3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: ALL SHOOK UP (2 KINGS 4:8-34)

ALL SHOOK UP (2 KINGS 4:8-34)

I am surprised it took me so lone to write the account of the Shunammite woman. For a very long time my wife and I dreamed of buying a home to entertaining pastors and missionaries. Besides supplying a room for the traveling Elisha to lodge the Shunammite woman also provided a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a lamp for him (2 Kings 4:10). Our dream died with the passing away of Doris on May 22, 2016, but Doris had a dream shortly before she passed away. She was walking through a dark and long tunnel and at the end of the tunnel was a rest area. Knowing her dreams were usually scary to her, especially dreaming of dogs, snakes and rats out to get her, I was expecting a negative response when I asked her, “Is that bad?” She said, “It was OK,” so I am still determined to provide a retreat home for pastors and missionaries, named “Doris Rest Area” to honor my wife’s love for the Lord and coworkers , if the Lord is willing, in or after my lifetime.

Elisha was the anointed successor of Elijah, who supposedly acquiesced to his student’s request for a double portion of his spirit two chapters ago (2 Kings 2:9). The second miracle of Elisha as a prophet was to raise a child from the dead, which was similar to the second miracle of his mentor Elijah, who

stretched himself upon the Zarephath widow’s child three times to heal him (1 Kings 17:21), in contrast to Elisha who stretched himself twice upon the Shunammite woman’s child (2 Kings 4:34

34-35).

What kind of person does God use in His work – prophet or otherwise? How can we join with God or a man or woman of God in ministry? Why is our support a service to God rather than a solution for Him?

Keep Calm and Be Soft-hearted

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.

Leighton Farrell was the minister of Highland Park Church in Dallas for many years. He tells of a man in the church who once made a covenant with a former pastor to tithe ten percent of their income every year. They were both young and neither of them had much money. But things changed. The layman tithed one thousand dollars the year he earned ten thousand, ten thousand dollars the year he earned one-hundred thousand, and one- hundred thousand dollars the year he earned one million. But the year he earned six million dollars he just could not bring himself to write out that check for six-hundred thousand dollars to the Church.

The man telephoned the minister, long since having moved to another church, and asked to see him. Walking into the pastor's office the man begged to be let out of the covenant, saying, "This tithing business has to stop. It was fine when my tithe was one thousand dollars, but I just cannot afford six-hundred thousand dollars. You've got to do something, Reverend!" The pastor knelt on the floor and prayed silently for a long time.

Eventually the man said, "What are you doing? Are you praying that God will let me out of the covenant to tithe?" "No," said the minister. "I am praying for God to reduce your income back to the level where one thousand dollars will be your tithe!"

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