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The Shunammite Woman and Unprovoked Kindness

Unprovoked kindness brought about a child for an older couple

The story of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4 is powerful as it relates to healing. However, it began with the prophet Elisha taking a trip to Shunem.

2 Kings 4: 8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

So we see this woman, not really looking for healing or anything else for that matter, just having a desire to bless the prophet. She made up a room for Elisha and he began to stay there whenever he was in town.

One day he asked her what he could do for her. He had in mind to request for a favor from the king or the commander of the army, as he had the standing to make a request – for land or houses etc.

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

She answered that she was fine, thank you very much, making it clear she wasn’t giving him a room for any recompense. Her reward would be from God.

Nevertheless, the prophet asked a few questions about her from his servant, Gehazi.

14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked. Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”

Something then enters the heart and mind of the prophet. He pivots from favors from the king and army commander to something totally different.

15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”

“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”

17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

There are many lessons here. One is for us to exhibit unprovoked kindness to God’s people. The Shunammite’s unprovoked kindness to Elisha led to a child at an older age.

By ‘unprovoked kindness’, I’m not referring to church services where you are hounded into giving based on either ‘sowing and reaping principles’ or not ‘robbing God through tithes and offerings’.

I’m also not referring to the television evangelist whose video repeats on TV for 30 days saying the Lord told him 1000 people would respond ‘tonight’ with a certain amount of dollars. I’m never sure which night he meant. Tonight or the following 30 nights??

Sorry for my pet peeve getting in the way. Those are what I call provoked acts of giving.

What I mean instead is when you have a clear, unmistakable Word from God to bless one or more of His people. It is seldom in the church or church service.

I believe unprovoked kindness leads to special blessings, and can be a gateway to healing, deliverance and even salvation. Remember Cornelius in Acts 10?

Acts 10:1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

His prayers and gifts to the poor came up as a memorial offering before God. Wow! Do you know that they led to his family’s salvation and the acceptance of the Gentiles into what was until then, a Jewish-only church?

Unprovoked giving. Regular, unprovoked and secret prayer. Take something from this. You always have the poor with you. Bless the unfortunate, help the weak, be generous to God’s people.

Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be a blessing to God’s people. Pray always and remember widows and orphans especially. God’s heart is for them. Your unprovoked kindness always has a reward from the Lord.

Continued in part 2 –>

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