Archive for April 12th, 2017
The writer of 2 Kings is unknown but as we read the text, it is obvious that this Book does not follow a strict chronology. For example, this event must have occurred before the healing of Naaman, because Gehazi, who became a leper, would never have gained entrance to the Palace as a leper! This narrative is focussed on the greatness, sovereignty and detailed timing of our God.
We first hear of the woman of Shunem in Chapter 4. At that time she was “well-to-do” and she and her husband made a room for Elisha, providing regular hospitality for him whenever he was travelling that way. Elisha asks her one day how he can repay her kindness, and prophesises that she would have a son. Sadly when the son was older he became ill and died, and his mother sends word to Elisha. Gehazi fails to revive him, but through Elisha God restores the boy to life. These past experiences inevitably formed a deep bond between the prophet and this family, and so it was that Elisha warns them of the impending seven-year famine. In fact this may have been the famine referred to in 2 Kings 4: 38. God often used famines to punish his people, drawing their attention to him when they had been disobedient. In the beginning God created our world and he is still in control of the universe in spite of people rejecting him. Furthermore he still continues to speak to us through his creation.
We are also reminded in this passage that God orders our lives in life and death! The Shunammite woman was childless, she then received a son only for him to die! Is this a mystery? No, as often with hindsight, we can see a purpose in the events of our lives. The timing of God is always perfect, for as Gehazi is describing to the King the miracle of the restoration of the woman’s son, she walks into the palace to plead for the return of her house and land! She did not know that the seemingly cruel event of her son’s death would play a part in the return of her property years later! Gehazi identified the woman, and the King decreed the return of her income and property and all was restored.
Whatever happens in life, even if the world is shaking, God is in control and we can trust him implicitly with every part of our lives. “Therefore since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, ‘for our God is a consuming fire’. ” Hebrews 12: 28-29.