Elisha came to Shunem regularly because he served not only as a prophet but also as a kind of circuit judge. In that town on the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley lived a prominent woman who watched his walks and listened to his talks.
She gave Elisha the highest praise any man can receive. To her husband she said, “I perceive this is a holy man of God” (4:9). Nowadays the term “holy man” might indicate an Eastern guru, usually wooly and weird. But this woman meant she recognized Elisha as a man who walked with God.
One lady said to her pastor, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I hear people tell how very real Jesus is to them. I pray and read my Bible and go to church but he does not seem very real to me. Does God have favorites?” “No, dear,” said the old fellow. “God has no favorites, but he does have intimates!”
The woman recognized Elisha as one of God’s intimates. The greatest honor any man will ever get is to have people along the road he travels say of him, “I perceive that this is a holy man of God.” To her husband this woman suggested they build an upper room on the roof of their house where Elisha and his servant could stay when they came to town. He agreed and they did.
The prophet appreciated their kindness and asked if he could do something for them in return. “I have some pull with the king. I can get your husband a good job in Jerusalem, an appointment with honor and a good salary, if you like! Just tell me what you want!”
But she wanted no such favor. Plainly, she had no desire to rub shoulders with royalty. Nor was she a greedy wife who pushed her husband to fulfill her own ambitions. She said only ...
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