Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!” “No, my Lord!” she cried. “O man of God, don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that. 2 Kings 4:16
If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.
Henry David Thoreau
Have you ever expected something to turn out the way you have wanted it to? It seems to me that the Shunamite woman knew about being deceived, or failed expectations. This verse caught my attention because I can relate to her exclamation.
She had done a good deed for the prophet. She gave him a place for him to stay where he could lay his head when he came to town. She wasn’t expecting anything from him. But God decided to send a blessing to her for her consideration and offer. God knew her petitions. Although the Bible doesn’t speak about her hearts desires, nor her prayer life but her act of consideration opened the door for a blessing. The Shunamite woman and her husband were old, and had no children. In most societies, being barren was seen as being cursed by God. God gives people children as an inheritance. They make the home joyful, and those children become instruments in the long run to the parents when they are old. But she didn’t have any, so God through the prophet declared she would have a son within the next year. She may have received it, but she also had fear.
This happens to us too. We make a new friend, and wonder what their true intentions are. We get a new job, and wonder if it will last. Or we enter a new relationship and wonder if it is all is seems to be. The funny thing about faith is that we believe things that we do not see. While God declares things, and makes them happen they seem to be empty promises- how are we expected to believe and keep believing when we do not see it in the moment.
The woman did bear a child, a son. God was true to His word. And the woman did not have to toil to get him. She did not have to set up an altar and perform sacrifices or fasts. All she did was welcome the prophet into her home. She honored His presence as a man of God. And God was considerate of her. Sometimes God will tell us something will happen, sometimes a good thing which she get our hopes up for- and other times He tells us of negative things that will come into our lives, for us to prepare for. I suppose that she was shocked, yet pleased with God’s blessing. But she was also hesitant to put her hopes in a promise.
I want us to remember that God is faithful and He honors His word, above His own name. Even if the promise seems delayed, it will come to pass because God is not man that He should lie, nor son of man that He should change His mind (repent). Let’s hold on to what God has promised in His word and by His Spirit; even if you do not see a way…. God has a way.
Father God, Lord of all, I thank you that you do not make empty promises. I thank you that you remain faithful, even when we are unfaithful. I present myself, and all those reading to your holy throne of grace and mercy. I pray you would fill us with boldness and conviction, to believe what you have said. May the promises we believe you to fulfill which are in your word, give us testimonies to encourage others. And may the declarations you have spoken to us by your Holy Spirit,be those pillars to our lifelong faith. I pray that you would increase our faith, teach us to encourage ourselves and even build up our faith. I also ask you to rebuke, by your authority, those fears which we battle with that others do not know about, in the name which is above all names: the name of Jesus. Amen.