"Elisha and the Shunammite
This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
II Kings 4:1 "Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, "Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen."
The law of that day was that if a man owed a bill and died, than the creditor could take the sons of that person to work off the debt. They would become slaves to that creditor until the day of Jubilee, the fiftieth year of each century, or until the debt was paid in full.
II Kings 4:2 "And Elisha said unto her, "What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house?" And she said, "Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil."
Elisha asked this widow woman, "What do you want me to do for you?" The law is the law, and Elisha could not say the magic word and have them free, for the creditor must be paid in full to have the sons free. So Elisha asked the widow woman what she had of value in her house, and she answered, "I have only a pot of oil." Elisha is not asking this of her for a waste time, but he wanted to know exactly what he had to work with. Sure, he is going to work the miracle and he now knows that miracle will be the increase of the oil.
This word for "pot" in the Hebrew text is # 810 "acuwk, aw-sook', anointed oil; from 5480, to smear over with oil." This flask that she had was an anointing flask, just enough to get one drop out at a time. This was not a pot, like you would imagine cooking in today, but a tiny bottle, just enough to hold an ounce or two. That is all this widow woman had to her name.
So when Elisha takes this anointing oil, lets see what can be done with it through obedience, and with the use of this anointing oil. Miracles are caused for a purpose, and not to help just one individual. They show the power of God to all those that witness the miracle that has taken place, and not to save only the widow's sons.
II Kings 4:3 "Then he said, "Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few."
The widow woman was to gather these vessels, not the prophet, and those vessels are to be empty vessels. Elisha told her, Go to all your neighbors and gather every empty vessel that they have, and bring them here to me.
II Kings 4:4 "And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full."
When she and her sons had gathered all the vessels, and brought them home, she than shut the door behind her. Each of the sons were to fill all the vessels and set them aside, in a continuous pouring. As one vessel became full, have one son shove another empty vessel under, and so on, until all the vessels became completely full. It started with the drops from this anointing flask of anointing oil, and ended with all the empty vessels of the neighborhood completely full of olive oil. Olive oil is the oil of our people, and is the only oil to be used for anointing a home, or a person for healing and protection.
So why did Elisha say, "thou shalt shut the door behind you, when you entered the house"? The prophet of God did not want a spectacle to be made of what he was about to do. He did not want other people to interfere with the pouring. Once God started the flow of the anointing, until the vessels are complete full, it was between them and God. God used this pouring in Zechariah 4 of the seven branched lampstand, and that pouring of the oil was the flowing of the Holy Spirit of God. It is important to understand each thing that happens and in order that it takes place. Each thing symbolizes something of God to each of us.
II Kings 4:5 "So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out."
Notice that she is the one that does the pouring, and that the sons are the ones that moves of the empty and full vessels. This widow woman did exactly as the Elisha told her to do. She did not tell the neighbor what she was doing, nor did she ask for help from any of her neighbors. The filling was done in the privacy of her own home, with only her family present. That is what anointing oil is all about. The anointing oil is about obedience, doing exactly as God has told us to do, with the world shut out. The oil itself has no mystic value, but in using the olive oil, the anointing oil, you show your obedience to God in doing it the His exact way.
God will try you at times, and it may look foolish in the sight of man when you do it God's way, but it is through your obedience to Him that bring you the blessings from God. This widow woman loved her children, and she would do anything in obedience to the prophet of God, just to have her sons free.
II Kings 4:6 "And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, "Bring me yet a vessel," And he said unto her, "There is not a vessel more." And the oil stayed."
The instant that the last vessel was full, the source of the oil dried up. So how did the oil know when the vessels were full, and when to stop? The oil was coming from our Heavenly Father, and He is in control. He knew the limit that each limit can hold, and not one drop of oil is to be wasted. The "oil", olive oil symbolizes the truth form God's Word. From that first drop of oil, the flowing started, and it didn't stop until all the vessels were completely full. When that tiny anointing bottle was completely empty, all the other vessels were full to the brim. Our Father knows what is exactly right for each of us, and he knows the amount of oil or truth that each of us can retain, as some of the smaller vessels could retain only a small portion of what other vessels could hold.
We are vessels for God, in the service of God's work, and the thing that is necessary for any of us to be filled with the oil [truth] of God' Word, is our obedience to his instructions given in His Word.
II Kings 4:7 "Then she came and told the man of God, And he said, "Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest."
