Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A GREAT WOMAN - PART 2

Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe


The “greatness” of this Shunammite woman continued to be exemplified many years later when her son fell ill and died on her lap.  Her actions that followed his death demonstrated an extraordinary position of faith.
  1. She first laid the lifeless body of her promised son on the Man of God’s bed and shut the door behind her.  
  2. She never expressed panic nor outward expressions of grief as we see that she never acknowledged that her son was dead, though the evidence showed that he was dead.  
  3. Not once did she utter to her husband nor to anybody else that her son had died.  She simply asked her husband for assistance with transportation so that she could get to the Man of God.  
  4. She demonstrated faith by calling that thing that was not as though it were so, as she told her husband that “it shall be well”!  Her intent was to find the “source” who had spoken the promise to her - Elisha, the man of God.  Maybe she understood that 
“The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it" (Proverbs 10:22). 
She was resolute in her quest to speak to the “source” of her blessing.  Elisha, on seeing her approaching him, sent his servant to enquire of her what was the matter - but her faith spoke up as she told him that “all is well” (2 Kings 4:26).

Without acknowledging with her lips that her son was dead, she fell at the feet of the Man of God, Elisha, who was sensitive enough in his spirit to know that something was wrong with the Shunammite’s son and sent Gehazi, his servant, to the boy with a solution.  The Shunammite would not have it, but her faith insisted rather, that Elisha tend to the matter himself.
And the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.”
According to her faith, so it was (Matthew 9:29) that the boy was returned to her alive.

God has laid up multiple promises for us in His Word!  The Bible states that His Word is true (Psalm 119:160a).
The entirety of Your word is truth
Does your attitude of faith in those promises line up with that of the “great” Shunammite woman?  As a Christian do you speak life, or do you profess things that are negative or that of death?  What are the results when you and I make faithless professions?

Do you go back to your Source, God the Father, when you are troubled or in crisis? When you are tempted on every side?  When you are sick in your body? Or when you have an important decision to make?

The Bible records that we were created for God’s pleasure (Revelation 4:11).  The Bible goes on further to say that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

I believe that the Shunammite’s expression of faith was what likened her to be a “great” woman.  Her great faith caused her to refuse what she saw in the natural, and she clung to the word that the man of God had given to her.

We see that in Abraham, because he believed God and it gained him the position of righteousness (Galatians 3:6).  That is powerful!


As believers in Christ Jesus, we ought to strive to take up the position of faith like the Shunammite woman did.  We can only gain this attribute if we rely on the Holy Spirit to increase faith in us as we exercise our belief in God’s Word (which is our Source), and take up His promises to us as our own.  I believe that by taking this position, we would be deemed great in the eyes of our God!  Therefore,
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:23.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A GREAT WOMAN - PART 1

Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe


2 Kings 4: 8-9  And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. 
10 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.”
As we take a look at the Shunammite woman, we read that the Bible described her as a “great woman”!  We may wonder what kind of character she possessed that made her so “great”!   Verse 9 revealed that she was a woman of perception – observant and probably gifted with the Gift of Discernment.  She seemed keen in her spirit as she perceived Elisha to be a “holy man of God”!  She did not know it as a fact, the Bible says that she perceived Elisha to be a holy man of God! 

Another character that is note-worthy of this woman, was that she was kind-hearted and generous.  This was displayed as she would invite the man of God to sup as he passed by her house.  As a matter of fact, she seemed to be persistent as Verse 8 says that she “constrained” the Man of God to eat at her house.  She also entreated and succeeded in persuading her husband to set up a room in honour of the holy man so that he could refresh himself before he continued on his journey. 

This “great” Shunammite woman provided some key pieces of furniture for the prophet Elisha which were symbolic of the components of a Man of God’s “perfection unto good works”, as was mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:17. 
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 

She provided 

  1. a bed, which symbolizes the Man of God’s position of rest in God 
  2. a table, symbolic of his communion with God 
  3. a stool, symbolic of the Man of God’s position to receive instruction from God. Finally, the Bible says that she provided 
  4. a candlestick, representative of the Man of God’s life which is to be seen as a replica of God as He is allowed to shine through him.  
This act speaks somewhat to the greatness of the woman, even as she served Elisha in humility, not looking for anything in return (Verse 13).

It must have been shameful for her in those days because she had borne no children.  Although it may have been a painful experience, it appears as though she endured that "cross" with humility.  As her husband was already old, she may have even entertained the thought that bearing a child would not become a reality for her, and she may have settled it there.  She did not perceive becoming a mother as a reality, even as the prophet Elisha had prophesied the blessing of a child upon her (Verse 16).
Then he said, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.”
At some point in your life, you may have had a similar experience, or you may be going through that right now. You may have a great desire for a thing. As time evolved and that desire was not satisfied, and because of the disappointment that followed, you cope by burying the desire.  You bury that dream so deep down inside of you, where nobody could see it nor touch it, peradventure the deep emotion that accompanies the disappointment is exposed. You just want the desire for that thing to be forgotten.  This, perhaps may have been the state of the Shunammite concerning bearing a child of her own, and is expressed by her retort in Verse 16.
And she said, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!”

The man of God, Elisha, had gone way down, touched that buried desire and the emotions that accompanied it, and he exposed it.

To be continued...
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