Sunday, 9 November 2014

Miraculous Back to Life - 2 Kings 4:18 - 37

For any one of us life can change very quickly, within in instant. It would just take one bit of news, a phone call from school for example, and our world might suddenly be very different

This happened to the Shunammite woman. Her son sent home dies in her arms - her dream child is cruelly taken from her. Yet she does something strange, laying him on the guest bed upstairs and going off to find the man of God. Did she even tell her husband their son lay at home dead?

Elisha embraces her distress, allows her to pour out her grief, but then calmly sends his servant as some kind of 'prayer-proxy'. The woman insists Elisha follows too, which he does. The boy is still dead, but Elisha takes control by going up to the room and shutting the door. After some time the boy is alive again, the woman has her son back, and bows in worship.

Of the several whacky things in this story I will pick two. First there are times when a positive faith environment is helpful (Elijah went upstairs and shut the door). God can work through any of us, anywhere, but sometimes a special place where faith is higher and people are turned to God (e.g. in worship) gives the background atmosphere for an extraordinary move of God.

Second see how ministry needs time. Elisha had to spend some time, with various postures, before the boy was raised. How often do we simply rush prayer ministry?

Above all is the bigger picture of this and the other stories of Elisha. They act as kind of hyperlinks, pointing us to the work of Christ. This is stuff of the Kingdom, bringing new life, showing miraculous restoration, even life over death.

Elisha led a life by the Spirit for his age. Will we mobilise and lead also a life by the Spirit to meet the challenges of our age? Working not with human weapons of war, but spiritual weapons of grace through which the Kingdom of God can break in.

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