Yesterday I wrote of the widow Elisha went to, her two sons and the story of the vessels being filled. This is the story of the woman (2 Kings 4:8) who wanted and went to Elisha. This woman was well of, married. She lived in Shunem, a place meaning “uneven.” Previous mentions in scripture indicate this was under the allotment given to the tribe of Issachar. It is also the site of the gathering of the Philistine army against Saul, where he was so frightened he turned to the witch of Endor. It was a farming community through which Elisha passed often. There is a divine “yes” here as the Lord shows you the “have” and the “have not”, the barren and the fruitful, one gave-one received, the married and the widow.
Why is this background important one might ask. The Bible is laden with hidden truths, layers of revelations. Think about it. Not a woman of need, but barren, having no children. Come on! If this was not a set up for God, in a place of unevenness, I do not know what is. A place where the “sons of Issachar” A place where the “sons of Issachar” (Their name means “there is recompense.” Wow!) had been given their reward. The same tribe that God said “And of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.” 1 Chronicles 12:32 (By the way did you see that “all their kinsmen” statement? Huge!) A place that fear had struck.
I tell this to you because you may have had fear strike in your background, but the one who knows “the time and the seasons” is great within. There is a Godly recompense, a turning of the tables, a balancing of the uneven, an explosion of life in the barrenness and a gathering of all.
“And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman” (2 Kings 4:8) The word “great” speaks of material greatness, a woman of substance. She had servants, a home and the ability to add to the building. It tells us she was great spiritually, a hospitable woman. She saw the holiness surrounding Elisha, was content to serve and receive quietly all the while in recognition of her husband and his place in her life. She believed God for her miracle. “And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread.” It appears to have taken some effort to get the prophet to agree. Yet he did.
Through her conversation with her husband she makes preparation for his return. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. (2 Kings 4:10) Romans12:13 tells us to “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” The woman took the initiative, not waiting until asked by Elisha. It says “as often as he passed by” and that tells me she knew he was going by. She made the decision to do good. (And the prophet needed to be constrained…)
And the prophet was given a place that included:
- The Bed – a symbol of Rest which is only found in Christ Jesus by coming to HIM and being yoked in His will. (Matt. 11:28, 29) It is from the place of rest, we see the goodness of God come forth.
- The Table – a symbol of fellowship with Him, for He sets a table before us in the presence of our enemies. (Psa. 23:5) A place of communing, of relationship with the Father. How important this is for any believer.
- A Stool – the symbol of instruction for Jesus, for we must sit at His feet and learn of Him, that we may know HIS will. (Jn. 10:39) I often see that this may be place of humility, a place of desire, to look up.
- A Candlestick – a symbol of Testimony of Jesus, for He says, we are the “Light” of the world for we are His witnesses. (Matt 5:14; Acts 1:8)
In a place overhead. In a home of respect, of hospitality. We see the recognition of the glory, the coming of honor and the way made for the power.
As Elisha rests he is touched and calls to Gehazi (One who sees!) and says “bring me this woman.” He has offer for her of greater, “do you want a meeting with anyone” for surely as the result of miracles he had connections. But Gehazi says she has no child. She was called to the door. The place of transition, the place of change. “In the door” she was caught between. She had come “up” for a meeting. He prophesied to her the birth of a son at her age, in the elderly state. A son. “Please do not lie to me” she said.
She had a son!!! It happened! Yay! WOW!
When the prophetic is in the house and it is treated with honor, provided with safety, there is a life that is to come. Do not despise prophecy.1 Thessalonians 5:20
It is time we recognize the glory of the Lord in others. That we constrain and walk out with meekness and honor, the hospitality and goodness the Lord has called for. When we open our hearts for the expansion of the “chamber” we are setting ourselves up for the miracles of God.
We need those who understand the timing. Those who create the place and are sensitive to the moving of the Spirit of God, ones not demanding but making provision. Ones who will open their “spiritual” home to the constraining of the One, setting a place of light, rest, discipline and discipleship, being community.
I want the raw, real power of God released. I want the light of day sent forth, the rest of God embraced, the understanding at His feet coming forth and the communing of the saints and God in such a measure, that all we can say is “wow, wow, wow!” I am contending for the reality of miracles of this stature in this season.
There is more to this story but to the woman who was barren the gift of life is worth it all. It is time that we release the life that is within to the world that is without.
I said this morning that “We have prepared a lot of people for heaven. On the other hand Jesus thought and said, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” Maybe we have parked the car in the wrong garage…