Since “Mother’s Day” was just celebrated, I wanted this week’s tidbit to focus on someone in the Bible who exemplified the power of a mother’s resolve. According to the dictionary, “resolve is fixity of purpose or resoluteness.” Resolute means, “marked by firm determination…bold, steady.” In 2nd Kings 4:8-37, we find the story of an anonymous, yet generous, Shunammite woman who was married to an older man. At the time, they were without an heir. She would prepare hot meals for an itinerant prophet by the name of Elisha each time he would pass through the town of Shunem. And since he was a holy man, she and her husband decided to build and furnish an upstairs guest room for him. One day because of this woman’s continuous hospitality towards him and his protégé, Gehazi, Elisha prophesies that she would give birth to a son in the coming year. At first, she thinks the prophecy is a bit bizarre, but soon receives it by faith. The next year she has a bouncing baby boy!
A few years later, her son complains of severe headaches while in the field with his father. The boy is carried to his mother and soon passes away while still in her arms. She gently takes his lifeless body to Elisha’s room and lays him on the prophet’s bed. Next, she and a young driver set out for Mount Carmel to find the prophet. By the time she reaches Elisha and mentions her son, he could sense that something had gone terribly wrong. Gehazi is then instructed to return to her home and lay Elisha’s staff on the boy’s face; but nothing happens. The Shunammite, on the other hand, refuses to let the prophet out of her sight until she gets what she came for. Her resolve was extremely powerful because of the following: (1) She knew she had enough seed in the ground to warrant Elisha’s attention, (2) She knew she possessed a resolute faith that would not back down in the face of adversity and (3) She knew that Elisha was the only one who could do what she needed done. (No offense Gehazi—but there are some things that cannot be delegated!). When Elisha walks into the upper room where the boy’s body is found, he shuts the door, stretches himself over the child, walks the floor, prays and the boy is supernaturally revived. Elisha then returns the child to his mother.
Do you have this kind of resolve my sister or brother? The Syrophoenician woman had it when she went to Jesus on behalf of her demon-possessed daughter. Jesus told her, “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.” She resolutely responds, “Yea Lord, but the puppies under the table can eat the crumbs that fall from the children’s mouths.” Hannah had this type of resolve when she prayed to God for a male child while in the Temple at Shiloh. She prayed with such fervency that the priest told her to go home, for God had granted her request. A young widow by the name of Ruth had it when she laid at the feet of Boaz. They soon married and had a son named Obed, who is listed in the genealogy of Christ. Have some resolve my friend and know that God is ready, willing and able to turn your test into a testimony or your tragedy into a triumph!
--Bishop D. R. Collins, M.Div.
Week of 5/14/18