The Woman from Shunem
May 28 - Nº 148 2 Kings 4:8-37
As Elisha traveled through the northern kingdom of Israel, he often passed through a town called Shunem. One time a prominent woman invited him to eat in her home. From then on, whenever his journey took him near Shumen, Elisha stopped and ate with the woman and her husband. One time, as they were discussing Elisha’s visits, the woman asked her husband, “Why don’t we make a small room upstairs and furnish it for the man of God? Then he can use it whenever he comes to town.” Her husband agreed. One day, the prophet stopped at their home and went up to his new room to lie down. He said to Gehazi, his servant, “The Shunammite woman has done so much for us, why don’t you ask her if there is anything we can do for her? Maybe we can get the king or the commander of the army to do her a special favor.” Gehazi did as Elisha asked, but the woman insisted that she really didn’t need anything—her family took care of her needs. Elisha asked his servant, “Can you think of something we can do for her?” “Well, she doesn’t have a son, and her husband is getting old,” Gehazi replied. So, Elisha called for the woman. “About this time next year,” he announced, “you will have a son.” The woman was shocked. “Oh, please don’t tell me this if it isn’t true,” she begged. But it was true! And a year later the Shunammite woman gave birth to a baby boy. As the child grew, he would accompany his father into the fields. One such morning, the boy complained of a severe headache. His father asked a servant to carry the child back to his mother. She held him in her arms, but he died around noon. Distraught, she took him upstairs and laid him on Elisha’s bed. Then she sent a message to her husband: “Please send me a donkey and a servant so that I can get the man of God.” The woman saddled the donkey and headed to Mount Carmel as quickly as possible. Elisha saw her coming and told his servant to run out and meet her. But she wouldn’t tell Gehazi what was wrong. She rushed right up to the prophet. “I didn’t ask for a son, but you gave me one, and now God is taking him away! This is what I was afraid of!” she wailed. Elisha told Gehazi to take his staff and run all the way to the woman’s house—which was about 20 miles away. “Place this staff on the boy’s face,” he instructed. But the woman insisted that Elisha come, too. When Gehazi arrived at her house, he placed the staff on the boy’s face, but nothing happened. When Elisha arrived, he went into the room alone and locked the door. He prayed and then stretched himself over the boy. His eyes were over the boy’s eyes, his mouth over the boy’s mouth, and his hands over the boy’s hands. The child’s flesh became warm, but he still wasn’t breathing. The prophet got up and paced around. Then he stretched out over the boy again. Suddenly the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes! Elisha sent for the Shunammite woman. When she came into the room, he said, “Take your son.” She knelt at the feet of the man of God to thank him. Then she picked up her son and left the room.
Are you willing to share what God has given you to help others serve Him? Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can share your time or skills to help someone who has a need. The Shunammite woman is a great example. She helped Elisha without expecting any reward—and God gave her a son!