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11 Elisha(5)

At the One who should stare

UKings 4:8-37
Romans 5:1-5
T A prophet in the people

 Now, we are watching Elisha, but there are a great many his articles. As for it, it seems that for Elisha who did not have "the book of Elisha" which named his name, editors of "Kings" gathered his articles as possible a lot. His existence as a prophet would be such big. But, we do not have to watch the all to understand prophet Elisha. I fly Elisha paean this morning, and want to go seeing from a woman of Shunem that is considered editors had concentrated special power. At first, it is from 4:8-37, but it has a lot on source in itself, and editors will be to evaluate it of it. Two events concerning a woman of Shunem are dealt with here. We want to hear that central message.

 It begins, "Now there came a day when Elisha passed over to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman, and she persuaded him to eat food. And so it was, as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat food."(8) Shunem was located in the southern part of Galilee district, and it seems to have been a fertile town in Esdraelon plain. Because it was not so away from Gilgal, a prophet school was there, Elisha often walked around that neighborhood and seems to have been going to melt into a living of people. She said to a husband. "Behold now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God passing by us continually."(9) When I see this, she did not seem to have been Elisha and an acquaintance from the past, and it would be the next thing after Elisha unified prophet schools of Gilgal. She prepared "a small room with a wall" on the roof for Elisha and offered it as a place of rest. After Elisha and this woman became friendly, prophets of Gilgal became going in and out her house, and they finished writing a source of this article based on her testimony, I think. In other words, it may be said that this article is a representative example of testifying what relation was built between prophets with general people, and general people with Elisha? I want to hear how Yahweh faith infiltrated to the people through a prophet from here.

U What was her despair

 Elisha was welcomed very much in her place. After while a little, he wanted to repay something to that warm reception. He asked "Behold, you have been careful for us with all this care; what can I do for you? would you be spoken for to the king or to the captain if army?"(13). However, she answered it was enough as now. She was loved by her husband, and there was no inconvenience to a living. But a servant of Elisha did such a report. "Truly she has no son and her husband is old."(14) Because she was a young wife, was she loved by the husband? A husband was considerably old and would give up not having a child. Or, other wives were to this husband, and would it be thought there was a child of an heir? Her feeling what she said "I live among my own people.", did not have a falsehood, but, such circumstances are imagined. Would such her thought reach to Elisha? He blessed with smiling and said, "At this season next year you shall embrace a son."(16) And that blessing was realized.

 It was Elisha who showed consideration like thus, "What can I do for you? Would you be spoken for to the king or to the captain of the army?". He would feel what was covered in herself. It would be her despair which gave up embracing own child, I think. It does not lack the example with wife Sara of Abraham, wife Leah and Rachel of Jacob and mother Hannah of Samuel, but, for Israeli women, it seems to have led to the recognition that was not blessed by God whether there was not for inheritance of property. From her words, I felt that she was a thick woman of faith, but, therefore, it would be all the more unbearable to be not blessed by God. Will not it be time to feel that the first joy of faith is loved by God? It of her shook from the root. I think that it which cannot get a blessing of God was her despair.

 Elisha blessed her. And a child was born. However, an editor of Kings touched another event successively. It was the event that her despair we saw until now would swell to more. However, she knew that she was loved by God in that. We will try to hear how she was blessed.

V At the One who should stare

 "When the child was grown, the day came that he went out to his father to the reapers." (18), and the next event begin. He would become the age that might be said to be a boy as for going in a working place of father. It is felt he was loved by father very much. He rushed cheerfully in a field as always, but he claimed suddenly "a brain was painful" and fell down. And then he died several hours later.

 However, this mother did not say it to anyone that her son died, and rushed to Elisha of Mt. Carmel. Would it be the reason not to hear and miss revelation from God, Elisha did not be with a prophet group of Gilgal. Mt. Carmel is the place where Elijah confronted prophets of Baal. Sharpness of a sense of Elisha who found her who rode an ass quickly from far away seemed to show it. There is it, "When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet."(27). "Did I ask for a son from my Lord? Did I not say, 'Do not deceive me'?"(28) Nothing was yet done intellect of what rose to her to Elisha(27), but her pain would reach him enough. At first, he sent servant Gehazi to her house. Gehazi "laid the staff on the lad's face" as it was said to him, but the child did not get up. Would this article of Gehazi be confirmation of death of a boy? Or it might have been her wish, she was not going to leave a side of Elisha still, after Gehazi was sent off. Elisha went to her house, too, but on the way, received a report from Gehazi, "The lad has not awakened.". But, unrest did not have seen in Elisha and even in her either. Elisha entered in single occupancy immediately and closed a door and prayed to the Lord. "And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth and his eyes on his eyes and his hands on his hands, ..."(34). The child's body became warm, and a child came back to life before long, but Elisha's strange action suggests that it was "……the lad sneezed seven times and the lad opened his eyes.", and it suggests the testimony performed in the same way. The editors of Kings would accept this record of prophets of Gilgal as "it was a fact". "Take up your son.", and she prostrated herself in his step and prostrated herself and bowed to the ground. God gave a blessing like this, and now, her despair changed to hope and joy.

 However, this article of a woman of Shunem is not the subject of "Out of despair to hope". Her name was never written down after all, and editors testified that God had done this through Elisha to the last, with a wish to want to hear this One and to have hope to this One. Israel lost sight of the hope which should have been given to them by that One. We of the present age greet the times without hope in the same way, too. Do not make a mistake to the One who should stare at. God's love is poured into us.