A Great Woman Sunday, September 24, 2017
This is a picture of my mother, Velva Gibson. And I would like to dedicate this study in honor of her. She was the greatest woman in my life. She was the greatest Christian example I ever had. I give credit to her for the Christian life I have been able to live. She has gone to be with Jesus and I am striving every day to be counted worthy to go and be with her some day. By, Mary Lee Thornton
In the article I will address some things that make a Woman Great. We will be using an example of a woman that the Bible calls "A Great Woman" for this study.
A GREAT WOMAN
By Mary Lee Thornton
2 Kings 4:8. “And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shu-nem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as often as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
9. And she said unto her husband, behold now, I perceive that this is a Holy Man of God, which passeth by us continually.
10. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candelstick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.”
It takes only one person to make a city famous... And by them the city is remembered forever.
Cities are important and remmebered for many reasons. Mention the name and immediately we associate it with its impartance. Athens Greece stands for Greek culture and Wisdom. Nashville, Tenn. Music City USA. Pittsburg, Penn. the steel industry. Hodgenville, Ky. the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.
Many people lived in Shu-nem, but one women made it’s name live in Bible History.
“A Great Woman.”
Some people are so anxious to be even, that they have no time to be great.
What makes a woman a Great Woman?
The woman of Shu-nem was great in hospitality.
She “constrained” the prophet to eat bread.
God blesses the home with an open door.
Hebrews 13:2. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (KJV)
Pity the Church which is a household of closed doors.
Paul instructing Timothy concerning widows which the church was responsible to keep up says that one of the qualifications was,...“if she have lodged strangers,...” (1 Timothy 5:10)
Hospitality makes our house a living Bible.
I’ve seen my mother serve meals many, many, times for visiting Preachers and their wives and children, then fix beds and pallets for us to sleep on, sometimes for days.
2. Spiritual perception.
The woman perceived that this man, Elisha, was a prophet.
2 Kings 4:9. And she said unto her husband, behold now, I perceive that this is an holy Man of God, which passeth by us continually.
10. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.
It is sometimes thought that a Heavenly Ministry does not need any earthly support.
Jesus had such a home in Bethany where He loved to go and spend some time, the home of Mary and Martha. (Luke 10:38-40)
The woman of Shu-nem recognized that Elisha needed a place where he could rest and relax.
She had a small room built into the wall, with a bed, and a stool to sit on, and a candlestick to light the room.
Very meager by our standards, but a luxury to the Man of God who passed by her door.
It was a welcomed sanctuary for a weary traveler.
Matthew 25:34. Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36. Naked, and ye clothed me: i was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee?
39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40. And the king shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (KJV)
In another place Jesus says if we give as much as a cup of cold water in my name ye shall have a reward. (Matthew 10:42)
3. The woman of Shu-nam was great in reward.
Elisha wanted to repay this woman for her kindness towards him so he had his servant call her to the door.
2 Kings 4:12. And he said to Gehazi his servant, call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.
13. And he said unto him, say now unto her, behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? Wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people. (KJV)
The Shu-nammite woman could think of nothing that she needed so Elisha asked his servant Ge-ha-zi what she might need.
Ge-ha-zi had noticed that there was no patter of little feet in the house.
So Elisha had her called the second time to his door.
2 Kings 4:16. And he said, about this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, nay, my lord, thou Man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
17. And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. (KJV)
Her reward was a living child, twice alive.
4. The woman was great in faith.
Elisha continued to enjoy the hospitality of this woman as time passed, and when the boy grew into a young lad he fell very sick one day and died in his mother’s lap.
What follows is an act of faith which is not exceeeded in the Bible.
2 Kings 4:21. And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.
22. And she called unto her husband, and said, send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man
23. And he said, wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? It is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, it shall be well. (kjv)
“It shall be well.”
Notice she placed the boy on the bed she had prepared for the Man of God.
The only place she knew where there was help. Call the Man of God.
Take your burdens to him.
Her son was dead, but everything is going to be all right when I get to the Man of God.
As she hurried to the Man of God, Elisha saw her coming and sent Ge-ha-zi to meet her to inquire what the trouble was that brought her so fast.
2 Kings 4:26. Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, is it well with thee? Is it well with thy husband? Is it well with The child? And she answered, it is well. (KJV)
“It is well.”
But this woman did not come to see Ge-ha-zi, she was bringing her troubles to the Man of God, so she continued on and fell at his feet. Ge-ha-zi started to thrust her away, but Elisha told him,
"Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me." (Kings 4:27b)
As this “great woman” unburdened her soul, Elisha, realizing that something was wrong with her son, sent Gehazi to lay his staff on the child.
But the woman was not to be denied what she had come for.
This was a task which only the Man of God could perform.
