There is One greater than all the prophets and all the miracles and words they projected , One that is greater than all my sin, One that is greater than any good I may muster up within myself, One that is greater than death or the grave:
In 2 Kings Elisha succeeds Elijah as the prophet over God’s people. Scripture refers to him as “the man of God”. It’s here we see Yahweh doing great and mighty things through him during his time as prophet to the people, and I can’t help but see Christ’s power displayed in each miracle that Elisha perform. Each one mirroring the power Christ had while on the earth. However, I see the undeniable difference in power between the prophets and the power Christ had/has. But, Elisha is a picture of being a mediator between God and His children just as Christ is now the final Mediator between us and God.
In one such narrative Elisha, the mediator, is walking through a town where a wealthy woman and her husband live. As he passed through, the woman is dead set on being hospitable to Elisha. She feeds him, houses him, and even offers him encouragement while his ministers to the people of the town. Elisha extends an invitation to the woman to visit him and says the woman, “You have taken all this trouble for us; what is to be done for you? Would you have a word spoken on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?” Her reply is simple: “I dwell among my own people”. She is content. Elisha later finds out through his servant Gehazi that she and her husband have no sons. He then calls her again and this time has startling news for her, “At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son”. She is taken aback and with all sincerity asks Elisha not to deceive her. She couldn’t believe that this would be true for her…
Three things I realize about this woman so far in the beginning of the chapter:
- She is incredibly hospitable, not only to Elisha, but to his servant Gehazi (2 Kings 4:8)
- She knew Elisha was a man of God (2 Kings 4: 9). But, she didn’t know at first. It wasn’t until she spent time with him, got to know him, shared life with him that she realized this about him. “Behold now, I know this is a holy man of God…”
- She is content. She was not serving him to receive some sort of reward or blessing. She was doing so as an act of love toward him. Knowing her own barrenness she did not expect that this man was going to perform some sort of miracle for her to conceive a son. She served as an act of love. We know this by her response to Elisha’s telling her that she will in fact conceive a son within the year (4:16).
Sure enough the Shunammite woman conceived and bore a son! When the child had grown, he went out into the fields with his father. The young boy began to cry out “my head! My head!” And he was taken to his mother where she held him for the rest of the day. Now notice what happened to the boy…. verse 20 of chapter 4…. he died. How could this be? Elisha told her that she would have a son! Doesn’t that mean that she would also have an entire lifetime with the boy? Doesn’t that mean that should would have grandchildren, safety, a future, because this boy was now in their lives? Most assuredly not! You see, God wants us to see His glory. His perfection, His power, His majesty, His justice, and all other parts of His character that are not fully seen right now, but in part until we are with Him in eternity. However, until THAT DAY, we catch glimpses of Him in our every day lives. In the ordinary, in the mundane, in the pain, in the suffering… But notice the faith of this woman! Notice the faith of THIS MOTHER…
With her dead son laying in her arms she went up to the room she had prepared for the man of God to stay in while he passed through the town and laid him on Elisha’s bed. While she saddled her donkey to run to the MEDIATOR (Elisha), her husband stops her and asks her why she is going to see Elisha, and she simply says, “ALL IS WELL”. Is that my response when all hell is breaking loose in my life? Do I, with all faith, hope, joy, and expectation respond to my current situation by hoping in my Mediator and believing ALL IS WELL, knowing full well that the Mediator is sovereign, good, and working all things for my good and His glory?
Finally the Shunammite woman finds Elisha. The first thing out of her mouth to Elisha was, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me?'” (2 Kings 4:28) She didn’t question the situation. She didn’t wonder what in the world was happening to her son. She didn’t try to fix it herself or in her pride think she knew better than God. She didn’t even beg for a miracle. What did she do? She simply went to the Mediator. The one that was to go between her and the LIVING God. Yahweh. Her faith brought her to the feet of the Mediator. Then she said to Elisha, “As the LORD lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you” (2 Kings 4:30). She wasn’t going to leave Elisha… She knew where to find the power. It wasn’t in fretting, worrying, whining, freaking out, or whatever crazy insane human response we typically have as women. She stayed close to the Mediator.
So, what about the Mediator’s response? What about Elisha? Here’s where I stand up and shout! He lays his body on the child’s body to keep him warm. “Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. He stretched himself upon him, and the flesh of the child became warm” (4:34). Elisha then walks around the room a few times and then lays his body on him again. When he did that the child sneezed 7 times and air filled his lungs and the child opened his eyes!
Isn’t that what Jesus does for us? Give us Himself? Lays Himself across us and breathes life into us? The final response of the woman is astounding! She doesn’t run up to the child when she sees that he is alive… She bows her face to the ground before the Mediator as a sign of thankfulness and gratitude. THEN she picks up her son and leaves.
Who do you need Jesus, our Mediator to breathe life into today? Who are the lives that you are responsible for nurturing that need Jesus to lay across them and breathe the power of the Holy Spirit into them to bring them from death to life? Is it a prodigal child who has run as far and as fast towards the gates of hell as they can? Maybe it’s not a person. Maybe it’s your marriage. Maybe it’s a situation that you want to run around like a chicken with your head cut off and try to figure out yourself. Bring it before the Mediator, Jesus Christ, in full faith knowing His power. Knowing His sovereignty. We have nothing. Yet, we have all power in Christ Jesus when all hell breaks loose in our lives.