One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 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 in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”
One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. 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.”
“What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.
Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”
Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. “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!”
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.
The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. He said to his father, “My head! My head!”
His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.
She called her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return.”
“Why go to him today?” he asked. “It’s not the New Moon or the Sabbath.”
“That’s all right,” she said.
She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on; don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.” So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the Shunammite! Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’”
“Everything is all right,” she said.
When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.”
“Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”
Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.”
But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.
Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.”
When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.
Elisha returned to Gilgal and there was a famine in that region. While the company of the prophets was meeting with him, he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and cook some stew for these prophets.”
One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine and picked as many of its gourds as his garment could hold. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were. The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.
Elisha said, “Get some flour.” He put it into the pot and said, “Serve it to the people to eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.
“How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.
But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
- 2 Kings 4:8-44
Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”
The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.
“If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”
“Go in peace,” Elisha said.
After Naaman had traveled some distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”
So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.
“Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’”
“By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.
When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”
“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.
But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.
- 2 Kings 5:15-27
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.
Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.
After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.
When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?”
“Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.”
- 2 Kings 6:15-22
[2 Kings 6:17]: ”The believer in Christ sees much more than any other. A proverb says, ‘Seeing is believing,’ but that is not true. We see many things that, if we are sensible persons, we do not believe since our eyes are apt to be deceived, and optical illusions are common. If we turn the proverb around and say, ‘Believing is seeing,’ we will often ﬁnd it true. The one who has believed has ‘the proof of what is not seen’ (Heb 11:1). He is like Moses who ‘by faith … persevered as one who sees him who is invisible’ (Heb 11:27). Faith is like new eyes—eyes with a far wider range of vision than natural eyes ever have—eyes that see the truths of God, which natural eyes often do not—eyes that do not grow dim but that, as age increases, grow yet more bright and see farther. Blessed is the one who has the eyesight of faith. Elisha had it and, therefore, when he saw the armies of Syria, with their horses and chariots surrounding the city of Dothan, he also saw the angelic armies with their horses and chariots of fire that God had sent to guard him from the Syrians.”
- Charles H. Spurgeon, from his sermon notes
What Do We Know about their Relationship?
First, there must have been two servants. Gehazi is mentioned by name, but then Gehazi gets greedy and demands a reward from Naaman. As a result, Gehazi is inflicted with the leprosy that Naaman had been cured of. The leprosy would continue to Gehazi’s descendants forever.
Yet, up to this point, Gehazi did as he was told, as did the servant described in 2 Kings 6.
What Can We Infer about their Relationship?
Nothing is known about the second servant, but Gehazi was loyal, working hard for Elisha. Then, he wants to get rich. We could infer that an evil spirit entered Gehazi. We could infer that Gehazi felt that the enemy’s military commander should have to pay for the healing – thoughts of unrepentance or thoughts that the Israelites were more deserving people.
In What Ways Can We Fill in the Gaps about their Relationship?
In filling in the gaps, was Gehazi the head servant so that the next servant in line then became “the” servant?
What Can We Learn from this Relationship?
When I was growing up, I heard the saying that God is always watching you. That could be a warning when you do something wrong. That can be a comfort when you get into trouble, or you are in pain. And the servant’s eyes being opened to see God’s angel armies is proof that God does know everything. Of course, God is outside time and space. He has an infinite amount of time to deal with the growth of each cell in our bodies, if He so chooses. And if He knows the number of each hair on our bodies, He chooses.
I have often wanted to peek behind the curtain and see God’s angel army that is there to protect me. At times, it might help me to not stumble. But this story in the Bible is always there to let us know that we do not know everything. That God, and His Angel Armies are bigger and more powerful than we could ever imagine.
So, maybe we should not worry at all, strive less, and trust in God more.
And know that your servant may not share the same ideals and goals that you have.
What Have We Learned thus far?
We have learned to:
- Own our own mistakes and not blame others.
- Be faithful to God, and worship properly, in the proper spirit.
- Go to God in prayer, especially before any major decisions.
- Do not show favoritism among family members, but always go to God.
- Forgiveness is extremely important for none of us are perfect except for God.
- Beyond physical love, there are other expressions of love, and respect is very important.
- A relationship requires maintenance, nurturing, and an acceptance of the roles.
- Be humble and listen to wise advice, and even wait when necessary.
- At times, we must be bold and trust God, and we must obey.
- And to love, love, and love.
- Be trustworthy. Trust is required.
- And don’t worry. God has this situation, and He has us in the palm of His hand.
- And remember to forgive others and confess our sins.
- And never go against what God instructs us to do.
- And truly believe that God can show you mercy and accept the mercy offered. Yet remember that it is indeed mercy.
- Not blindly trust our buddies from our youth as advisors and there may be emotional ties that make their advice sound better than it is.
- Understand that good cannot compromise with evil.
A Closing Prayer
We look to You for guidance. Open our eyes to see You. We do not need Your revelation as when You appeared to Moses or in this story, when Your armies appeared to Elisha’s servant, but in our weak moments, in our doubting moments, in our moments when the pain is more than we think we can stand… In those times, help us to know that You are there. And also, Lord, help us to keep our eyes on You and not any earthly reward.
In Thy Name we pray,
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
This definitely caught my attention. Thanks for sharing this. Anita
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