account of Elisha raising the Shunammite’s son and the exhibition of
faith and the power of God with both; especially to consider the manner
of raising the child as both pointing to Christ and as an example to us.
AIM: That we
might rest in the promise and power of God in all things and be inspired
by two examples as seen here.
prophets Elijah and Elisha are unique in most aspects of their
ministries and in the lives of both we are given some insight into the
Lord’s dealings with His Old Testament prophets. They were written about
rather than doing the writing.
1. Elisha was the successor to Elijah
having ministered to him for a time and we recall his prayer for a
double portion of the Spirit of Elijah. It seems that it was answered.
2. The account of Elisha’s life seems to be told around the many
miracles performed through him and this one is special.
3. We began
with the sequel to the story that began with the earlier encounter with
the Shunammite, the provision of the prophet’s chamber and his desire to
do something for her; the answer was a son. We pick up the account with
the death of the son.
Every miracle in scripture has an unmistakable reference to the Lord and
His power and that will never change. However, the bringing of the
miracle in some cases involves a great deal of faith and effort on the
part of the recipients of such things.
I. The death of the son
and the mother’s faith (vv. 18-21)
1. The Shunammite had originally
perceived that Elisha was a man of God and served him accordingly and
this did not change.
1) Even with the illness and sudden death of the
2) And in the face of that which would ordinarily bring anger
and great grief.
2. The account is concise and to the point: the
child left in the morning well and by noon he was dead.
3. It is here
we note the genuineness and strength of her faith in that:
quietly lays the child’s body on the bed in Elisha’s room
proceeds to make preparations to travel the 16 miles to where she knew
him to be and
II. Her faith and Elisha (vv. 22-28)
makes proper application to her husband who had no idea what has
happened and why she was so anxious to go. Provision was made and she
departed with a servant.
2. Her sense of urgency was very plain and
so she hastened on.
3. She is seen by Elisha before she arrived and
he sent Gehazi his servant to meet her with a greeting asking after her
and the family.
1) The greeting included concern for her, her
husband, and the child who Elisha, no doubt, loved.
2) Her answer was
quick: “it is well!”
i. As to her and her husband we can understand
ii. But, her son was dead and she was not irrational – she believed that
he would be raised.
4. Her approach to Elisha was not that she
worshiped a man; it was rather that the Lord had revealed himself in
this man and so she sought his mediation.
1) Gehazi did not
2) Elisha understood that the Lord did not let him in on
things until he needed to know
5. She reminded Elisha that he had
solicited the request that had brought her the son and that it was
inconceivable that it was only to bring grief to her – her faith was
tenacious and persistent!
III. The participatory faith of Elisha
1. There was an ineffective attempt to bring off the
miracle by sending Gehazi with his staff -- No voice and no hearing.
2. This work would require full participation by the prophet.
1) Reality was met – “the child was dead.”
2) His connection was intimate – the child was on his bed
3) It was a
matter to dealt with alone with the Lord and prayer (entered the closet
and shut the door).
4) Intimate involvement was required (personal
involvement attached to his prayers)
i. Body to body
ii. Mouth to
mouth (the breath of life); eyes to eyes (saw no man); hands to hands
(to reach out to the Lord).
iii. Even then it came in stages – the
body warmed and then after a repetition awoke.
4. He sent Gehazi to
call the Shunammite – it is to be suspected that the prophet was
exhausted at the effort.
5. We would recognize in this what was
required of Christ our Lord and the communication of Spiritual life and
function to us. The breath of life in regeneration, seeing by the eye of
faith and laying hold on eternal life are all communicated to us by
intimate contact with Christ.