By following Elisha's instruction the widow woman saved her two sons from bondage, as well as giving her enough to live in peace. Because of her obedience, God not only took care of her needs but that of her family also. Remember that this widow woman was the wife of a prophet, and her sons were the sons of a prophet. This was one of either his students, or Elijah's students, and God was using this to show us that He takes care of His own. God always takes care of His own.
II Kings 4:8 "And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread."
Elisha is now going to the town of Shunem, and when he arrived in Shunem this very wealthy woman met Elisha. This woman was well respected in the community. She knew that Elisha had been on a journey, and she pressured him to come in for dinner with her. As time went by, every time he passed by her house, he went in to eat bread. "Shunem" in the Hebrew, is similar in meaning to " a double rest".
Remember when David was on his death bed, they brought in a young Shumemmite girl. According to the first chapter of First Kings, this virgin was the fairest in the land. She was brought in to lay with David in his old age and bring life and blood circulation back into his body. She was from the same town of this wealthy woman only it is one hundred and twenty years later, long after the death of David.
II Kings 4:9 "And she said unto her husband, "Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually."
This woman was open to the Spirit of God, and she could see it in Elisha. If your spiritual eyes are closed, you would never feel the Spirit of God.
II Kings 4:10 "Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither."
From the goodness of this woman's heart, she felt the need to help this man of God in any way that she could. The way that she saw that could be most useful was to provide some of the physical needs of Elisha's life.
II Kings 4:11 "And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there."
So this wealthy woman set up this chamber, with the bed, the table, the candlestick, and the stool and had it all prepared for Elisha and his servant. In a matter of a day or two Elisha was passing by and went in to eat bread, he took advantage of what this wealthy family had provided for him and laid down and rested.
II Kings 4:12 "And And he said to Gahazi his servant, "Call this Shunammite." And when he had called her, she stood before him."
Elisha saw that this was all given freely to the work of the Lord, and he wanted to do something for; to bless her for her obedience to God.
II Kings 4:13 "And he said unto him, "Say now unto her, `Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee?" wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host' " and she answered, "I dwell among mine own people." "
Notice that Elisha is speaking to his servant Gahazi, and this is what Gahazi asked of this wealthy woman. The indication here is that she not only provided for Elisha, but for his servant Gahazi also. So the question he asked her is, "What can we do for you?" This was a hot land, and it meant a lot to Elisha to be taken care of in such a manner. Elisha asked, "Can I put a good word in for you to the king, so that you can be more blessed, or the captain of the host for your protection?" She let it be know that she was happy just where she was, living amongst her own family, in her home town. She was not seeking any glory or favors for the things that she had done.
II Kings 4:14 "And he said, "What then is to be done for her?" And Gehazi answered, "Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old."
So why would Elisha, the man of God, not be talking directly to her? She had been so good in providing this care and she was in awe of standing before this prophet of God. It was difficult for her to speak directly to him. Elisha knew the mind of this woman, with the help of God, and he respected her. Elisha was hoping that she would be more open to tell what her desires were with his servant. However Gehazi noted that there were no children in the family.
II Kings 4:15 "And he said, "Call her." And when he had called her, she stood in the door."
There is a miracle about to happen here, and there are all sorts of types that can come from this miracle. It relates in type to Abraham and Sarah and the birth of Isaac, and Zacharias and Elisabeth in the birth of John the Baptist. Each of these two women were to old to conceive, yet God opened the wombs of these women, and they each conceived. A conception is going to take place here, when both the man and the woman are far beyond child bearing years. About a year from this time, this woman will have that child that Elisha will promise to her.
II Kings 4:16 "And he said, "About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son." And she said, "Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid."
"Lie" is a little strong for what is said here, she states, "No, my lord, you are a man of God, and don't deceive or play around with your handmaid." She was not calling Elisha a liar, but it didn't take to much intelligence to know that at her age, any child bearing would be out of the picture. It was unreasonable; don't promise something that is not possible. This response lets us know just how badly she wanted a child but could not have one, for what ever the reason.
II Kings 4:17 "And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life."
The birth of this child was a miracle within itself, and the birth came just as Elisha said.
II Kings 4:18 "And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers."
When the child had grown into a lad, but still a small child, he want out to help his elderly father in the field. It was harvest time and there was a lot of work to be done.
