A Shunammite woman helps the prophet
Published 1:10 pm Friday, January 30, 2009
Scripture: II Kings 4:1-17
Aim: To help the pupil understand that helping those who are seeking to serve God results in great Blessings as a result.
Golden Text: “And she said unto her husband, ‘Behold now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.’ Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither” (II Kings 4:9-10).
Elisha became the prophet in Israel that followed Elijah. He was faithful to Jehovah, and he represented Jehovah and gave God’s message to those to whom he ministered. The Lord gave him the ability to perform miracles, which were intended to prove that he was Jehovah’s prophet.
I. The destitute widow and her sons ask Elisha for advice in their dire circumstance (II Kings 4:1-7). The widow had been wife to one of the prophets who had died, leaving her with two sons (vs. 1). She informed Elisha that a creditor had come to take her two sons in place of her debt.
Elijah asked her what she had in the house. She replied she had a small pot of oil (vs. 2). First, he asked her to gather all the vessels she could from her neighbors (vs. 3). Second, he told her to take her sons, go inside the house, and close the door. Third, he instructed that she pour oil from her container into the other containers (vs. 4).
The widow and her sons did as instructed. They went inside their house, closed the door and began to pour the oil from her vessel into those borrowed. All the vessels were filled, still her pot kept its oil (vs. 5-6). She went and told Elisha (vs. 7). He instructed her to sell the oil, pay the debt, and live on the rest of the proceeds (vs. 7).
In this case God’s prophet had died and left a needy family; however, God sent Elisha to help relieve the destitute condition of the family.
Remember two lessons here. First, God will take care of His faithful people. We should be faithful and always, under every circumstance trust God to take care of us. Second, God uses others to help meet the needs of others. God gives to some and expects that they will pass some of it on.
II. The Shunammite woman and her husband provide a place for Elisha to stay, and food to eat when he came that way in his ministry as a prophet of God (II Kings 4:8-17). Elisha passed through a village named Shunem (vs. 8). A woman invited him to a meal with she and her husband (vs. 8). The offer became a standing invitation as Elisha passed that way often (vs. 8).
After a time, the woman discussed the situation with her husband (vs. 9-10, Golden Text above). She recognized that Elisha was a “holy man of God” who often was in need of a place to stay and food to eat (vs. 9). She suggested that they build a side room on their house and furnish it in order that Elisha could have his own place of privacy when he come to that area to minister (vs. 10). The room was built out of love and concern this couple had for God’s prophet.
Elisha and his servant Gahazi came to stay in the room on one occasion, and he was concerned as to what he could do for them in return (vs. 11). He had Gahazi bring the woman to him (vs. 12).
Elisha asked if he could speak to the king, to the captain of the host (army, vs. 13) for them.
She answered that they were satisfied to continue as they had been doing (vs. 13b).
Gahazi told Elisha that the couple had no children, and that they were an old couple (vs. 14).
Elisha called the woman and told her that she and her husband would have a son (vs. 15-16).
Although the woman disbelieved, she conceived and bore a son the next year (vs. 17).
Here again, faithful service to those who are serving God, is rewarded by God, through the prophet. This principle still works. Let us practice it today. Give some of your blessings to others.