Tuesday, June 5, 2018


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...

1 comment:

  1. Wow...food for thought...what is considered greatness...this is excellent can't wait to continue


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