The Shunammite Woman – 17 Key Points for Bible Study 10/25/2014

From our lesson of  The Shunammite Woman, 2 Kings 4:8-37; 2 Kings 8:1-6, here are some important points. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 127-129 of the text, but may help you in our discussion of the Saturday Bible Study 10/25/2014

1.  No name was found for the Shunammite Woman during this research.  She was described as a well-to-do Woman.  (2 Kings 4:8).

2.  She was generous and hospitable, she was a wealthy and capable woman who showed great kindness to one of God’s prophets. (3, pg. 127)

3.  She said to her husband, ” I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God.  Let’s make a small room on the roof and put a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him.  Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.  (2Kings 4:9-10 and NIV footnote)

4.  Moved by her kindness, Elisha inquired, through his servant, Gehazi, whether he could use his influence with Israel’s King on her behalf.  But the woman wasn’t looking for favors at court, so Elisha pressed his servant, saying, “What, then, can be done for her?”  (2, pg. 227)

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.” (2 Kings 13 and NIV footnote)

5.  Gehazi merely pointed out the obvious: the woman and her aging husband were childless, without an heir to carry on the family name.  So Elisha summoned the woman and made an incredible promise: “About this time next year you will hold a son in your arms.” (2, pg. 228)

6.  The Shunammite Woman’s response: “No, my lord, she objected.  Don’t mislead your servant, O man of God!” (2, pg. 228)

7.  But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha told her.  (2 Kings 4:17)

Unlike so many of her female forebears—Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Tamar, Hannah— the Shunammite Woman seemed content without children.  Elisha’s promise, however, was an arrow homing straight to its target, fulfilling the unspoken desire of her heart.  (2, pg. 228)

8.  The child became ill and died, the Shunammite Woman and a servant travelled, with her husband’s knowledge,  to Mt. Carmel to find Elisha.  (2 Kings 4:22-23)

She rushed to him,  exclaiming, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?  Didn’t I tell you, “Don’t raise my hopes?” (2, pg. 228)

9.  Elisha instructed his servant to go ahead to Shunem,  and how to restore the boy to life in his absence.  The servant followed Elisha’s instructions, but was unable to restore the boy to life.  (2 Kings 4:31)

10.  Elisha arrived at the house of the Shunammite Woman, He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord.  He was able to restore the boy to life.  The Shunammite Woman was told, ” Take your son,” She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out. (2 Kings 4:32-37)

11.  She was warned by Elisha to “go away with your family and stay for awhile wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years”. (2 Kings 8:1)

12.  She followed Elisha’s instructions, by staying in the land of the Philistines for seven years. (2 Kings 8:2)

13.  She returned to Shunem, and went to the king to beg for her house and land. (2 Kings 8:3 and NIV footnote)

14.  At the same time the king was talking to Gehazi, Elisha’s servant. (2 Kings 8:4)

15.  Gehazi told the king how Elisha restored the dead to life. (2 Kings 8:5)

16.  Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son who Elisha restored to life.” (2 Kings 8:5)

17.  “Give her everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.” (2 Kings 8:6)

1. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995. (All Scriptures)

2. Women of the Bible,  One Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture, Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan, 2007.

3. Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999.

 

 

Instructor’s Comment 3 – “The Erector Set of Hope”

Lesson Two – Naomi and Ruth Return (Ruth 1:1-22)

RUTH 1: 19-22
So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem.
When they arrived in Bethlehem the town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”
“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth, the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.

After Naomi either finally understood Ruth’s level of commitment to her (1:16-18), or was just too exhausted to argue/debate the fact that she (Ruth) would be better-off if she just “went home to her people, land, and customs.” Naomi and Ruth travel back to Bethlehem. The whole town was “stirred because of them.”(1:19). It is evident that Naomi’s mood had not improved by arriving safely back in her home-town.

Naomi’s assessment of her situation was that it was dismal. She assessed that she “left Bethlehem full”: she was young, vibrant, had a husband, and two sons. Her husband, Elimelech, was her everything— he filled her life, providing love, emotional support, companionship, and took care of her financial/household needs. Hers sons, Mahlon and Kilon, though frail, were prized heirs, who would continue to care for her, should anything happen to Elimelech. But God, had other plans for Naomi—and she was still so “grief-stricken” that she could only see emptiness with the deaths of her husband and both sons. Naomi had land in Bethlehem, but had no access to it as a female head-of-the-household because of the laws at that time.

