a. The miracle son was now an active boy. He was old enough to go out to visit his father in the field (v.18). However, he was young enough that a lad carried him home (v.19), he sat on his mother’s knees (v.20), and she carried his dead body up to Elisha’s room on the roof (v.21).
b. When he went to the field, he seemed healthy, but God struck him with a sudden fatal illness (v.19). The child died at noon (v.20). Truly, we do not know what a day may bring forth. Recently, a pastor friend of ours died of a massive heart attack while on his morning walk. Shara recently had a friend with whom she had tea one day and that night she died.
1) Death strikes down the young as well as the old.
2) Death often smites with scarcely little warning. (Pink)
2. The Shunammite Mother’s Faith (v.21-23)
a. She responded calmly in faith. She did not panic or weep hysterically. She had great faith in God.
1) She laid his body on the bed of the man who predicted his birth (v.21). By faith, she anticipated his resurrection. She was one of two OT Bible examples of such faith (Read Hebrews 11:35).
2) She shut the door and went out.
3) Faith is trusting God’s wisdom and omnipotence.
4) Arthur Pink reminds us that, “A faith which does not triumph over discouragements and difficulties is not worth much.” Ponder Romans 10:17.
b. She respectfully sought permission from her husband to go get Elisha (v.22).
1) She believed that Elisha who sought God for the birth of the son could also seek God for his resurrection.
2) Pink again wisely comments, “If the wife suffers herself to be influenced by the spirit which is now so common in the world and refuses to own the lordship of her husband (1Pe 3:6), or if the husband acts as a tyrant and bully by failing to love, nourish, and cherish his wife (Eph 5:25; Eph 5:29) and “giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel” (1Pe 3:7), then the smile of God will be forfeited, their prayers will be “hindered,” and strife and misery will prevail in the home.”
c. Her husband almost sounds ignorant of the boy’s death (v.23), but that would be unreasonable. However, his answer does lack faith in a resurrection.
d. She said, “It shall be well”. The word translated “well” means completeness, soundness, welfare, health or peace. Could it be that she assured her husband that the child would be healthy again?
3. The Shunammite’s Journey (v.24-31)
a. We do not know exactly how far her trip was, but it must have been at least 30 km (v.24). She knew that Elisha was at Mount Carmel (v.25). She was so well known to Elisha that he recognised her at a distance.
b. Gehazi, Elisha’s servant asked of the welfare of her family. She answered, “well” (v.26). Her answer seems to be an answer of faith.
c. She held Elisha by his feet, perhaps weeping, as her soul was vexed (v.27). She then told Elisha of the child (v.28).
d. Elisha sent Gehazi with instructions (v.29). The woman would settle for nothing but Elisha’s visit (v.30).
e. Gehazi’s attempts were useless (v.31).
4. Elisha Prayed Over the Child (v.32-35)
a. He found the child dead and laying on his bed (v.32)
b. He alone went in, shut the door, and prayed (v.33).
c. After praying, he lay upon the cold body and the flesh became warm (v.34). God gives us no reason for the delayed resurrection.
d. He returned and walked to and fro, then lay upon the child again (v.35). To what did he return? Perhaps, he returned to the house below and walked back and forth in prayer. Otherwise, he returned to prayer and walked about his room. I believe the latter is more likely. This time the child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes in life.
e. Since God did not immediately answer Elisha’s prayer, why should we feel downhearted when we must persevere in prayer (Lu 18:1)? Elisha did not give up. He prayed on, believing that God would answer. We must preface our requests with much prayer to determine God’s will (1Jn 5:14-15). Praying in Jesus’ name is asking for what He wills (Jn 14:13-14).
5. The Mother’s Gratefulness (v.36-37)
a. Elisha called Gehazi and told him to call the mother.
b. She fell at his feet, bowed to the ground in thankful honour, took up her son and went out. We ought to thank the Lord fervently for His answers to prayer, even when His answer is “No”.