woman;” of great wealth and riches, of great benevolence and hospitality, and of great grace and piety; that feared sin, as the Targum paraphrases it; a woman of great credit and reputation on all accounts. The Jews say (u) she was the sister of Abishag the Shunammite, and the mother of Iddo the prophet: (Clarke)
I. Her Toil
One of my favorite quotes comes from the eminently quotable Anne Morrow Lindbergh: "By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class."
Add to that the fact that mothering work is unpaid, and it's a double whammy. True words like Lindbergh's are why it's both illuminating and depressing to put a dollar figure to the work mothers do at home. Just in time for Mother's Day, Salary.com has done that in its 9th annual mom salary survey. This year, a stay-at-home mom performing the 10 most popular "mom-job functions" does the work equivalent of a $122,732 salary, up 5 percent over last year's calculations. A mom who works outside the home 40 hours a week does work that equates to an annual cash compensation of $76,184, an 11 percent increase. A lucrative second job--if that second shift were actually a paid gig.
How do the folks at Salary.com arrive at such hefty numbers? First, they take 10 jobs that closely match the multiple jobs moms do at home. Think laundry machine operator, janitor, van driver, housekeeper, computer operator, cook, daycare center teacher, facilities manager, psychologist, and chief executive officer. Then they surveyed 12,150 moms to quantify their hours worked in each role for a typical week. Salary.com's compensation professionals weighted the different responsibilities of the job to determine the average mom's overall total compensation.
II. Her Trouble
The trouble of a child is a mother's trouble. Mother's prayers are often heard because they pray as true intercessors, identifying themselves with their children.
III. Her Trust
You can measure her trust in God by the way she reacted to the news of her son’s death. She had experienced the power of God in the gift of this boy to a women who had been barren and past children bearing years. Her statements of faith are found in verses 23 and 26. “It is well…” is her declaration and she received her son back to life! There are narratives in the Bible of other women of faith who believed God!
Sarah - Wife of Abraham
Sarah was one of the most important women in the Bible. She was the wife of Abraham, which made her the mother of the nation of Israel. Yet Sarah was barren. She conceived through a miracle in spite of her old age. Sarah was a good wife, a loyal helper and builder with Abraham. Her faith serves as a shining example for every person who has to wait on God to act
Jochebed - Mother of Moses
Jochebed, the mother of Moses, is one of the underappreciated mothers in the Bible, yet she also showed tremendous faith in God. To avoid the mass slaughter of Hebrew boys, she set her baby adrift in the Nile River, hoping someone would find him and raise him. God so worked that her baby was found by Pharaoh's daughter. Jochebed even became her own son's nurse. God used Moses mightily, to free the Hebrew people from their 400 year bondage of slavery and take them to the promised land. Although little is written about Jochebed in the Bible, her story speaks powerfully to mothers of today
Hannah - Mother of Samuel the Prophet
Hannah's story is one of the most touching in the entire Bible. Like several other mothers in the Bible, she knew what it meant to suffer long years of barrenness. In Hannah's case she was cruelly taunted by her husband's other wife. But Hannah never gave up on God. Finally her heartfelt prayers were answered. She gave birth to a son, Samuel, then did something entirely selfless to honor her promise to God. God favored Hannah with five more children, bringing great blessing to her life.