All Is Well
The Shunammite Woman and Jesus
@ r aylor
Today I want to read a true story out of the Old Testament… this will be our sermon for today or our time in the word. It’s a long passage but everyone loves a good story and I think you’ll enjoy this one. I’ll pause every once in a while and talk a little bit about the text. Ok, let’s get started.
2nd Kings 4:8 One day Elisha went on to Shunem, 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.
So this was the Prophet Elisha who succeeded the Prophet Elijah…
Well he had just did a miracle with a poor woman and her son who were about ready to starve and now he has met a rich woman and she has been kind to him and offered him food.
9 And she said to her husband, “Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. 10 Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.” 11 One day he came there, and he turned into the chamber and rested there.
* So as we go through the story I am just thinking about what we can learn? You know… the Shunammite woman made a place for Elisha in her home. He was a Prophet of God and spoke the word of God… So I think we might make this application: make a place for the word of God in your home and in your heart.
Alright... after all this kindness Elisha told his servant to find out what he could do for her.
13 And he said to him, “Say now to her, ‘See, you have taken all this trouble for us; what is to be done for you? Would you have a word spoken on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’” She answered, “I dwell among my own people.”
One thing here I see is that she was not doing good works in order to be rewarded.
We must not go around thinking people owe us for any works we do in life. And we know that works or sacrifices will not buy our way into acceptance by God. Jesus himself said in Matthew 9:13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
After the woman said how she was content and did not need to be paid for her kindness, Elisha basically ask his servant what he thought might be done for her.
14 ...Gehazi answered, “Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.”
* In a similar way when come to the Lord not trying to work for our salvation, but delighting in Jesus… He gives us just what we need. We receive the promise of a Son… God’s Son Jesus.
15 He said, “Call her.” And when he had called her, she stood in the doorway. 16 And he said, “At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord, O man of God; do not lie to your servant.”
* You can tell she was surprised and she responded like we might in our culture today…. We might have said… Now Elisha, don't be joking with me! This is not something to tease people about.
* But Elisha was not joking... it was God’s word and God's promise… a child would be born.
* I think this points us to the promise of the Son of God throughout the Old Testament. The who would bring joy to all people groups of the earth… we see the offspring of the woman promised throughout the Bible first with a veil in Genesis 3:15 but it continues on in history as we find it given to Noah, Shem, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, King David, King Solomon, King Hezekiah, even evil King Ahaz and more.
* Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
17 But the woman conceived, and she bore a son about that time the following spring, as Elisha had said to her.
* Remember what the angel Gabriel said to Mary:
* Luke 1:31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
* Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
* And this was the Shunammite woman's only son which again points us to Jesus.
* “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
18 When the child had grown, he went out one day to his father among the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, “Oh, my head, my head!” The father said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 And when he had lifted him and brought him to his mother, the child sat on her lap till noon, and then he died.
* He died - What does this make you think of?
* Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
* Of all the people ever born, Jesus did not have to die… Why? because he never sinned. Gods law says how the soul that sins will die… It was true for Adam and Eve and it is true for us.
* Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
* So Gods word is clear: death comes to all who sin… but since Jesus never sinned he would not have to die.
* Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
* The good news is that Jesus willingly died for us and all who delight in him will be saved.
Let’s continue with our story:
21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God and shut the door behind him and went out. 22 Then she called to her husband and said, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, that I may quickly go to the man of God and come back again.” 23 And he said, “Why will you go to him today? It is neither new moon nor Sabbath.” She said, “All is well.”
What can we learn from this part of the story?
* We should not gripe about our woes to others but have faith in Gods Word and his promises
* Instead of saying “All is well” Israel griped their way through the wilderness when they should have trusted God that he would provide all they needed to glorify him and then bring them to the promised land.
Remember how Abraham responded with faith when God told him to go sacrifice his only son through Sarah… Issac.
* Hebrews 11:19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
* And so we believe in all the promises of God including Gods word that he raised Jesus from the dead.
* I think this Shunammite woman had this same kind of faith.
24 Then she saddled the donkey, and she said to her servant, “Urge the animal on; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her coming, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, there is the Shunammite.
* She went to the Prophet who had spoke Gods promise to her… and this was a sign of her faith.
26 Run at once to meet her and say to her, ‘Is all well with you? Is all well with your husband? Is all well with the child?’” And she answered, “All is well.”
* She said the same thing to Elisha’s servant that she did to her husband. “All is well”. We can see how her faith in Gods word continued strong even after her promised child died.
* Sometimes I think about how many of the kings of Israel and Judah began strong in faith to the Lord but wavered towards the end of their life. There may have been more but I think at least to some extent this happened to Solomon, Asa, Uzziah and Josiah.
27 And when she came to the mountain to the man of God, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came to push her away. But the man of God said, “Leave her alone, for she is in bitter distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me.” 28 Then she said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me?’” 29 He said to Gehazi, “Tie up your garment and take my staff in your hand and go. If you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not reply. And lay my staff on the face of the child.” 30 Then the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her.
She held on to Gods promise; God was working in her... she persevered in her faith. God wants us to finish well.
Here's an exciting side note and good truth related to the words of the woman in verse 30:
A30 ...as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”
This next passage takes us back two chapters when Elijah promised Elisha he would receive a double portion of his spirit if Elisha is with him when the Lord takes him.
2nd Kings 2:1 Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
6 Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on.
I see so many people who claim to be Christians in today's world… it could be that many of them are but what stands out to me is that they are not desperate to the things of God.
* This Shunammite woman persevered and stayed close to the Prophet until the promise was completed.
* Elisha would not leave the side of Elijah until he received the promise.
So many Christians don't have a hunger for Gods Word. They say “I don’t understand very much of what I read” so they don't stay with it. God has given us a promise to reveal the hidden things of God to those who seek but unlike the Shunammite woman and Elisha we do not stay with Gods word…
This reminds me of Jacob; remember when he strove with God? I believe this is the same thing.
Genesis 32:26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,f for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Does this mean Jacob was stronger than God? No way! God wants us to be desperate to prevail in finding our blessing and joy and delight in God and not in the world… and he wants us to persevere and not give up and stay with God all the way and as Paul calls it the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. And this is not us working but God working in us. If you persevere in Jesus and have a hunger for the things of God it is because he opened your eyes to see his worth.
Lets continue with our story:
31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the face of the child, but there was no sound or sign of life. Therefore he returned to meet him and told him, “The child has not awakened.” 32 When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. 33 So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. 35 Then he got up again and walked once back and forth in the house, and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 Then he summoned Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite.” So he called her. And when she came to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” 37 She came and fell at his feet, bowing to the ground. Then she picked up her son and went out.
God raised up their only begotten son
Now surly there should be no doubt... this should point us to Jesus, right?
So in closing we saw how this Shunammite woman did not seek any reward for works… and yet like Abraham God promised her a son in her old age. She trusted Gods word and whenever there was cause for doubt she said “All is well”. Even when the child died she trusted the promise of God saying “All is well”. God raised the child up and kept his promise.
Even so, when Adam and Eve believed satan over God and no longer had righteousness before God, he promised his only begotten Son as hope for them and all their descendants who would look to him with delight and say “All is well”. Jesus came and lived a perfect righteous life that no one else would and willingly died a wicked sinners death that we all deserve that he might give his righteousness to all who believe in him. On the third day God raised him from the dead and gives us that same resurrection power over sins hold through the law (remember how the wages of sin is death) because he will raise us up one day… but he also gives us that same resurrection power over sins hold in life because now we can have victory over sin as we walk with him.