Thursday, February 24, 2011

Comforted by 2 Kings 4:16-37

Over the past few days, my mind has been troubled over the passing away of YS. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009, had an operation to remove the tumor, had chemo and recently had tumor in the uterus and she had her womb removed. I only met her once. I knew of her difficulty opening up as she seemed unfazed by her circumstance. I knew of Anita's struggles in sharing Jesus' love with her. I too tried. A few of us were praying for her. She was hospitalized around the same time I was struck with so much pain and my pain had started the day after I met her. She had difficulty passing motion and soon had to be hospitalized with stuck intestines and she deteriorated from there on until she passed away on Tuesday.

It is really so hard to pray for an unbeliever. We prayed for her eyes to be open to see Jesus.  I know He has the power to just show himself in her room but He didn't, at least I don't think He did. He has shown Himself to others and they believed and received healing but in her case He didn't. I know we can't put God in the box. I sense God knew her through and through and Henry said even if He did show himself to her, she might still have rejected Him. After all, Jesus, the son of God came to earth, in person, said who He is, showed the miracles, died and risen and the Jews still rejected Him.

I have been mulling over 2 Kings 4:16-37 for the past few days and trying to understand it. It dawned on me this morning the reaction of the well-to-do woman, prophet Elisha's reaction and even my reaction when faced with a desperate situation.

1. The well-to-do woman called her husband and said "Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God and return"

2. Elisha shut the door on the two of them (ie Elisha and the well-to-do's dead son) and prayed to God. Later, Elisha stretched himself on the boy and the boy grew warm.

3. I cried out to God from my hospital bed, tried to get verses to claim and for comfort and I sought Hamir's advise for I sensed somehow he was going to be the one who could help me.

I know YS tried many things, even went for healing service though she could not understand any of it. I don't think she ever opened her heart to Jesus for soon, she shut her close friend out from helping her further. Her close friend could not "stretch herself" out to YS to show her the way and pray with her. How do we tell her of unforgiveness, hardness and bitterness when she wouldn't open up?That was the most painful of all to stand back and watch her die in bitterness. We could only pray for her. But today, I received comfort reading 2 Kings 4. We can't blame God when things go wrong, we can't generalize that He is an unloving God. Only we ourselves who are facing the predicament truly know and understand our ownself, what we are going through, the mess in our hearts, the hurts we are facing inside. Turn to God and release it all to Him. The holy spirit will guide you along as He did me. He sends people to us to help us. Don't shut them out. The Holy Spirit is so gentle, He never forces our will to worship Him and that is why it is always our choice to come to Jesus. We always have a choice and we can love again when Jesus transforms us from within.

2 Kings 4:16-37
   “No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”

 17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

 18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!”

   His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.

 22 She called her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return.”

 23 “Why go to him today?” he asked. “It’s not the New Moon or the Sabbath.”

   “That’s all right,” she said.

 24 She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on; don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

   When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the Shunammite! 26 Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’”

   “Everything is all right,” she said.

 27 When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me why.”

 28 “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”

 29 Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.”

 30 But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.

 31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.”

 32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the LORD. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

 36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.


  1. 1. For many of us, we should try more and harder. A person not given his life over to Jesus, and dies as a non-believer, is lost to Hell. Yet, we do not go around with a guilty conscience that we have failed God in not managing to save a non-believer before he/she dies. Even if we did fail God in particular instance(s), we are to seek forgiveness from God, and then move on from there (1 John 1:9), for there many more non-believers out there to be saved. If we are guilt-ridden, we will not be effective for the Lord.

    2. The matter is not what some teach, that faith for salvation MUST come from God or that salvation is predestined generally. Such teaching may make people less guilty, for it pushes the responsibility squarely back to God; it is wrong theology, I believe.

    3. There is a distinction between the Holy Spirit bringing understanding and a person's choosing to believe or have faith. In my belief, God did not promise the onus of salvation faith lies with the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit's role is to give understanding, for those not (yet) of God do not have understanding of the things of God (John 8:47). It is obviously not that they are deaf, but that they hear, but hear without understanding. The Holy Spirit's job is to give understanding when the Word and truths of God are given out; it is NOT that the Holy Spirit MUST give the faith to the person to receive Jesus. So, if a non-believer does not come into salvation, it is NOT God’s fault.

    4. For salvation, there are 2 components, one, a non-believer needs to hear with understanding the Word, and two, with that understanding he has to make a decision on believing, a faith has to come, and that faith has to come from him, not from God.

    Now, God’s responsibility for salvation are also of 2 components, one, He has to give of His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for Man, and that has been accomplished, and two, He has to give understanding to those who hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this, He works in many ways, through many ways, and He works with men, particularly believers. Jesus’ death was one act, and that had been accomplished, but the giving of understanding has been an on-going task that God did not stop, and God does that through the Holy Spirit. Jesus, in His own words, told specifically that when He has gone back to the Father, the Holy Spirit would be sent into the world. The Holy Spirit was to convict the world of sins, and to give understanding of the truths.

    The Great Commission is partnership between God and men. Non-believers would have no understanding of things of God; that is why we, men must speak the Word of God or the gospel. But is not our persuasive words that does the trick, but it is the Holy Spirit that gives understanding to messages we speak, to the non-believers. God’s part is to give understanding by the Holy Spirit, but God does not, as a matter of norm (not that He cannot), give faith to the non-believer to come into salvation. With understanding (given by the Holy Spirit), the person MUST exercise his free-will to believe the gospel. I think 99.9% of non-believers can understand the gospel when explained to; it is not that they do not understand, they do not believe enough to give their lives over to Jesus. The point is that God cannot believe for a non-believer; the person has to choose to believe. So, God is not at fault; yet there is not general predestination of salvation.

    Now the Jews at Jesus’ time, their rejection of Jesus should not be used as the basis of arguing for general predestination of salvation. It should also not be allowed to influence us to hold back sharing or praying for Jesus to manifest before non-believers, for the time of Jesus’ ministry on earth was an “exceptional” time in which the prophecy of Jesus to die on the Cross must be fulfilled with certainty of some Jews not turning, and they would be the ones instrumental to Jesus’ suffering and going to the Cross, as prophesied.

    My commentary for 2 Kings 4:16-37 will be on my blog one day (will let you know).

  2. Thanks Anthony looking forward to your blog n praying for u. :)