Summary: Biblical insights on family restoration.
Notice the word "restored" in the following Bible passage:
1 - Then Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had RESTORED to life, saying, "Arise and go, you and your household, and sojourn wherever you can sojourn; for the LORD has called for a famine, and furthermore, it will come upon the land for seven years."
2 - So the woman arose and did according to the saying of the man of God, and she went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.
3 - It came to pass, at the end of seven years, that the woman returned from the land of the Philistines; and she went to make an appeal to the king for her house and for her land.
4 - Then the king talked with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, "Tell me, please, all the great things Elisha has done."
5 - Now it happened, as he was telling the king how he had RESTORED the dead to life, that there was the woman whose son he had RESTORED to life, appealing to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, "My lord, O king, this is the woman and this is her son whom Elisha RESTORED to life."
6 - And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed a certain officer for her, saying, "RESTORE all that was hers, and all the proceeds of the field from the day that she left the land until now.
What an encouraging and uplifting story about a woman who stood to lose her son and then her property, but had them both RESTORED!
Let’s gain insights from this story of the Shunammite woman for restoration in our household. We might apply it to the restoration of relationships, communiction, trust, etc. Or, like the woman, our financial state made need to be restored. Whatever needs to be restored in a household, the Word of God gives us hope!
If you read the earlier incident in the life of Elisha and the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:8-37) you see that she was extremely kind to Elisha. She had a room built on her house, furnished it, and fed the prophet every time he came through her area. This was no where demanded in the law but she wanted to help the man of God.
In response to her kindness Elisha told the woman that God would bless her with a child. She and her husband had not previously been able to have children and this was wonderful news to her.
But the son grows ill several years later and dies. Miraculously though, Elisha RESTORES her son to life.
The point we want to emphasize today is - it seems that God’s power was available in this woman’s life because she was in some measure being rewarded for her kindness to the man of God.
The story clearly teaches us that we should practice kindness in our household. Kindness has a very restorative effect!
Her name was Mrs. Thompson. As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most of the teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there, in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around."
His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a stuggle."
His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother’s death has been hard on Teddy. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t seem to show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps are not taken."
Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."