In the third part of our series, after reflecting on how the good
Lord provides social security, we shall focus on how the Almighty
guarantees economic security also. We pick up action from
2 Kings 4:8-10 where there is a mention of a devout, hospitable
lady, a resident of the town of Shunem (this town which was originally
allotted to the tribe of Issachar after the Canaan conquest -- See
Joshua 19:18 -- lies in the plain of Esdraelon, 4 miles north of
Jezreel). Well, she is not named in the Bible, nor is there an account
of she personally 'accepting the Lord' in the manner of Ruth. However,
from her God-honoring actions in line with the spirit of Jesus'
Matt: 10:40 of welcoming men of God (in her case, it was prophet
Elisha), one can gauge her devout nature.
2 Kings 4:8-37 and 2 Kings 8:1-6 dwells on her life and the blessings God poured into her life on account of her hospitable disposition with His servant Prophet Elisha. Besides other blessings, what is so conspicuous in her life is the restoration of her property...miraculously by God. However to understand the nuances of this story, let us go step by step:
Initially, we see her as a barren lady (being barren carried with it a social stigma - barren Jewish women despaired in not having played any role in the lineage of the Messiah), however, as per God's will, we see her being blessed with a baby boy (2 Kings 4:17), later when that boy succumbs to a sun-stroke, we see Prophet Elisha bringing him back to life (2 Kings 4:32-36). The blessing of having a son contributed to this erstwhile barren woman's social well being.
Later in 2 Kings 8:1-2, we see her going away to live amongst the Philistines away from her native land, as she had been forewarned by Prophet Elisha about the impending famine in her native land. As the famine ended, knowing very well that somebody else would have been occupying her land and property, and that it would not be an easy task to recover the same, we see her going directly to the court of final appeal, which was King Joram, the ruler of Israel, in her case (2 Kings 8:3-4). Incidentally, she took her son along with her.
Dear friends, those of us, who have had a tug-of-war with the tenants of our homes, who would not simply vacate, despite we having served them notice well in advance, can well sympathize with this lady. We can also wonder what anxious thoughts were going through her mind, as she went to petition the King. How would she represent her case? Would she find proper words in placing the problem before the King in proper light? Would the King be in a mood to lend a sympathetic ear to her problems, especially as she carried no recommendation letter with her? Doubtless, all these questions would have been playing in her troubled mind, as she entered the King's presence. But she was in for a major surprise. A very pleasant one at that! Let us pick-up the action as it were directly from the from the scriptures, as I cannot put it in a more apt manner than that...verses 4-5 of 2 Kings 8th chapter: "Just as she came in, the King was talking with Gehazi, Elisha's servant & saying 'Tell me some of the stories of the great things Elisha has done' and Gehazi was telling the King about the time when Elisha brought a little boy back to life at that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in. 'Oh, Sir!' Gehazi exclaimed. 'Here is the woman now, and this her son-the very one Elisha brought back to life!'"
Realizing in an instant that she was a VIP (a person whom mighty prophet Elisha himself held in high regard - mind you, Elisha had a crucial role to play in the affairs of King Joram's Kingdom), we see the King taking personal initiative in restoring her property (along with accrued income if any on the same) to her (Verse 6).
Now let's replay that scene of Gehazi, prophet Elisha's servant speaking about this very lady, 'just' as she entered the King's chambers with presumably worry lines creasing her forehead. Was that a coincidence? An accident? No! It all happened as per God's will because He wanted to ensure that his devout follower got back her property without any hitches.
Well, does God take care of our property? Something materialistic, not concerning soul or spiritual life? Yes, he does, because what worries us, his precious ones, worries Him also? Can He be our economic security also? Yes! As this short, moving Scriptural account so clearly illustrates in ample measure.
Dear friends, if Jesus is same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), then His words uttered 2000 years ago, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be given to you," (Matt 6:33) was true yesterday, today & forever.
Prayer: Father, whatever are our economic problems, we commit them into your hands, knowing fully well, You would deliver us from them. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.
An unworthy servent
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire "Security" mini-series, please click here.)