2 Kings 8 :1-6
Background: It has been some time since the siege, Israel has been through another bout with drought. During this period of drought, Elish told the Shunnamite woman, who's son God had restored , to sojourn somewhere else, until the drought passes. She obeyed and left for 7 years as asked by Elisha. When she returns, she goes straight to the king to ask for her possessions she had left behind. At this time the king asked Gehazi to tell him of the wondrous things the Lord had done through Elisha, "5And as Gehazi was telling the king how [Elisha] had restored the dead to life, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and land. And Gehazi said, My lord O king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha brought back to life."6When the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed to her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land even until now.
Lessons I learnt
- God Himself is with us, wherever we go when we obey Him-This Shunnamite woman was blessed, in her obedience to Elisha's word regarding the drought in Israel and had gone out of the country as told. Its not an easy decision to leave your home, your people and your country on a word for something that has not yet happened. But the Word of God has more examples than one, of people who did seemingly unintelligent things in obedience to His Word and were blessed. Noah(boat on land), Abraham(leaving house to have his own son at 75yrs) , Joseph(obeying God without cribbing following a dream), David(what was he going to slay with a stone), Jesus(leaving his heavenly abode to be born in a manger and being killed brutally). All these didn't make sense, but in the end they were blessed beyond measure. The promise for us is God Himself being with us, no matter where He takes us as we obey Him. John 14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. We may not be in a familiar locality, but our heavenly family is with us.
- When you've obeyed, blessings pour in-The woman, (unlike what we've read from Ruth) sojourns for a while and does return. The instruction to sojourn, is to go away from the country for a while and return. She obeys it completely and in this she is blessed. Not only does she get back what she had left behind, but also all the fruits of the field since the time she had left until now. Isn't that amazing.
Conclusion:The Word of God says "Matthew 19:29 "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." God is not talking about abandoning everything and running away from your responsibilities. He is talking about people who will reject you for your believing Jesus, it happens a lot in India. Many people are thrown out of their houses, left out, beaten or not given food. All this by their own family members and sadly some turn back too. Jesus promises to more than make up for our sacrifices; do we believe him enough to sacrifice whatever our calling demands? Let us be encouraged through the life of this Shunnamite woman, God's word is true and when He says He will bless us for our obedience, He truly will, more than we can imagine. Also, let us pray for those who have been shaken by emotions of family and given up or turned away, that God will strengthen His Words in their heart once again and give them courage.