Elijah and Elisha

This devotional is written by George Eldridge. George is a third year Applied Theatre student and has been coming to St Mary's for the past 2 years. You will normally catch him helping out with kids church or chilling with the student group.

2 Kings 4:18-37

18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19 He said to his father, "My head! My head!"

His father told a servant, "Carry him to his mother." 20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.

22 She called her husband and said, "Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return."

23 "Why go to him today?" he asked. "It's not the New Moon or the Sabbath."

"That's all right," she said.

24 She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, "Lead on; don't slow down for me unless I tell you." 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, "Look! There's the Shunammite! 26 Run to meet her and ask her, 'Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?'"

"Everything is all right," she said.

27 When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, "Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why."

28 "Did I ask you for a son, my lord?" she said. "Didn't I tell you, 'Don't raise my hopes'?"

29 Elisha said to Gehazi, "Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don't greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy's face."

30 But the child's mother said, "As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So he got up and followed her.

31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy's face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, "The boy has not awakened."

32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy's body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, "Call the Shunammite." And he did. When she came, he said, "Take your son." 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.

Reflection

Reading this passage it is clear to me that this is a story about faith. Although this passage doesn't speak directly about the Shunammite woman's faith in the New Testament it tells us that this woman is a woman who lives by faith when in Hebrews 11 it says about "women who received their dead back by resurrection" (Heb 11:35)

The woman in this passage had previously shown her faith and her loyalty to "the Holy man" Elisha by making him a room in her home for him to stay. So we know already that this woman is a woman of faith. So why does this bad thing happen to her?

This is the question that we all want the answer to I guess? If we live in faith why do bad things still happen? I guess the answer in the Shunamite Woman's case is that this is actually a test of her faith. When she loses the life of her son instead of mourning the loss of him she steps out in faith and goes to Elisha. When Elisha brings her son back from the dead it is something that builds the Shunammite woman's faith in god even more than before.

What God is trying to tell us with this passage is that in hard times when we are suffering hardship we need to reach out to him. We need to be like the Shunamite woman and step out in faith. We need to have faith in God to be with us in our problems and that is how we will overcome them.

So today reflect on the problems that you are facing and reach out to god with them. Open yourself up to him and trust that this will be something that will build your faith.

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