When we first learn about the Shunammite woman, she is introduced in such an interesting. We are not given her name but are told of her character. The text brings about a very unique character trait so rare no other woman in the bible is described this way. This woman that Elisha went to meet is described as notable. Yes, the Shunammite woman was prominent and influential, a leading lady, one in her own league.
At the root of all these wonderful things, what was stellar about this woman? Other than the fact that she was wealthy and influential, it was her revelation of honor that made her remarkable, serving the man of God and welcoming His presence into her home.
Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shumen, 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 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 he can turn in there.” 2 Kings 4:8-10 (NKJV)
The Shunammite woman went on to convince Elisha, a prophet of God to eat some food. This means she insisted to the extent that Elisha would pass through that place he ate some food at this woman`s house. This phenomenal woman knew how to connect to grace through honor. Because of her honor, let us see the five lessons we can learn from this woman`s story.
The Shunammite woman was spiritually connected
She “sensed” that the man they had hosted was a man of God. As a servant of Elijah, Elisha was a well-known man across the nation. It was not his demeanor, neither was it his outward appearance, it was the aura of his spirit man.
This woman did not know Elisha however she sensed Elisha`s holiness needless of his character. The notable woman had a deep connection with God and she was able to discern the spirit of Elijah. This was rare during that time and the bible does not highlight a lot of other women or men in that manner who were gifted as such.
The Shunammite woman honored God with her substance
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3:9.
The Shunammite woman was undoubtedly rich. She took what she had to host the man of God in her house. Whilst still reverencing her husband, she consulted him about her idea to make room for him in their house. The husband agreed to it and she put in her time and money to serve God within her means. Not only did she make room for him in their house, but she also furnished the room and ensured that she provided him with food. What I love about this woman is not only did she serve God with her money but she understood her calling in that season and did it well. Look at what God did for her next.
She understood the blessing that comes with hosting an anointed man of God
Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. Matthew 10:40-41
The honor this woman showed God`s prophet did not go unrecognized. It went beyond her expectations. There is a reward that comes with honor. It’s not just someone titled, but even the untitled 1 Peter 2:17 directs us to honor all. Breaking a generational curse may be as simple as receiving a blessing of honor. Do not take lightly the words people speak over your life after you offer help or show them respect.
Elisha whose name means God is salvation became the vessel of God`s salvation to one woman who submitted all she had to God. She understood that a man of such anointing had a great assignment. She did it at no cost. When asked what would be done for her she said nothing, I have all I need, she replied. She genuinely gave with no ulterior motives. Having picked this up, the man of God still felt a need to reward her. And bless her, he did. The Shunammite woman was given a child.
She understood how to put a demand on the anointing
After the Shunammite woman`s son died, she set out to find Elisha. When Gehazi met her to ask if everything was okay, she said everything was fine and proceeded to meet Elisha. When she came to the prophet of God she bowed down before him and took hold of his feet. She was deeply distressed but refused to let go of Elisha until he came back and restored the boy back to life. And the boy was brought back to life. Elisha had spoken life into her dead womb, surely this man God had used to bless her could do it again.
The Shunammite woman received Gods covering and remembrance
‘Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.”…….Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.” 2 Kings 8:1-6
Elisha gave the Shunammite woman and her family a warning about what God was about to do in that land. She got up with her family and left for the land of the Philistines where they stayed for seven years. At the end of the seven years, she came back to appeal to the king for her house and land. Gehazi, Elisha`s servant happened to be with the King when she went to make her appeal. Point to note there, Gehazi did not happen to be telling the King about Elisha, it was all orchestrated by God. There is no coincidence here.
The King then ordered that everything that belonged to her before she left the land would be restored to her, well more than what she had initially. Because of honor, God safeguarded her wealth back home. Her business (land) continued to make her income whilst she was away, and all that was paid up in full, simply because of her association with God`s salvation. Imagine what honor can do for you, how respect and reverence for another person could simply release the grace upon their life into your life.
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