Thursday, March 19, 2015
I shared this biblical account with our Spanish bible class last night in church. It is about a very interesting story in 2 Kings, Chapter 4, which holds several life lessons in it, one which I would like to focus on today, namely that when you give to a worthy cause or financially assist a genuine church or servant of God, the Lord will more than cover the amount you invested. In this case the giver, and later the recipient, was a prominent woman from a little village named Shunem. The prophet Elisha would pass by there frequently since he traveled often from his home in Carmel to Samaria, and Shunem lay between those two cities. One day as he was passing by, the Shunammite woman invited him to stay for lunch and that was the start of him dropping by every time he passed by there. With time, she convinced her husband to make him an upstairs loft in her home which was supplied with a bed, chair, table, and lamp.
Genuine servants of God are very grateful to those who willingly provide for them and are always asking God to bless and reward them in return for their kindness, care, and generosity. The great bible commentator, Matthew Henry, wrote: [[Those that receive courtesies should study to return them; it ill becomes men of God to be ungrateful, or to sponge upon those that are generous.]] Sadly, I have known preachers who take advantage of the generous folks who provide for them, even sponging off of them as Matthew Henry stated. Elisha was a man of influence so he told the woman one day: “You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?” (verse 13) She declined his offer. To me, she did so because she was content with what she had and because she had not helped the prophet of God for her own convenience or advancement. Those who give the right way, never expect anything in return. Even so, and as I mentioned before, God will greatly bless and reward those who willingly and lovingly give to one of His approved churches or servants. In the case of the Shunammite woman, she gave birth to a son in her old age, she and her family were later spared of a devastating famine because of Elisha’s intervention, and when she returned seven years later, all her property was returned to her because of Elisha’s influence with the king.
The main lesson and logical conclusion to this story is this: Search for ways to advance God’s kingdom, whether it involves work, kindness, or assistance of any kind to a qualified church, cause, or servant of God. Don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith; the Lord will never let you down and when you do it the right way, never expecting anything in return, you will be blessed indeed.
Memory verse for the week: (Hebrews 10:25) “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- -and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”