2 Kings 4:30. And the mother of the child said, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her.
31. And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, the child is not awaked.
32. And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. (kjv)
Many times we lose track of time in the Bible Stories.
As Mount Carmel was at least twenty-five or thirty miles from Shu-nem, it was far into the night, or possibly the next day, before they reached the home where the child lay.
There was no response when Gehazi laid the staff on the child, so he returns to meet Elisha and the woman to tell them that the child had not awakened.
As Elisha entered the room which had been built for him to relax in, there on the bed which had been provided for him to sleep on, was the dead child.
What an act of faith on the woman’s part.
What a great responsibility rested on the shoulders of the Man of God.
2 Kings 4:33. he went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord. (kjv)
This was the most natural response for a Man of God.
When any thing is beyond our grasp, take it to the Lord in prayer.
What follows is an act of desperation by Elisha.
Many things can only be done when we get desperate with God.
2 Kings 4:34. And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. (kjv)
Medical personal may call this the first CPR case in history, but Elisha took the warming of the boy’s body as a response from God.
The next verse tells of the intense concentration of Elisha as he prayed.
2 Kings 4:35. “Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.” The boy was restored to life and presented back to his mother.
2 Kings 4:36. “And he called Gehazi, and said, call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, take up thy son.
37. Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.” (kjv)
A Great Woman.
This woman of Shu-nem was,
Great in hospitality,
Great in reward,
Great in faith.
Elisha was an example for all Men of God when their people come with seemingly impossible situations.
Take it to the Lord in prayer, do what you can,
Get in earnest with God on their behalf.
I will tell of two Great Women in my life.
My Mother, Velva Lee Gibson, made a great impression on me by saying that God would hold her responsible for my actions until I became of age.
This put the fear of God in my heart because I loved my Mother and did not want God to punish her for anything I might do wrong.
She also set a high standard by her Christian walk with God. she was a Great Woman.
Another Great Woman in my life was my Second Pastor, Sister Opal Blackford.
She instilled into me strong Christian convictions and standards, which are still with me now. she also was a Great Woman.
I am sure that there are Great Women which have played a great role in your life too.
Thank you for taking time to read this article and I hope it will be a blessing in your life.
A GREAT WOMAN, PART # 2
By, Mary Lee Thornton
In the last lesson, we studied the story of the Shunamite woman of 2 Kings 4. Closing with verse 37, we saw the greatness of this woman as she received her dead son to life again. And now we find in chapter 8 that a famine is about to come upon the land and Elisha warns the woman of it’s coming and how to protect herself and her son during the famine.
II Kings 8:1. "Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the Lord hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.
2. And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.
3. And it came to pass at the seven years’ end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land.
4. And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, "Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done."
5. And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, "My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life."
6. And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, "Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now."
Refer again to verse 1. We see that Elisha goes to warn that woman. Notice out of all the people he’s worked with, he goes to that woman and tells her that famine is about to come on the land. He tells her to get her household and move out, and at the end of seven years she is to return. God has come to supernaturally spare the woman from the persecution that is about to come on the land.
The Bible says in Romans 11:22, "Behold the goodness and severity of God…" His goodness is upon his children; his severity upon the children of unbelief. We have taken one concept and run too far with it in teaching on faith.
Revelation came along and set us free, and we need to come back into balance on the subject. Look at Proverbs 3:33."The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just."
In your life the good things are of God. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…"(James 1:17). But then evil comes into your life; we know who is sending it – the author, Satan himself. The Word of God teaches us clearly so we’ll know how to stand in faith against those things: Satan is the one sending evil.
But we took that concept and began to go through the Word. Everything that looked good we said was from God, and everything that looked bad we said was from Satan. We carried it one step too far: GOD CAN, and does, at times, curse, GOD CAN, and does, at times, send plagues, HE CAN send evil, but it’s always sent upon the evil men who reject God.
You see, God doesn’t send plagues and judgement first; he comes with mercy, grace and longsuffering. But to keep evil from spreading around the world, God has to stop it through supernatural judgement. When it does come time for supernatural judgement, God finds his righteous seed and protects them by removing them from the judgement.
When Satan brings trials and temptations, God won’t remove you from the midst of them because he’s given you the weapons to fight them. But when God brings judgement, YOU WILL be spared.
God’s longsuffering had reached its limit in II Kings 8. Now supernatural persecution from God is coming in the form of a seven-year famine. Notice the LORD called the famine. We know this is the Lord that called the famine, because Satan had already called a famine.
One had already been going on for many chapters in the Book of Kings. But you think you’ve seen a famine? Wait until this one comes along. God has gone his limit, and now the supernatural famine is coming.
And the first thing God does before the famine starts, is to tell Elisha to go to the Shunamite woman and warn her to leave. Not only was she to leave, but her household was also to be spared.
