The Lady of Shunem

Michael Wilcock

READ : 2 Kings 4:8-37

Death no longer has dominion. (Romans 6:9)

God’s gifts to his people “contain both the sad and the glad,” says Ralph Davis about this woman’s story. What she had: nowhere near as much as the queen of Sheba, of course, but by Shunem standards her wealth was considerable. What she lacked: a child. What she received: a son! How good God is! What she lost: the very son God had given her. How strange are his ways!

But in her distress, who was there to turn to except that same perplexing God who, as Job had said in similar circumstances (Job 1:21), both gives and takes away? So she went to find Elisha, God’s representative, through whom the gift had come to her, convinced against all appearances that somehow everything must be “all right.”

Just over the hill from Shunem, 800 years later, in the village of Nain, another woman also would have her dead son restored to life. Jesus would confirm what the Old Testament had already promised, that the power of God can overcome even death. Without the prior heartache these women could never have had such assurance.

Even their experiences were only foretastes of what is yet to come, a resurrection to eternal life. But it was clear already to them that everything is going to be “all right.”


Thank you, Lord, that the sad is always another step on the way to the glad.