Does it interest you to have a look at old papers and read them? When I was tidying up the bookshelves at our house, I saw a box filled with old papers. Well, because I enjoy looking at old papers and reading things written several years ago, I took those papers out to see what was said in them. Most of them were my dad’s notes from his classes at Bible-Literalist Institutes, some were sermon notes, others were prayer bulletins dated thirteen to fourteen years ago, and there were a few articles of encouragement written to ladies. The precious little pile of written encouragement to ladies caught my eye, so I took to reading them. I was very much blessed and challenged with them, and I can’t see why I should not share this to others. The following is written as it is in the old copy.
What a privilege and honor it would be, to be called a great woman by God. There was such a woman in the Bible. In II Kings 4:8 it says, “And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman;…” After reading verses 8-37, I could see some of the reasons why she was called a great woman. So I wanted to share some of those things about this Shunamite, and may it be an encouragement to us women today.
In verse 8, this woman was considerate and very hospitable. She offered a meal to Elisha as often as he passed through, and that must have been quite a few times because the story says he passed by continually. In verse 9, she had discernment. She knew what it was to be holy. She apparently had a good relationship with God herself, for she was able to perceive that Elisha was a holy man of God. In verse 10, she first of all was meek, humble, and submissive to her own husband, notice she says, “…I pray thee…”, when asking about making the chamber for Elisha. Also in this verse, she was very giving, for she was willing to sacrifice time and expense to make a little chamber for Elisha, so he could be able to rest and study, (after she had fed him). This woman is really starting to make me look bad! In verse 13, she was a woman who was content with what she had. She didn’t make requests of what she wanted, even after Elisha offered to speak to the King on her behalf, she refused. The good thing about being content, is that God looks at us and delights in giving (the contented person) the desires of their heart, because in verse 16 this woman was surprised when Elisha told her she would have a son. In verse 20, she knew how to comfort, for she holds her son on her lap until he dies. She was a good and loving mother. You can also see she was a woman who could control her emotions, because in verse 21, after her son dies, she calmly lays him (notice now) on Elisha’s bed! She doesn’t start crying and falling apart (which I have to admit that would be hard for me not to do). This woman also had faith, for she knew Elisha could give her son back to her, so that is why in verse 30 she would not leave him until he came back home with her. In the last part of the story about this woman, I see how she was a very thankful woman. In verse 37, after Elisha had brought her son back to life, the first thing she did was to show her heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Elisha by falling at his feet. My question now is, could us women, be as this woman, and be called Great?