Recall Lot’s deliverance from Sodom and Gomorrah – his wife and daughters accompanied him.
Noah’s family was delivered with him.
Rahab’s entire family was preserved along with Rahab.
The Roman centurion who was saved when Paul was in prison (Philippi) had the promise that HE AND all HIS House would be saved.
Just because YOU’RE born-again, not everyone in your house is automatically born-again. BUT, if you get one person in a household born-again, it’s easy to get the rest. The intercession of the saved one will stop any evil from coming near the household.
We see the response of the woman:
2 Kings 8:2. "And the woman arose, and did AFTER THE SAYING of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.
3. And it came to pass AT THE SEVEN YEARS’ END that the woman returned and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land."
Notice that she didn’t come back when the famine was over; she came back at the seven years’ end. We see in verse two, "the woman did after the SAYINGS of the prophet." That is, she trusted his word.
If he said seven years, she obeyed and left. She didn’t argue or go by her own observations and knowledge; she marked her calendar and left. When she was in the land of the Philistines, she checked off the last day and said to her household, "It’s time to return." Imagine her husband asking her, "Have you checked the news lately? Is the famine over?" She would have replied, "It’s not the famine I’m guided by, it’s the prophet. He said to be gone seven years. Today’s the day – let’s go back."
She trusted the prophet explicitly to his word. She might have gone back and seen the ground still brown with no crops anywhere, but the prophet had said to be gone seven years, not to be gone until the famine was over.
Referring again to verse three we find that while she has been away for seven years, some squatters took over her land and her house. Imagine this woman as she returns, expecting to find an overgrown yard and instead finding someone living there.
What does she do? She doesn’t just give up and say, "Oh, well, I guess it’s God’s will." No! She knows she has favor with men since she has favor with God. So she begins to march in faith toward the king.
Isn’t it just like God to prepare the path for you? At the very moment she is marching toward the king, Gehazi is in there talking to him.
As a side note, the fact that Gehazi is in the presence of the king tells us that these stories are not in chronological order. This story must have occurred sometime between the time when the child was raised from the dead and the time Gehazi was struck with the leprosy of Naaman. If this story was in chronological order, Gehazi must have looked terrible after these seven years of leprosy. It is doubtful that the king would have had him in his presence, especially to question him.
2 Kings 8:4. "And the king talked with Gehazithe servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done." So Gehazi starts naming them off. Then he gets to the one about the woman.
5. "And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, my lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life."
Isn’t it just like God to prepare the way! You may not see the end result right now. You only know you have a task to do, but if you’re working at it in faith, God’s already preparing it ahead of you. When you get there it is already taken care of.
Got some business troubles right now? Looks like there’s nowhere to turn? Keep marching in faith – God’s arranged it for you up ahead. When you get there it will all be taken care of.
If this woman obeyed the Word of the Lord from Elisha, don’t think God’s going to quit there. He knows she is going to face some hardships when she returns, because Satan has come in to invade her property and take it over. But if she left it in obedience to the Lord seven years earlier, God is going to protect her rights now. Look at Verse 6.
"And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now." (2 Kings 8:6)
Right now we’re in the devil’s world. We talk about this being God’s world; yes, he created it, but right now there’s a different landlord whose name is Satan. God owns the building; the landlord just happens to be the devil right now. The devil stole the right to have it.
But there’s coming a day when that landlord’s lease will be up, and God is not going to renew his lease! When that lease comes due, Satan will be cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years.
At present Satan has one tenant he doesn’t like: the Church. They oppose him everywhere he turns. We are the ones that are in the world right now but not of it. There are curses around us every day. Satan has a perfect legal right to do this to us, because he has the contract. He is causing plagues around us, including sickness and disease, but we don’t have to receive it. Why? Because we’ve got the weapons to fight them off. In the meantime Satan will attack, but keep marching on in faith, and the victory will always come to you in the end.
As much as the Church is growing today, so is evil. There’s coming a showdown. The Church and the forces of Satan will come up against each other. That’s the day when Jesus is going to return from heaven declaring, "God has called for a seven year famine. The persecution has gone on long enough; my patience has run its limit and it’s time to take my Church out of here. We’re going up!"
If Satan has made a claim on your children, or maybe of your own life, it's time to approach the King and make a claim for your own property. Tell Satan that his lease is up, move out, I'm making my claim to that which belongs to me.
The King will help you stake your claim.
He will send force if necessary to move Satan out.
When the Holy Spirit comes in the evil spirit must go.
It is time now to reclaim your life.
I hope you enjoyed this study on a GREAT WOMAN and will read the other studies on our Web Pages.
Write to me, Godsgrazingfield@att.net
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By Mary Lee Thornton