Making Room For God (2 Kings 4: 8-37)
This story focuses on one woman and her husband who looked out for Elisha and his servant. She provided hospitality for them and went to the effort of building an extra room for them so they had a ‘home from home’ when they were passing. She had a great attitude that we’d do well to copy - responsive, non-demanding and lacking all bitterness, even in real crisis.
Later, Elisha wants to bless her for her generosity, and after realizing that she has no children, prophesies that she will have a son in a year’s time, and the child is born on time! There is then a dramatic crisis: the young lad complains of severe head pains and rapidly dies in his mother’s arms. His mother lies her son on Elisha's bed and goes to find him. Elisha is unaware that this tragedy had befallen the child, which is unusual, and after hearing the news from the mother sends his servant ahead to raise him up. Gehazi is unsuccessful, but Elisha finally gets there and after laying over the child, manages to bring him back from the dead.
This unusual story shows us the woman’s great attitude to God and Elisha. It begs the question, how much space are we carving out for God? Is it enough to ‘make do’, or is a complete overhaul needed, making radical changes to our lives to accommodate Christ? Talk about this in your small group. Go around the group and look at what this means for us today, in terms of time, finance and relationships.
The woman also shows us an amazing attitude in how she deals with the death of her son. She could have been so angry and let it fester into bitterness with God - “Why give me a son and then take him away again?”
Many of us have suddenly lost things and people that brought us such joy; we all face good things going bad. Is there anyone who is willing to share their experience of this? How have you dealt with loss, and what things can you learn from this Bible account?
Elisha was a mighty man of God, used in many amazing prophetic ways, not least in seeing this woman’s son being raised from the dead! However, in verse 27, God clearly withholds information from him, reminding us of Elisha's limited human nature. Like Elisha we are frail and often see only a part of the picture of people’s lives. Why is it so important we don't forget this? How should this shape our response to church leaders and our own short-comings as a woman or man of God?
Matthew shared a story at the end of a woman who was brought back to life in 2011. Often these miracles happen in remote places by ordinary people. In the 2 Kings story, the miracle happened to an unknown woman with an unknown son. The purpose was simply to show her how much God desired to bring her happiness. Share about instances where God has brought you undeserved happiness. Why do we find this so hard to simply accept?