I am so excited to study and teach about Elisha and the Shunammite family this coming weekend during the ROC (children’s church). Last week, we took a look at the life of Samson. He was called by God with a holy calling, yet, because of his lack of total obedience to God in all things, Samson never accomplished his calling.
We have been covering a series of people who were weak and fearful, who encountered God and as a result, were transformed into mighty warriors of faith.
With the exception of Samson, all of these people were weak and from humble means until they were called by God. Samson was groomed from his mother’s womb to be a mighty warrior for the Lord. He was well trained yet he did not live by that training. Of the previous people mentioned, Samson was the only one who did not accomplish God’s calling.
Now, let’s take a look at Elisha in II Kings 4:8-37. Since you have now had a chance to read the passage, let’s examine it and see what we learn.
I. Elisha’s connection with God
First and foremost, Elisha has a relationship with God. He walks with God. He is obedient to God and builds his life around his relationship with God. As a result, Elisha connects with the people around him. Elisha loves them and serves them in order to build relationship with them so that he can introduce them to God. He takes the message of the Lord and delivers it to the people. Elisha falls in a long line of people who have connected with God and then connected with people, teaching them how to connect with God.
Are you connected with God? Do you follow God? Do you walk in obedience to God daily? How can I get connected and stay connected with God? I am glad that you asked that. Here is what God teaches us.
15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; (II Timothy 3:15-16)
Get in the Word of God! The Scriptures will give you the wisdom that you need to place your faith in Jesus Christ that leads you to salvation. This is how you first connect with God. Once you get connected to God, you need to stay connected by staying in the Word of God. As you dwell in the Word, God shows you where you are wrong and then correct you, training you to stay on the right path. The Scriptures teach you what God wants, where you are wrong, and gives you the chance to obey. Has this happened to you? Are you like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and Elisha? What are you waiting for?
II. Elisha’s connection with the Shunammite family
As I wrote earlier, when we connect with God and stay connected to Him, He directs us to others, teaching us how to love and serve them so that we can teach them how to connect with God. Elisha has a situation where he gets to invest in the Shunammite family. As he is traveling, teaching and preaching the Word of God, the Shunammite family gives him a place to stay, feeding him and having fellowship with him. Finally, they decide to add a room to their house so that they could feed him, have fellowship with him, and give him a place to rest. I am sure that they heard from the Word of God many times from him and that is why they kept inviting him back. Elisha used the opportunity to teach the family something important about God.
So, this is key, we love and serve others to open doors to preach the Gospel, teaching others to connect with God. This is summed up in the Bible in two different ways.
- the 10 commandments – the first 4 deal with our relationship with God, how to connect with Him and the second 6 deal with our relationships with the people around us
- the greatest command in the Bible – we are to love the Lord with all that we are (connect with Him) and then love our neighbor as ourself
Are you connecting with the people around you? Are you showing the love of the Lord to them through serving them? Are you intentional about sharing the Word of God with people as you love them and serve them?
III. The Shunammite family’s connection with God
God connects with the Shunammite family by revealing Himself to them in two distinct ways. One, He is Jehovah-jireh. This means that God is our Provider. He provided a son for the Shunammite family. They came to know Him as Provider. This reminds me of the fact that God is the Provider for all of us. He provided Jesus Christ for our salvation and He provides for our daily needs as we learn to trust Him, day by day, moment by moment.
The second way that God reveals Himself to the Shunammite family is as Jehovah-rapha. This means that God is our Healer. The child that was born to the Shunammite family fell ill and died. They did not know what to do except to turn to the man of God who had connected them with God. God used Elisha to reveal His healing powers to them. God being our Healer is connect to the fact that He is our Provider. God provided for our salvation in the person of Christ. We need salvation because we are sick with sin. Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, we are healed of sin’s deadly power over us.
Do you know God as Provider? Do you know Him as Healer? If not, He wants to connect with you and He has probably already placed people in your life who are trying to connect with you, to teach you the Word of God, and to encourage you to connect with God. What are you waiting for?
May the Lord help us all get connected!