II Kings 4:19 "And he said unto his father, "My head, my head." And he said to the lad, "Carry him to his mother."
For what ever the reason, this lad had a severe head ache, for it could have been a heat stroke. The father had others there carry the lad home to his mother.
II Kings 4:20 "And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died."
God had given this gift to this woman, and now God had allowed this child to die for what ever the reason. This child was a miracle birth, and showed the love of God for this woman and her husband, and then to have this gift of a child taken from her seems beyond reason. Everything has a reason, and when the human mind cannot understand that reason, but God has His reasons. So what did this woman do about the death of her son?
II Kings 4:21 "And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out."
She took the child and went up to the extra room that she had prepared for the prophet, and laid the child on the prophet's bed. She left the room and shut the door on her way out.
II Kings 4:22 "And she called unto her husband, and said, "Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again."
She told her husband that she was going immediately to the Elisha, the man of God, but she would come back again.
II Kings 4:23 "And he said, "Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath." and she said, "It shall be well."
The old father still does not know that his son is dead. This is not the day that you go to a man of God for worship or for one of the feast days. Her response to her husband, was simply "peace!" [shalom] and she left. She did not take the time to explain, and she was on her way.
II Kings 4:24 "Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, "Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee."
As the young man was running along side the ass, and she told the man, don't slow the animal [ass] down on my account, run as fast as you can.
II Kings 4:25 "So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, "Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:"
Mount Carmel was no doubt a very fruitful place, for it was were the prophets of God were. As she was approaching to where Elisha was, Gehazi recognized her, and told Elisha. Of course they would recognize this woman for she had made a place of comfort for them when they went to town. She fed them in the dry summer days, and a place to rest out of the sun.
II Kings 4:26 "Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, `Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child?' " And she answered "It is well."
Remember in the first meetings Elisha did not speak to the woman, but only through Gehazi, now here, it is also through Gehazi that the questions are being asked. She is giving her answer to the servant, and saving the details for the prophet of God. She was not going to have what she was about to say passed through any servant.
II Kings 4:27 "And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gahazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, "Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me."
When she came up on the hill, she caught the man of God and she fell down at his feet, however Gahazi thought this was not right to approach a man of God in such a manner. As Gahazi reached for her, Elisha told him to let her alone. Think about this for a moment. God had not revealed to Elisha what had happened to the child, nor the troubled condition of this woman's mind. Elisha was the man of God wearing the mantle of Elijah, and God took that child and did not reveal the reason why even to him. So obviously what Elisha does, and says has something to do with God's reason for not telling him. A blessing was given to this woman, and then taken away for no apparent reason.
II Kings 4:28 "Then she said, "Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, `Do not deceive me?' "
She is as blunt as she could be, for she said to Elisha, "Did I want a son and ask you for that son? I told you not to deceive me." She had wanted a child for so long that she was afraid to even ask for one. And then Elisha came along and God gave her one. So now that she was blessed with her son, she blamed Elisha for the fact that this blessing was taken from her. This appeared like somebody was playing games with her, giving her something very precious, only to take it from her.
II Kings 4:29 "Then he said to Gehazi, "Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child."
Elisha is telling Gehazi to take his staff and go directly to the woman's house, and put that staff on the face of the child. Usually at this time and age, if two people met on the road, they stopped for a meeting and an exchanging of ideas. Elisha did not want any delays in this matter. So the question would be, was this enough to revive the child that is dead? Does the servant have the faith to heal when the staff is laid on the child. God is going to teach us a lesson here; that a stick of wood, which is a staff just will not get the job done. It is what is the man's heart, his faith and belief to know that our Heavenly Father is real, that brings the miracle to reality. A stick of wood has no power, outside the hand of the man of God. It takes an act of obedience to the Father, and through the Son that accomplishes the healing.
II Kings 4:30 "And the mother of the child said, "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." And he arose, and followed her."
Even this woman knew that a stick of wood just would not bring her child back to life, and she would not allow Elisha's idle words to deceive her any more. She would not go back until Elisha went back with her. You can do what ever you desire with your servant, but you are coming with me. Elisha got the word, and decided to go with her.
II Kings 4:31 "And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, "The child is not awaked."
