2 Kings 4:18-44
“Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, ‘Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.’” (2 Kings 4:27, NKJV)
This woman had been generous to Elisha. She lived in Shunem, a town in the territory of Issachar. When she was childless and married to an old man, Elisha wanted to do something kind for her. So he told her that in a year she would be embracing a son. She conceived and gave birth as Elisha had said. But now the child had grown and went out to his father in the field. “My head, my head!” he said. He was brought to his mother and died about noon. Elisha was in Mount Carmel at the time. So the woman laid her son on Elisha’s bed, saddled a donkey, and had one of their servants drive her swiftly to the man of God.
When she found Elisha, she fell at his feet. Thinking that this was inappropriate, Elisha’s servant Gehazi tried to push her away, but Elisha said, “Leave her alone, for her soul is in deep distress, and the LORD has hidden it from me.” Elisha was in such close communion with God that he was surprised that He had hidden the matter from him, but Elisha was moved with compassion for the Shunammite woman.
All around us are people who are in deep distress. Brokenness is everywhere—even in the church. What is our response? What is our responsibility? We know that when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
Elisha would go to great lengths to raise this boy back to life. Obviously, he cared deeply for this family. He would literally transfer his life to the child. But he also brought life back to the mother, for he turned her distress into joy! May God help us see beneath the surface into the hearts of broken people. Do they have problems? Yes. Did we have problems before we came to Christ? Of course. But thank God Christ was merciful toward us and helped us in our distress. May we do likewise, bringing life to others.