Summary: The Shunammite woman received the promises of God. She made the man of God welcome, she made room, she received from God and she held on to the promise.
The Shunammite Woman
Elisha was the man of God. He was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom and he travelled from town to town doing the Lords work. He would have to rely on the Lord to feed him and the Lord would cause somebody to show him hospitality. This chapter begins with Elisha travelling to a small town called Shunem. I want to talk about the woman from that town who received blessings from God. In that time the people would have to rely on the prophets such as Elisha in order to hear from the Lord. Since Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us to do the work that the prophets use to do. I want to look at how the Lord blessed this woman through her interaction with the prophet of God, and show how the Lord can bless our lives in the same way through the Holy Spirit.
Elisha worked in the Northern Kingdom of Israel in a time when people were far away from God. What was it about this woman that cause her to receive such great blessings from God, while living in such a Godless time? She wasn’t anything special, in fact her name isn’t even recorded, and yet she received a great touch from God. What was it about her life that caused God to intervene in such a great way? If God was able to empower the life of a nameless woman, living in such a time, then surely He can touch our lives too. There are four things that I want to pick out about her, that we need to emulate if we are to encounter Gods power as she did. She wanted to make the man of God welcome, she made room for him, she received Gods promise, and finally she held on to that promise even though it seemed to be dead.
1. Making God welcome.
From the start it is obvious that this woman had a hunger for God as she was able to recognise Gods man when he entered the town and immediately invited him into her house. In fact she didn’t just invite the man in she urged him into her house. She was desperate to be of service to the man of God so he obliged and came for a meal. In fact she looked after him so well that every time he was in town he would stop by.
Do we really want to encounter God? Do we really want to be empowered by the Holy Spirit? Do we really seek God? We may think you have the Holy Spirit, we speak in tongues, we occasionally prophesy, but do we know the full extent of his power. The closer I have got to God in my life, the more I realise how little I know of Him. If not the only way that we are going to discover that is to urge God to come into our house, which is our hearts, through his Spirit.
If God does come however, is He going to find it somewhere worth coming back to. Are we willing to make our hearts somewhere that the Holy Spirit wants to return to again and again. If this woman’s house had been filthy and full of vermin, the chances are, Elisha would never have wanted to return. Many people ask God for his power but expect him to come and rest in our filthy hearts. The woman made her home welcoming and fed the man of God well, and so he wanted to return again and again.
If we are to be a resting place for the Holy Spirit we need to earnestly be seeking that visitation and we must make sure hearts are welcoming to the Spirit. Prior to revival coming to a church in Argentina the pastor found himself praying, Lord send revival or I die. He didn’t want to live any longer unless the Lord came to his church in power. How much are we seeking that visitation from God?
2.Making room for God.
When Elisha had been coming regularly this woman approached her husband and proposed that they make him Elisha a room so that he can not only visit but stay. She expanded her house to ensure that the man of God could not only drop by but dwell. She ensured that it was fitted out with everything that the man of God would need. I assume that her husband was also a godly man as he obviously agrees with her plans. The woman’s desire to have the man of God resident in her house not only bless her but would bless her whole household. If the Spirit of God starts to dwell in His power in our lives and in our churches, it wont just effect us. but everyone around us.