To Gehazi however, this was his chance to make a name for himself. He went on ahead, and did exactly as Elisha had commanded him to do, he place the stick of wood on the face of the dead child, and the child did not come to life. Gehazi knew that when Elisha did what Elijah told him to do as his servant, the miracles happened; however not this time. For what ever the reason, the child did not awake when Gehazi said the words over this child. Gehazi's faith was in the words of Elisha, and the stick, and not in God. Gehazi still does not realize that only God can do the healing.
The woman could see that Gehazi did not have the faith of the prophet of God, and that it would take a true man of God. Gehazi's faith was not in God, but the prophet of God, and in that stick, and she wanted God to do the healing. She had no confidence in Gehazi at all.
II Kings 4:32 "And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed."
Defeating death is the most beautiful things about Christianity and our Father YHVH. He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. He is a Living God. As Christians we must realize that even though a physical body dies, the soul that was within that body has gone instantly to be with the Father.
Ecclesiastes 12:6 "Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cister."
The "cistern" is the clay flesh body that our soul lives in. The cistern is built to hold the water of life that is within the flesh body, but once a bowl is broken, the water or life leaks out of it, just as water leaks out of a clay bowl that is cracked and broken. The "silver cord" is what holds your soul and the spirit together within the flesh body. We can call it the process of thought, which is the intellect of the mind, or soul. When one is brain dead, there is no electrical impulse within the brain, and the person is considered dead, even though the physical body may still be pumping blood. At this time most life support systems are generally discontinued.
So when that silver cord parts and the heavenly Father allows it to happen, then this flesh body becomes biologically dead. The very inner man [the soul] departs from the physical body, and returns to the Father that sent it in the first place. The body will go through the stages of decay back to the dust of the earth, and will never be used again for anything. The soul at that time enters into a new incorruptible body.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God Who gave it."
After the soul has left the body, there is no more life in the body, but the soul and the spirit of that body enters its incorruptible body, and is instantly standing before the Father in heaven. The "spirit" is the intellect of the soul, it is what allows the soul to do what it does, to think what it thinks and believe what that soul will believe. Though the soul can leave the physical body at death, the spirit is the soul continually, even in the incorruptible body after the death of the flesh.
When any person gets to the point of not being able to understand this promise that at death the soul goes immediately to be with the Father, then he forms his own religious ideas that become his traditions. That is exactly what the heathen do, for they refuse to Accept God at His Word and seek to find their own man made ideas. From those heathen ideas man has come up with such ideas as their rapture theory, which completely defies what God has said here. Their faith is in soul sleep, and they believe that the soul does not return immediately to the Father, but is laying out there in a hole in the ground for a point in time when all souls rise together. That is as the heathen believe, and it is the foundation of where ancestor worship comes from.
No, when the flesh body dies, the soul and spirit of that individual goes immediately to be with the Father, and that is where the soul and spirit of this child that has passed away was at. The Father gave that soul and spirit and placed it in the embryo of that child at conception, and when life [soul and spirit] went from that child's body, it went to the Father. No stick or magic words can bring that child back, but only the Father that sent it in the first place. The mother of this dead child knew that, and Gahazi the servant of Elisha overlooked that in his urgency to gain the fame of raising this child from death. If life comes back into the child, it will be only because the Father wanted it to happen.
Death to a Christian is different than what it means to one that is not in Christ, which does not have the knowledge of our Heavenly Father.
II Kings 4:33 "He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord."
Do you understand what Elisha did here? It is important, for Elisha knew that he could not bring the child back to life. Even though Elisha wore the mantle of Elijah, and was a prophet of God, don't ever think so much of yourself that you consider that you alone can do any healing. It is God that does all healing, even when you have the gift to be able to touch an cause healing to take place in another person. If you take any of the credit away from God, then your gift will be stripped from you, until you straighten out your mind as to where your gift came from. All gifts come from the Father, and you have only those gifts that the Father has placed within you.
You may have many gifts, or only a few, but what ever the gifts that you have; rest assured God is going to hold you responsible for how you handle them, what you do with them, and just who gets the glory for what those gifts bring to others. Your gifts are not to bless and honor you, but so that you can bless others with them and give God the honor and praise for them. Then in turn, you are going to be well rewarded by God when He gets the glory and honor for your use of them. Elisha knew that God could bring life back to this child, and he went into the room and shut the door so that there would be no interference with his praying.
II Kings 4:34 "And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hand upon his hand: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm."
The body heat of the child was being brought back up to normal, to where life could enter back into the child.
