This morning we’re getting back into our series that we started about a month ago – the Exploits of Elisha. Just to jog your memory a little bit (since it’s been two weeks since we talked about Elisha), Elisha was a young man, who when we first met him, was out plowing with a team of oxen in his field. He was a farmer. But along came Elijah – the prophet of God – and invited Elisha to become his apprentice – to train under him so that one day, he could replace Elijah as prophet. Elisha accepted the invitation. He BBQed his oxen and fed them to the townspeople and went and followed Elijah.
The next time we saw Elisha was about ten years later, when a poor widow was in desperate financial need. She was over her head in debt and creditors were coming to take away her sons as slaves. Elisha instructed her to gather up a whole pile of empty jars from her friends and neighbors and God miraculously multiplied the little bit of oil she had, so that she could fill every jar with oil – enough to sell and pay off her debts, and live happily ever after.
And today we are going to pick it up right where we left off – still in 2 Kings chapter 4, but this time starting in verse 8.
One day Elisha went to the town of Shunem. A wealthy woman lived there, and she urged him to come to her home for a meal. After that, whenever he passed that way, he would stop there for something to eat.
9 She said to her husband, I am sure this man who stops in from time to time is a holy man of God. 10 Lets build a small room for him on the roof and furnish it with a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp. Then he will have a place to stay whenever he comes by.
2 Kings 4:8-10
Now this is significant. It’s no small thing to build a room onto your house so that a traveling prophet has a place to stay whenever he comes by! There must have been some special connection between this couple and Elisha. Now that Elijah is no longer around to be Elisha’s mentor, perhaps this couple has taken up that task. As we’ll see as we keep reading, they seem to be a little older than he is, so perhaps the’ve taken on the role of his adopted parents. Probably some of you have a couple like that in your life – some older, wiser folks who have taken a special interest in your life. Someone who prays for you regularly and offers you wise advice and timely encouragement. I wonder if that’s the kind of relationship that Elisha had with this couple from Shunem.