Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

2 Kings 4:18–36 ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’ (v26)

Elijah’s name means ‘the Lord is God’, and Elisha’s name means, ‘my God saves’. In a story that echoes that of Elijah raising the widow’s son from the dead (1 Kgs 17:17–24), Elisha lives out the meaning of his name when approached by a Shunammite woman.

As you read the story, note the respectful distance she keeps at the various points and yet how determined she is to secure his help.

She doesn’t ignore the cultural protocols for approaching Elisha, one revered as a holy man of God, but neither will she be deterred.

As Elisha wouldn’t leave Elijah when he was about to die, she similarly says, ‘As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you’ (v30).

Elisha responds to her distress and goes to her home while praying fervently, asking God to bring the boy back from the dead.

And God answers his prayers through the son’s sneezes, a physical response that signifies the causes of death being expelled.

Not only do we observe this woman’s determination in seeking God through His holy man, but we see the Lord’s tender response.

If you’re one who feels that the Old Testament is filled with stories of God’s wrathful revenge, notice stories such as this one that underline His gracious mercy.

The Shunammite woman’s faith increases as she receives a son from God and then receives him back from the dead after she pursues the help of the man of God.

She might remind us of the Canaanite woman concerned for her demon-possessed daughter, who asks Jesus more than once for His help, and who receives it (Matt. 15:21–28).


A Prayer To Make:
‘Our Lord who rescues us, please send Your help to me and to those I love today, for my needs are great. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Ask God for His help today in an area that you can’t control.

Scripture To Consider:
2 Sam. 22:17–20; Ps. 18:16–19; 2 Cor. 1:8–11; Col. 1:13–14

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.