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Make Room (Elisha’s Friends)

One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

2 Kings 4:8-10

READ 2 Kings 4:8-17.

Ministry is hard. The rewards can be few. The constant spiritual warfare can wear on the soul, and oftentimes, the people you help the most appreciate it the least. Every now and then, it is good to find a place where life can slow down. A spot where one can relax and be at peace. For Elisha, it only took one meal, and he knew this was the place. 

It is unfortunate that we are not provided names to assign the credit for this kindness. Still, their story embodies genuine hospitality to a fellow co-laborer for the kingdom. One meal turned into two. Two meals transitioned to spending long hours and probably spending the night. The unnamed couple made a decision that the man of God would benefit from having his own place. The couch wasn’t cutting it. He needed privacy and a place to unwind. They did not merely offer Elisha a room; they put an addition onto their house! Not only was it a place to stay, but they were intentional about putting a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp in it. This was no small feat. 

The couple simply gave to the man of God and did not require or ask for anything in return. They gave out of what they had. God did not bless them with the gift of preaching. They didn't cast out demons or work any miracles. They simply walked alongside the prophet by providing him a comfortable place to find peace.

How do you relate to your spiritual leader? Do you have a place in your heart or home where he/she can come and find a place of refuge? It may not be an addition to your home or giving up a portion of your man cave, but there is something you can do. Notice that opening their home to the servant of God - without an ulterior motive - was a blessing in and of itself. If you follow the story, you see that God rewarded the couple with a desire they never shared with their new houseguest. By opening their doors for God’s servant, God opened their hearts for that one thing they thought they could never have - God blessed them with a son. 

Thought Questions

  • How have you experienced God’s blessings in your life as a result of giving to others? Do you feel that you can give more? What are some hindrances to giving more? 
  • Or are you giving too much at an expense to yourself or your spouse? What are some ways to make sure that you balance giving to others with taking care of yourself?

Life Lessons

  • Giving is a blessing in itself. An overwhelming joy will fill the hearts and lives of the willing and generous giver. This joy alone is reward enough. 
  • God loves blessing with extra. When you, in obedience, share what you have with others, God will also reward you with your heart’s desires. 

Further Study

Read Luke 6:38. This verse describes God’s return on what you give to others as a “good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” - what does this mean? What does it look like? Have you ever experienced God’s blessings like this? Share these memories with your spouse.