O. T. #829 "Getting Your Hopes Up"
Sept. 9, 2016
2 Kings 4-Part 2
... don't deceive me and get my hopes up like that. 2 Kings 4:16b
LET IT GLOW
Yeah, I got my hopes up this week. I thought a situation was finally resolved, only to sink down in despair. A person's rebellion and nagging to get her way worked. So I stepped back and gave up standing up for what was right. God will have to deal with that person.
The town of Shunem was about 7-15 miles from Mt. Carmel. A wealthy woman live there, and she urged Elisha to have a meal with her and her husband in their home. So whenever he would pass that way, Elisha would stop there for something to eat. The prophet Elisha was more socially inclined that Elijah had been; so was similar difference between John the Baptist and Christ.
The Shunammite woman had true spiritual values, for she made a special room on the roof for the visiting prophet-a "prophet's chamber." It was furnished with a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp. Then Elisha had a place to stay whenever he came by. She did this out of kindness, sensing a need, not with selfish motives. Soon, her kindness would be rewarded far beyond her wildest dreams. To reward her, God would give the Shunammite woman a son. What a blessing! The absence of children during the O.T. times was considered a curse or a sign of shame. Once her husband died, the woman would more than likely become impoverished.
Elisha appreciated the nameless woman's kindness, and offered to put in a good word with the king or the commander of the army, but she refused the offer, for her family took good care of her. It sounds like the woman had come to accept her childless state, because when Elisha told her by the next year she'd have a son, she told he not to deceive her and get her hopes up like that.
Are we sensitive to those who pass through our life and home, especially those who teach and preach God's Word? Are our eyes open to their needs which we could meet? Are we looking for ways to serve and help? Do we watch out for our elderly family?
We read of an incident that happened as the child grew older and was in the field helping his father harvesting. The boy had a sun stroke and was carried to his mother, dying on her lap. The woman didn't tell her husband what had happened. Instead, she send a message to him requesting servant and a donkey so she could hurry to the man of God and would return. The man couldn't reason why she would do such a thing, but complied with his wife's request. This woman of faith did not despair, but set out immediately for Carmel to find the prophet.
Elisha saw that the woman was deeply trouble, and reasonably so. Elisha sent his servant, Gehazi, along with his staff, which the servant was instructed to place on top of the dead child's face. Nothing resulted, so Elisha went to the boy. He went in the room, alone, and shut the door, then prayed to the LORD. Elisha did resuscitation on the boy, who eventually came back to life.
When the mother was called into the room to take her son, she fell at Elisha's feet and bowed before him, overwhelmed with gratitude. Then she took her son in her arms and carried him downstairs.
Elisha's prayer and method of raising the dead boy show God's personal care for hurting people.
Do we pray over those who are spiritually dead? Do we go to them with the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior? When we receive a blessing from the Lord, do we bow at His feet, giving thanks?
LET IT GO
Pray for a miracle and give thanks when I receive one.