Summary: Message about holding on to the promise that the Lord has given.
Holding to the Promise
(8) Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable (great, godly) woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food.
Notable, great woman. Why? Some say because she was wealthy, that could be although the emphasis would usually be on the husband. My theory was because of her prayer and commitment to the Lord. She was a godly woman who loved the Lord. We see this as she makes room for the prophet.
(9) And she said to her husband, "Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. (10) "Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there."
Elisha represented the word. The word at this time usually came only through the prophets. She recognized this.
I believe that her heart was right. She wanted to protect the man of God who carried the word of the Lord.
This is her heart. She knew what was right, she wanted to keep the Word next to her. Some of us would do well to learn from this. When you know the word and what is right then make a place for it in your heart.
1Ti 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
This woman learned also to keep her family in the word. This may be a stretch but I believe that she knew that if she took care of the man who carried the word the Lord would take care of her household.
She kept her family next to the word. We are too quick to get distracted and let our families get distracted by "other" things. Our children wind up with no respect for church or the Word of God because we have shown them that in our home priorities over the years.
(11) And it happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there. (12) Then he said to Gehazi his servant, "Call this Shunammite woman." When he had called her, she stood before him.
Because of her faithfulness the Lord blessed her. The man of God called her in. When we are patient, persistent, and faithful God will always bless us.
(13) And he said to him, "Say now to her, ’Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ " She answered, "I dwell among my own people."
This shows a lot of her character. She was not looking for a political position. She was doing this out of her heart.
(14) So he said, "What then is to be done for her?" And Gehazi answered, "Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old." (15) So he said, "Call her." When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. (16) Then he said, "About this time next year you shall embrace a son." And she said, "No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!"
This is what she wanted more than anything. Yet it seems that she had given up. In her old age she could not imagine that this would ever happen.
Some people believe that she may have been 100 years old. All that time waiting on a child.
Just think if she had stopped short of her desires. What if she had given up on doing to work of the Lord.
(17) But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her.
The promise was fulfilled. It was a promise from the man of God who carried the word of God and it was fulfilled by the Lord.
Death of the Child
(18) And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. (19) And he said to his father, "My head, my head!" So he said to a servant, "Carry him to his mother." (20) When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
What happened to him? Some commentators say a sun stroke which is common in that day. My first thought was an aneurism.
Yet this was the promise. How could this happen?