Summary: The Shunammite Woman’s son. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: 2 Kings chapter 4 verses 8-37.
• An atheist was arguing with a Christian on the possibility of miracles.
• Naturally, the atheist kept attacking the Christian on his view that miracles were possible.
• After arguing for awhile, the atheist finally said to the Christian,
• "Could you, Mr Christian, give me an EXAMPLE of a miracle?"
• The Christian thought for a moment, then said,
• "Certainly, I will give you a great example of a miracle. Now, turn around."
• Obeying him, the atheist turned around,
• And as he did so, the Christian aimed a fearsome kick at his behind.
• "Did you feel that?" he asked the atheist.
• "Of COURSE I did!" snarled the atheist.
• "Well," said the Christian,
• "It would have been a MIRACLE if you HADN'T felt that!"
In this Sunday evening series on Elisha:
• We are looking at the six ‘real’ authentic miracles that he performed,
• And tonight we are looking at the second miracle in the series of six.
(a). A great woman (verses 8-10).
“One day Elisha went to Shunem………..(pause for a moment).
Shunem was about twenty miles northwest of Elisha's hometown (Abel-me-ho-lah),
• And twenty-five miles or so beyond Shunem was Mount Carmel;
• A place Elisha often went to e.g. verse 25.
• The average traveller (most travelled on foot);
• Could cover fifteen miles per day (or twenty if you were in 5th gear),
• So whenever he went to Mount Carmel to pray, meditate, and seek the Lord;
• Shunem was the perfect half-way point for Elisha to stop and rest,
Back to the reading:
“….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”.
(1). She was anonymous: ‘a woman’ (verse 8).
• Don’t you find it curious that the text doesn’t give us her name,
• But takes time (verse 10) to identify the specific items of furniture in the room
I am sure you must have noticed that the Bible is a book full of names:
• I am amazed sometimes that God records lists of peoples names;
• Interesting with the Bible on tape or C.D. they are all abridged (name lists removed!)
• God recalls for us list after list of names e.g. Ezra chapter 2 list of exiles who returned.
• People who we will never know about but they occupy a place in this book.
What is just as amazing to me:
• Are the names of those who we might expect to read about but who are left anonymous;
• e.g. Lot’s wife. The writer of the book of Genesis could have easily included her name but he did not!
• Same is true in the New Testament;
• Dr Luke suppressed the names of some of the out standing characters he met.
• e.g. The Philippian jailor.
• But records for us lesser names of characters, such as Rhoda, Blastus, Demetrius.
Perhaps these key figures remain anonymous:
• Because God wants us to observe the type of person;
• Rather than the name of that person.
• For certain people inevitably represent groups of mankind;
• So we may not have this woman’s name but we have her example to note!
• Jean Frederick Oberlin, was a minister in Germany during the 18th century,
• One day he was travelling by foot in winter when he was caught in a severe snowstorm.
• He soon lost his way in the blowing snow and feared he would freeze to death.
• In despair he sat down, not knowing which way to turn.
• Just then, a man came along in a wagon and rescued Oberlin.
• He took him to the next village and made sure he would be cared for.
• As the man prepared to journey on, Oberlin said,
• “Tell me your name so that I may at least have you in grateful remembrance before God.”
• The man, who by now had recognized Oberlin, replied,
• “You are a minister. Please tell me the name of the Good Samaritan.”
• Oberlin said, “I cannot do that, for it is not given in the Scriptures.”
• His benefactor responded, “Until you can tell me his name, please permit me to withhold mine.”
Names are important:
• That is why God records lists of people who are just references to us,