What can we learn from this phase of Naomi’s life? Naomi saw “no hope” for her future. She thought the Lord had abandoned her. We sometimes interpret “hope” to mean “a wish.” That’s evident when we use terms like, “I hope so,” or “I hope this gets better.” As Believers, we should remember the “Erector Set of Hope.” We can’t build anything on a “wish,” but lives constructed on Jesus’ blood as the “Hope”, can withstand anything life hands us.

Some Scriptural references for “Hope”:

Jeremiah 29:11-12 –“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Job 13:15 –Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.

Psalm 42:5- Why downcast , O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God,

Psalm 62:5 – Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

Isaiah 40 :31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength,
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.

Prayer: Father, we thank you for your guidance through this study of Ruth. May we continue to listen to your instructions, and pass it on to those who join us for the study of your Word! Amen.

Reverend Glenda Brunson

“In Preparation for the Savior” (Reprint from December 2011)

Revelation 3:20-22

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

“Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22)

“Laodicea was a commercial and administrative center, the richest city in its district.  In fact, when it was destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD, Laodicea refused imperial aid that its neighbors gladly accepted.  Laodicea “was known throughout the Roman world of its time for three things: its banks, which even Cicero recommended for exchanging money, its linen and wool industry, which produced cloth, and carpets, especially from the glossy black wool of sheep reared in the area; its medical school  and widely famed medicines, notable among which was an eye-ointment. (See Revelation 3:17-18).   Laodicea’s sister city were Hierapolis and Colosse. Because Laodicea was built to suit the trade routes rather than natural resources, the city had no local water supply.  Water had to be piped in through stone conduits. This made the city extremely vulnerable to attack, so its politicians specialized in appeasement.  Laodicea had a large Jewish population –at least 7,500 adult males.”Laodicea means, “rule of the people” or “judgment of the people.” “(2, pg. 43)

                 We, like the church at Laodicea have taken pride in our resources and accomplishments.  However, Jesus had to remind them that they were:  wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked (3:17); although they accumulated money in their banks, produced an eye-ointment in their medical school, and linen and wool for cloth.  Especially glossy black wool of the sheep reared in that area—reminds me of the Nursery Rhyme, “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”.  In their self-pride in their accomplishments, they had forgotten their benefactor— the source of their supply—the Savior, Himself.

Jesus’ position with the church of Laodicea is the same position He takes with us today, outside the door (Revelation 3:20) of our hearts, homes, churches, and concerns. “God is standing outside the doors of our homes— the black doors, the green doors, the red doors, the white doors, the shabby doors, and the neat doors.  Shall we open those doors to Him and invite Him into our family circle?  He is waiting for us to do just that.”  (3. pg. 129)  God is ever-present, and accessible— yet waiting to be invited in to our hearts, homes, churches, and concerns.  We may sometimes wonder why God isn’t doing more in some of our situations; we may even get angry at God for not caring.  The problem is not with God; it’s that we’ve never had the courage to invite God into the problem, give it to Him completely to solve, and trust Him totally with the outcome. Have we prepared room for the Savior in our hearts, homes, churches, and concerns? Are there areas of our lives that we frankly feel that Jesus should have no involvement in? If He’s not Lord of all, is He Lord at all?   Are we so full of ourselves that we can only “top our glass-off” with the Savior through a few minutes when we have nothing else on our schedule?  Have we left the Savior standing outside the door, knocking and waiting, again?

Jesus, the Savior, “was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, died a substitionary death, bodily rose from the dead, and is physically coming back again.”  (1. pg. 162) Have you made room for the Savior?

References

  1. Evans, Tony, Dry Bones Dancing, Multnomah, Publishers, Inc., Sister, OR,2005
  2. Revelation, Life Change Series, NavPress, Colorado Springs,Co.,1989.
  3. Shoemaker, Helen Smith, The Secret of Effective Prayer, Word Books, Waco TX, 1967