2 Kings 4:8-12 NKJV
“Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And she said to her husband, ‘Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. 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.’ And it happened one day that he came there, and turned in to the upper room and lay down there. Then he said to Gehazi his servant, ‘Call this Shunammite woman.’ When he had called her, she stood before him. And he said to him, ‘Say to her, ‘Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ She answered, ‘I dwell among my own people.’ So he said, ‘What then is to be done for her?’ And Gehazi answered, ‘Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.’ ”
As Elisha traveled through Shunem, he would stop to rest and eat. In Shunem there was a family that would invite (persuade) him into their home for a meal. The Bible refers to the woman of the house as a notable woman. This woman understood and knew in her spirit that Elisha was a holy man of God. She realized that Elisha was set apart for the ministry to God. The Shunammite woman acted upon the knowledge that she had. She asked her husband if they could make a room on the roof (wall) for Elisha. This room would be set apart for Elisha when he would travel through their town (Shunem). The room would provide a resting place for Elisha and his needs could easily be met. The woman wanted to make certain that her family provided the hospitality that was due to a holy man of God. Not because she was a “man pleaser” or out of duty, but because she had a deep respect and reverence for God.
Elisha was thankful and appreciative of the effort and concern that was given to his comfort and needs. He instructed his servant, Gehazi, to go to the woman and find out what special thing could her do for her to repay her for the kindness that had been given to him. Elisha wondered if she needed him to talk to the king for her (favor with the king) or if she needed him to talk to the commander of the army for her (protection). Gehazi went to the Shunammite woman to find out if she had any needs. The woman did not need Elisha to talk to the king or the commander of the army for her. She lived in her own land with her own people. Gehazi went back to Elisha and informed him of the conversation with the Shunammite woman.
Still wanting to do something for the woman, Elisha asked his servant, Gehazi, what could her do for her. Gehazi told Elisha that the woman did not have a son. Elisha called the woman and when she stood before him he told her that she was going to have a son within the year.
The woman had prepared a dwelling (resting) place for the man of God out of respect and reverence and in turn she received what she dreamed of. She was blessed with a son within the year. We too, can and will be blessed beyond our wildest dreams if we will follow the Shunammite woman’s example. We must recognize the holiness of God, prepare a place for Him and minister to Him.
I. Recognize The Holiness Of God
Recognition is a knowing again or an acknowledgment. It also means acceptance. Recognition conveys approval. When we recognize the holiness of God we acknowledge, accept and admit that God is holy.
2 Kings 4:9 NKJV
“And she said to her husband, ‘Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly.”
Recognition of God as holy is shown through our words, actions and thoughts. A person who claims to know that God is holy, but whose actions do not align themselves up with that knowledge does not truly recognize the holiness of God. It is not enough to just know something, we must act upon what we know. The Shunammite woman recognized the holiness of the man of God and she followed up this knowledge with action. We must recognize the holiness of God and then we must follow up our knowledge of His holiness with action. Acknowledgment, acceptance and admittance that God is holy will be both internal and external. Throughout the Bible we can see where when people truly recognized the holiness of God it was followed up by action. Isaiah recognized that God was holy and he followed that knowledge up with true repentance.
Isaiah 6:1-5 NKJV
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!’ And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.’ ”
II. Prepare A Place For God
The Shunammite woman wanted to make a room for Elisha. The room was to be a resting place for the man of God. Elisha represents the presence of God, therefore the room was to be a habitation (a place to live in / a dwelling place) for the presence of God.
2 Kings 4:10 NKJV
“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.’ ”
The first step in preparing a place for God is repentance. A person becomes the temple of God at salvation because the Holy Spirit comes to reside (to live in) the believer.
Ephesians 2:19-22 NKJV
“Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) lives within every Christian. We are to be holy because God is holy. If we do not keep our temple clean (holy, pure) the presence of God will not stay. God’s presence will not be where there is sin.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NKJV
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. And God said: ‘I will dwell in them
And walk among them. I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.’
‘Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.’ ”
III. Minister To God
A minister is a person engaged in carrying out a purpose, the will, etc., of another person; to act as an agent (a person that has the authority to act for or in place of another); to be of service or aid; to be helpful. The Shunammite woman was a minister to Elisha. She was helpful to him by providing with what he needed.
2 Kings 4:10-11 NKJV
“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.’ And it happened one day that he came there, and turned in to the upper room and lay down there.”
The Shunammite woman met Elisha’s needs first, then He met her need (to have a son). She did not ask for her need to be met, nor did she tell Elisha what her need was.
Psalm 100 NKJV
“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are the people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.”
When we minister to God, He will meet our needs. Like the Shunammite woman we will not have to tell Him everything that we need in order to receive it. God knows our every need, concern and desire, and He is more than able to provide what we have need of.
When we prepare a place for God, He will come. When we meet His needs out of respect, reverence and love for Him, He will bless us beyond our wildest dreams. When we align ourselves up in godly order we will have our needs met. First we are to minister to God, then He will minister to us.
As you minister to God out of respect, reverence and love, not out of duty, you will hear a voice deep within asking, “What may I do for you?”