Shunammite's son raised
Podcast and outline
Second Kings 4 records the account of Elisha and the Shunammite woman. The woman is described as a wealthy married woman in the village of Shunem.
The wealthy woman had an extra room built on to her house and furnished it comfortably for Elisha. Elisha and his servant used the room whenever they passed through the area of Shunem. In thanks for the help she gave to the preaching of the word of God, Elisha told the woman that she would give birth to a son even though her husband was very old. She did give birth to a son but after a few years, he died.
The woman placed the boy’s body in Elisha’s special room and then went to find Elisha. Elisha came and raised her son from the dead.
2 Kings 4:32–35 describes what happened next: “When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the LORD. Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. Then he got up again and walked once back and forth in the house, and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.”
When Elisha arrived, he went into the room with the dead child, shut the door, prayed, stretched himself on the child to warm him, and prayed. God heard his prayer and restored the life to the child!
Life and death
There is a reference in the New Testament where Jesus mentions life and death that I believe has something to do with this story.
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
1. Elisha shut the door and prayed. Are you praying regularly for the salvation of your children or for someone else’s children?
2. There was personal contact. The intimate contact there was of eye, mouth and hands. This suggests that if we are going to win the children to Christ we must:
1. be able to see things from the child’s standpoint;
2. be able to speak in the child’s language;
3. be able to enter into the child’s interests.
3. There was intense desire and effort. In verse 34, we are told that the prophet “stretched himself out upon him”.Bringing God to someone is hard work, demanding the sacrifice of time and energy. It often proves disappointing, but it is gloriously worthwhile work and brings great reward to the worker.
4. There was patience and perseverance.. Elisha had to hold on to God and to work on in faith. The child sneezed 7 times before coming back to life, then there is the sign of vision, for we are told that the child “opened his eyes”.
The message that brings life
John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
Metaphorically everyone is spiritually dead before responding to the message of the gospel. Just like the shunammite's son we passed from death to life through the sacrifice of Jesus. It was hard work and perseverance from Him that caused the mircle of resurrection in our lives.