Monday, June 23, 2014

What is beyond your ability to believe?

Hebrews 10:23 (NIV) Let us hold unswervingly [emphasis mine] to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

In 2 Kings 4:8 – 34 we are introduced to a wealthy Shunammite woman who was generous and hospitable to the prophet, Elisha. We are told in 2 Kings 4:8 that Elisha would stop at her house and enjoy a meal every time he passed through town. One day the woman talked with her husband and they agreed to add a room onto their house for Elisha to stay in while travelling.

Elisha recognized her kindness and wanted to put in a good word for her with the King or the Commander of the Army. But the Shunammite woman wasn’t looking for favor. She was content to live around her family and friends. Elisha wanted to bless her for her hospitality. So while talking with his servant, Gehazi, Elisha learned that the woman and her aging husband were childless. So Elisha called for the woman and promised her that by the same time next year, she would hold a son in her arms.

Like Sarah, she reacted in disbelief (Gen. 18:10-15) as she objected asking Elisha not to mislead her. Yet, a year later, she held a son in her arms. What a surprising gift! Unlike other barren women we read about through scripture (Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah) this women carried the desire for a child in her heart (Psalm 37:4). She wasn’t angry or bitter because life hadn’t exactly turned out the way she planned. She simply continued to serve the Lord and his people and God rewarded her for her faithfulness.

A few years later the boy fell ill (with a severe headache) while visiting his father in the fields. One of the servants brought the boy to his mother and she held him close to her until he died at noon. Without saying a word, she laid the boy on Elisha’s bed and left immediately for Mt. Carmel in hopes of finding Elisha.

The women traveled 25 miles to get to Elisha. When she saw Gehazi approaching her she was kind to him yet it was Elisha she wanted to see. Distressed she spoke to Elisha directly “Did I ask you for a son? Did I not say, Do not mislead me?” (v. 29) Immediately Elisha gave Gehazi his staff and commanded him to run and not talk to anyone along the way. When he arrived at the house, Elisha commanded Gehazi to lay the staff on on the boy’s face.

Gehazi left, however the woman didn’t want the servant…she wanted Elisha. Elisha and the women hurried to Shunem to see the boy. When Elisha got there the boy’s lifeless body lay in his bed.  Closing the door behind him, Elisha stretched out his body across the boy so that their hands, mouths and eyes touched and began to pray. He could feel the cold body begin to warm. Elisha got up and began to walk around the room. After a short time passed, he stretched out his body one more time, began to pray and the boy’s chest lifted. Then he sneezed. The boy was alive.

Even in the face of impossible circumstances, God kept His promise. The woman held unswervingly to the promise of God.

So what promise from God are you unswervingly holding on to even through everything you see seems impossible? Look beyond the circumstance and focus on the Almighty God who keeps His promises.

No comments:

Post a Comment