Vol. 7, No. 19 – May 8, 2022
One day Elisha went on to Shumem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So, whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. –1 Kings 4:8
Here is a Shunammite who is a great mother and a great woman. She has God’s marks. Practical helpfulness. Beautiful contentment. Triumphant faith. (2 Kings 4:8-25)
She has practical helpfulness toward needy people. Women often excel over men in this area. They are quick to recognize human needs. They are often quicker to act in the urgency of providing relief for needs. The Shunammite woman recognized the need of God’s prophet Elisha; also his servant. Here were two men going up and down the land to fulfill their mission. The woman said to her husband that they ought to build a room on the roof for these servants, a prophet’s chamber. They used what was provided for God’s work.
The prophet and his servant were grateful. Those were the days when prophets worked among the armies and talked to the kings. Today there is a desperate need for men of God to move among the people in high places.
The prophet inquired how he could help the woman. She responded: I dwell among my own people. She had no son, and her husband was old. The prophet said that she would have a son at this same season the next year.
This woman, soon to be a mother, recognized that to be useful in the world required her to be helpful first at home. If one is not helpful at home, nothing done in the reaches of the world will be of any lasting value. The child was born. She was helpful to her son, and he grew.
The second mark of this good woman, a good mother has beautiful contentment. Elisha said she ought to be compensated for her kindness, her helpfulness. Her response is that she has a home. If she is to do anything of value, she indicated it would be from her home. Her response was to put first things first.
The third mark of this great woman and mother was her triumphant faith in God (15-19). The child of promise was her great hope, joy, and satisfaction. Motherhood had come to her. Her child surely was a comfort, but he was carried away by a sudden illness.
She laid him on the bed of the prophet and hurried off to find Elisha. She explained her grief. Elisha went to the dead boy’s body. Life was given back in response to the prophet’s prayer. He gave the boy over to his mother, in her home.
Elisha came into the home of a faithful mother. God honored the faith of a mother, a faithful mother, in her home. So many today think that earning great sums to provide a home, education, and economic well-being for their child is all they need.
What they need most is the love provided by a great mother that teaches the child the values they need to live life.
Elisha did not ask the woman about all the things she was providing to her son for her son to be successful in the world. He started with the basics. He asked about the condition of the home. He asked are you all right. Is it well with you? She responded that all is well.
Have you ever asked the question, why was I born at this time, in this season, in this place? It is so that all things might be well. Well in meeting the intent of God.
Sometimes we get ahead of God and make decisions that have a negative impact on those we love. And we make excuses that we are providing to help our children be what we want them to be. However, we miss the values we need to teach, need to provide.
When both parents work, the child/children must be cared for by another. Thus, the time the child/children are out of the care of the parents is a sum. The sum of school time and the care time as the parents are unavailable. It is costly. More than dollars. The teaching of values. The teaching of the truths of Scripture. Neither should simply be handed off to another.
We make choices, but not every choice meets the needs of a family, nor does it meet the expectations God placed in the family. Some think that God’s principles are ancient expectations. Are they? I taught in a Christian School–middle and high school. The children that had the most difficult time adjusting to school were the ones that did not have parents that spent sufficient time with them to learn how to live in this difficult world. I look back with great appreciation for the favor our parents gave to our needs in a well-managed home. Thanks, mom and dad. How is it going for you?