Scripture Reference 2 Kings 4 : 11-17
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. 14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked. Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.” 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.
Today’s scriptural focus talks about a wealthy woman who graciously invited Elisha to stay for a meal at her house. This became a regular routine for Elisha whenever he was in the area. The Shunammite woman, convinced that Elisha was a holy man proceeded to urge her husband to make an extra room in the house for him to stay in when visiting the area.
The Shunammite used what she had to bless a representative of the Lord. In doing so she in fact gave of her belongings to God. Hospitality is a quality that both reflects and demonstrates the love of God to us and through us to others. Heb. 13 says, 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Through hospitality we live out our faith in a very practical way. Jesus said, Matt. 25: 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Our response to the needs of others around us can be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our love for Christ. From today’s text we can surmise that the Sunammite made these provisions for Elisha without thought for what she might gain from her giving. Christian how many of us give with one hand only to hold out the other in expectation that we will receive in kind? How many withhold their tithe to God because they are unhappy with the leadership at the church? I personally know people who give abundantly and generously to ministry and who have no conditions or demands on their giving. Like the Shunammite they give in obedience and in faith to God!
How many of you reading this know that you can never out give God?! The Shunammite gave of what she had in service to God and therefore God poured out a blessing on her that she did not expect or had trouble in believing could possibly happen! Faithfulness to God is its own reward! By giving to those who serve God we are giving to God. When we give to God it should never be with our other hand out in expectation rather, Matt. 6: 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Amen.