If the Securities and Exchange Commission had been operating in Israel in 892 B. C., both Elisha and the Shunammite woman would have been headed to prison. If ever there was an “insider’s tip” it was Elisha telling her that God was getting ready to send seven years of famine on Israel, so she should liquidate her assets and move to another country for a while. 2 Kings 8:1ff
Being a canny business woman, she moved with alacrity and weathered the storm in the next nation to the west.
When the economic climate improved, she came back to her home town to see what could be done to repurchase all of the family land she had sold when she left.
Since it was not a year of jubilee, the current buyers did not HAVE to sell it back to her. They could have forced her to buy some other land and hold it until the jubilee sorted it all out. But, she liked the land God had assigned to her family, so she decided to go to the king to see if there was any chance of a deal.
She happened to be in line for an audience with the king when the king was entertaining himself with stories from Gehazi about Elisha’s doings. Gehazi “happened” to spot her in the crowd right after telling about her son being raised from the dead and he excitedly pointed her out to the king.
Needless to say, in the drama of the moment, she got everything sorted out with God-speed.
Now, there is a biiiiiig backstory here. Remember Gehazi running after Naaman to mooch some money? Elisha was infuriated at the way Gehazi damaged Elisha’s brand as a Prophet Not For Sale. “‘Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.’ Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and he was leprous, as white as snow.” 2 Kings 5:27 NIV
Now, lepers are not allowed in the palace. So clearly, somewhere along the way, God and Gehazi got reconciled and he got healed.
Another variable in the equation was Jehoram the king. One wonders if he was DID or had some other complication because his life was anything but linear. He fought Baal worship but worshipped Jeroboam’s golden calves? Really?
Elisha rescued him with the power of God repeatedly. Some days he loved Elisha and some days he got so mad at Elisha he even tried to arrest him. What’s up with that?!
So God had to line up three variables. The wobbly king had to be Elisha’s buddy on this particular day, interested in some fun stories about the prophet.
The renegade servant had to be healed and had to be hanging around the palace somehow, so that he was available to do entertainment duty for the king. And he was.
And the business woman had to be in the audience that particular day – not the day before or after.
God used a whimsical little situation of having the right people in the room at the right time in the right mood for her to get her assets back with God-speed.
He can do it again, with ease.
Copyright July 2015 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub