Updated: May 12, 2020
I am fascinated by biblical stories of restoration. You may be familiar with the story of Job, who lost everything he had in a matter of days. After 42 chapters of trouble and tragedy the restoration comes in the final six verses. Does your life ever feel like 42 chapters of trouble?
Most recently I have been studying about the life and ministry of Elisha. In II Kings 8:1-6 there is a fascinating story about Elisha and the Shunammite Woman.
“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. The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines seven years. At the end of the seven years she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to the king to beg for her house and land. The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God (Elisha), and had said, ‘Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.’ Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to beg the king for her house and land. 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.'”
There is so much happening in these six verses. Let’s walk through them together.
Verse 1- God instructs
Verse 2- The woman obeys
Verse 3- The woman returns
Verse 4- Elisha’s servant is giving testimony to the king of what Elisha has done
Verse 5- Elisha’s servant shares the woman’s story
Verse 6- The woman is restored
The instructions God gave to the woman, to leave her home and life behind, could not have been easy to follow. Have you ever been in the path of a hurricane and forced to evacuate? If not, you have heard stories of people who refuse to leave, who decide to stick it out and “protect” their homes. These people often end up on their rooftops begging for rescue. I can imagine the woman’s husband saying to her, “let’s just stick it out, I’m sure it won’t be that bad.” She was obedient to the Lord and left her life behind. Have you ever followed in obedience even though it was scary?
I believe the Lord restored her land and income to her because she was faithful to Him. She trusted Him to provide for her family.
Are you faithful in the storm? Has God written a story in your life that someone could be sharing right now as a testimony to His faithfulness? The Shunammite woman isn’t even mentioned by her name but her testimony is incredible. I hope that in the midst of life’s uncertainty that I would be found faithful.