Summary: The Home that God intent
Scripture: 2 Kings 4:817, especially verse 10
A Home with a Difference
Introduction: Our Scripture today features a well-heeled middle class couple, who seem to have everything: a large house, a secure income, a happy marriage, and all of their material needs met. Their home is an example to us; we should always use our blessings to bless others. Let’s look at some of the characteristics of this "Home with a Difference."
1. A Holiness Known by this Home (vv. 810). Geographically, Shunem was in the North of Israel in the Valley of Esdraelon. It was between Samaria and Carmel along a road that Elisha was accustomed to traveling. A notable woman would stop him as he passed, urging him to eat (v. 8). She went to much trouble to be hospitable because she knew he was a holy man of God (v. 9). She did not designate him as a nice man, a popular, or brilliant, or successful man of God; she was touched with the godliness of his life in a time of moral depravity. We note this about Elisha:
A. His Godly Life Was Distinctive. How did she perceive the prophet’s holiness? Did she find him at prayer? Did she see him immersed in the Word? Was it his conversation and conduct? She could certainly see God in the prophet somehow. Do people at school, home, or work perceive that we are holy men and women of God? Do our conversation and conduct measure up?
B. His Godly Life Was Impressive. This woman was impressed enough to have her husband build him a separate room in her house! As Christians, we are constantly under the scrutiny of others: do they see Christ in us?
C. His Godly Life Was Extensive. Stopping by this house time and time again, Elisha must have had an incredible impact, a consistency about his holiness that impressed this woman. Are we living consistently holy lifestyles, or do we simply put on a mask when at church or among Christians?
2. A Helpfulness That Was Found in This Home (vv. 810). Scripture describes this woman as "notable," which can be translated as "wealthy." Instead of hoarding her wealth, she freely gave to this man of God.
A. She Provided for Him Practically. Notice that she didn’t attempt to impress him with her wealth, but simply provided him with food and shelter (vv. 810). She was committed to the ministry of hospitality, not to entertaining him. This ministry should be characteristic of us (see 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Pet. 4:9).
B. She Provided for Him Regularly. This was no fleeting mood of kindness, which suddenly came upon her and suddenly disappeared. This was a commitment. We should share such a commitment.
C. She Provided for Him Spiritually. Along with meeting his practical needs, many suggest that the room had spiritual significance: the bed represents his spiritual rest, the table, his spiritual food, the stool represents communion, and the candlestick represents testimony. Perhaps this is the case, but either way, the room certainly provided a solitary place for his prayer and meditation.
3. A Happiness That Was Brought to This Home (vv. 1117). When Elisha inquired of what he could do in return for her, she responded saying, "I dwell among my own people" (v. 13). In other words, "Thanks but I have all I need." She was content! Elisha found out that she lacked one thing, the sunshine of a child’s presence and the music of a child’s voice.
A. Her Service Was Noticed. This woman didn’t have ulterior motives; she didn’t want to brag to others about her ministry or to have Elisha give her any special treatment. The Lord urged Elisha to go the extra mile in finding out how he could bless her (v. 14). He noticed her generosity and humility. Is this the way we minister to others, or do we attempt to be flashy or to get something out of it for ourselves (see Luke 17:10).
B. Her Service Was Rewarded. Verse 17 tells us, "... the woman conceived, and bore a son." Remember Jesus’ words, "He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward" (Matt. 10:41a NKJV). God rewards genuine hospitality (see also Heb. 13:2).
Is your home filled with holiness, hospitality, and happiness? We will only achieve these things if all the possessions, even our very homes and lives, are completely surrendered to the Lord’s service.