THE SHUNAMMITE WOMAN Print E-mail

THE SHUNAMMITE

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

May 12, 2020, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

The Shunammite woman is called a “Great woman.”

 

Elisha ministry arise!  In the midst of the battle against the head of the red dragon, Corona-virus, the spirit of Elijah arose and battled the evil. While the Elisha ministry is a testimony of the readiness of God to relieve the destressed, respond to the call of need, heal the sick and resurrect the dead.

 

2 Kings 4:8: It fell on a day Elisha passed to Shunem where there was a great woman.  She persuaded him to eat bread.  So, as often as he passed by her house, he would turn in there to eat bread.

 

This describes her as a wealthy and influential woman.  Her story shows that she was also great in other ways: in her faith, wisdom, silence, humility, and generosity.

 

Living as she did at Shunem, a village on the edge of the rich grain fields of Es-dree-elon, she has great fame because of her relationship to Elisha.  We know her as the Shunammite.

 

Israelite History had been made on the site of her home.  Battles had been fought, kings and prophets had passed by her home on the road to Esdraelon.  The road led from Nazareth to Jerusalem.  We can also say, Jesus of Nazareth’s public ministry was from Nazareth to Jerusalem.

 

Elisha was well known as a holy man of God.  His miracle of the increased oil in the jars and vessels of the widow would have been told throughout the land. 

 

 

2Ki 4:9-10:  She said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly.  Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so, it will be whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.”

 

Not much is said of her husband.  We know that he is old from verse 14.  He also respected her judgment and wishes.

 

The room on the wall, would have been reached by an outer stairway from the garden.  Cool, quiet, and private.  This would give him a comfortable apartment when he regularly passed through the area.

 

One day, Elisha asked his hospitable hostess what could be done to repay her.  Those who honor Elisha and those who honor God’s servants will be honored.   

 

2Ki 4:11-13:  It happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there.  He said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite woman.” When he had called her, she stood before him.  He said to Gehazi, “Say now to her, ‘Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’  She answered, “I dwell among my own people.”

 

Elisha had great influence with the King.  She did not have a request at that time.  She was content. She was not seeking honor, recognition or favor from the King.    But, twenty years later, Gehazi will speak for her to the King and she will be granted favor.  

 

Elisha follows through.  It is God’s will to bless her and bless her he will.

 

2Ki 4:14-15:  Elisha said, “What then is to be done for her?” And Gehazi answered, “Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.  Elisha said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the doorway.

 

Note that Elisha says, “Call her.”  When a prophet of God calls your name, it is God who is calling you.  It is God for whom Elisha speaks a creative miracle to this good woman.

 

2Ki 4:16:  Elisha said, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!”  But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her.

 

Such joy to receive this blessing from the Hand of God.  This son is a “child of promise.”  Several years passed.  The Word says “And the child grew.”  We may assume he was 10 or 12 years old. 

 

4: 18-20:  It happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers.  He said to his father, “My head, my head!” The father said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.”  The servant brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.

 

We can assume he had a sun- stroke.  It was harvest time.  Probably the reapers would have been burning the fields after the harvest.  The Shunammite acted quickly.  She carried her son up the staircase and entered the prophet’s chamber.  

 

2Ki 4:21 - She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out.  Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.”  He said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.”

She did not tell her husband that the child had died.  Perhaps she only wanted those of like-precious-faith to believe as she believed that her child would be raised from the dead.  So firmly did she trust in the resurrection power of God, and in Elisha’s anointing to bring it forth, that not once did she say, “My son is dead.”

Elisha, she knew, was not subject to doubt and fear but could bring life back to her son’s body.  She saddled a donkey and hurried up the steep slope of Mount Carmel. 

2Ki 4:24- …She said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” She went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman!  Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’:  She answered, “It is well.”

“Drive and go forward” should be our response in every crisis of life.  The remarkable faith of this woman in God’s power to not only heal but in the resurrection becomes a decree when she states, “It is well.”

She rushed to kneel and touch Elisha’s feet.  Gehazi evidently wanting to protect his master, tried to push her away. 

2Ki 4:27 - Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her. 

 

Elisha told Gehazi to let her alone, for her soul is vexed within her. The Lord has hidden from me and has not told me why she is so distressed.

 

2Ki 4:28 -33: She said, “Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me,” Elisha said to Gehazi, “Get yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child.”  The mother of the child said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.”  Elisha arose and followed her.  Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Gehazi went back to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child has not awakened.”  When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed.  He went in, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD.

 

Like Elijah, who had stretched himself up the child of the widow of Zarephath, Elisha, too stretched himself upon the child until his flesh was warm.  When the child sneezed and opened his eyes, the prophet summoned Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunamite woman.” When she came into him, he said, “Pick up your son.”

 

Seeing that her child breathed, smiled, and stretched out his arms to her once more, the Shunammite fell at Elisha’s feet powerless, voiceless, bowing down before God.  The prophet who lived in a spirit of victory gave to her a demonstration of God’s resurrection power.

 

Later in Chapter 8, when famine was spreading in the direction of the rich grain country of Shunem, Elisha warned the Shunammite to leave her home land to escape the great desolation of drought.

 

 

2Ki 8:1-2: Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; for the LORD has called for a famine, and furthermore, it will come upon the land for seven years.” The woman arose and did according to the saying of the man of God, and she went with her household and dwelt in the land of the Philistines seven years

 

The Lord calling a famine is the same thing as him producing it.

 

In the very next verse, we learn that the Shunammite returned to her home seven years later, only to find that her house and land had been confiscated.  Again, she kept her silence until she could appear in person before King Jehoram. 

 

At the moment that Gehazi was tell the king how Elisha had restored a dead body to life, the Shunammite walked in.  This, explained Gehazi, is the woman whose son was raised from the dead.

 

2Ki 8:6: When the king asked the woman, she told him. So, the king appointed a certain officer for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the proceeds of the field from the day that she left the land until now.”

 

From the beginning to this happy ending, the Shunammite’s life is an example of the victory of faith and righteous living.  She is serene in moments of trial, resolute in affliction, calm and purposeful before the king.  She won every claim to greatness.  Her life is about going forward, not looking back.  She sought the man-of-God in whom God had trusted His power. 

 

In the gallery of Bible women, there is no better example of positive faith.  The Shunammite did not allow worry, fear, or negative ideas to enter mind because she knew her God.

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of All of The Women of the Bible by Edith Deen, copyright 1955.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.

 
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