II Kings 4:35 "Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes." This was the seventh miracle of Elisha, for remember that Elisha will perform twice the miracles of Elijah. When Elijah brought back the widow woman's child, Elijah spoke only three times, and here in bringing back this child, Elisha spoke seven times. We see in Mark 5:40-42 that Jesus also spoke to a dead child of twelve years old, and brought her back to life. Jesus simply said "Talitha cumi, which is to say unto thee, arise", and the girl arose and walked. Notice that after Jesus caused the girl to come alive, he charged her parents strictly that they were to tell no one, but to give the girl food.
We can see the power of God in all of these healings. I believe that it was the doubt of the servant Gehazi that caused Elisha to have to go through the effort that he went through. Doubt is the most dangerous thing when it comes to prayer. It doesn't make our Father happy or quick to answer prayer when there are men and women present with doubt. Before we go to many more chapters in this book, we will see that Gehazi was full of doubt.
Of course "seven" in biblical numerics stands for spiritual completeness. The lad is now alive, and breathing.
II Kings 4:36 "And he called Gehazi, and said, "Call this Shunammite." So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, "Take up thy son."
You know that she had faith that God would heal her son, and this had to be a wonderful time for her.
II Kings 4:37 "Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out."
Though she fell at the feet of Elisah, there can be no doubt that she knew exact where that blessing of her son's life came. She took her son, and went out of the room. Think of the joy and excitement in her life that day. She knew also that only Elisha would have the faith to accomplish it.
If you are going to take the time to pray and ask God for any favor, than have faith that God will answer that prayer, in the time and manner that is right to him. You do the praying, and allow God to answer in the time frame that fits His schedule. This is why we thank God for answering the prayer, even before the event has taken place. To pray and have doubt is only to be playing games with God, and that is a dangerous thing. Though God has a sense of humor, he does not play games with serious matters.
Remember what the woman said? "Don't deceive me, don't promise me something that you will not fulfill." Then after the child was born and died, she put it right back on the prophet of God's head, and let it be know that she had the faith in him only, and his relationship with the Father. If she did not believe that Elisha could not bring her child back to life, she never would have left in the first place to go to mount Carmel. Even in her sorrow, she knew that Elisha had the faith to bring this lad back to life.
II Kings 4:38 "And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, "Set on the great pot, and see the potage for the sons of the prophets."
Another miracle is about to take place. There was a great drought in the land, and food had become scarce. These prophets were having a hard time getting their food.
II Kings 4:39 "And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not."
These prophets sent one of their own to the field to gather these wild herbs, wild cucumbers, and all sorts of other weeds. He brought them back to the house and sliced them into the pot, and poured water into the pot to make a pottage. When the stew was ready, nobody there knew whether or not the stew was safe to eat.
II Kings 4:40 "So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, "O thou man of God, there is death in the pot." And they could not eat thereof."
As the men sat around eating the pottage, it didn't take long to know that something was very wrong with the stew. It was so bitter that no one could eat the soup, they thought it was poison.
II Kings 4:41 "But he said, "Then bring meal." And he cast it into the pot; and he said, "Pour out for the people, that they may eat." And there was no harm in the pot."
The higher critics will swear that this was no miracle, for the meal absorbed the bitterness, and made the pottage able to be eaten. However it was a miracle for it changed the entire taste of the pottage, and took away the jolt to the men's system that had been brought by the bitter herbs and cucumbers.
The food that we are to feed in these last days is very bitter to many, and even to those that call themselves prophets of God. It is so bitter that it not only affects their minds, but there bodies. And when the truth of God's word is absorbed in their minds with understanding, it become a joy and pleasure to feed on the sweetness of God's truths. That is what truth does, it brings spiritual life back into them. Sure life is bitter, children do die even in our day and age, but with our faith in God spiritual life is restored. The "meal" is "the substance of the bread of life", and this is addressed to for the famine in the end times is for the lack of the bread of life.
Amos 8:11 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:"
Anything that deals with Elijah and Elisha deals with what is going to happen in the final generation. The apostle Paul told us that those things written were "ensamples" or types that we are to be aware of, and probably even for the generation that they lived in.
II Kings 4:42 "And there came a man from Baal-shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, "Give unto the people, that they may eat."
The "firstfruits" are the first part of the crop that is taken out of the field and vineyard. When it became ripe, he brought it to the men of God. There was about one hundred prophets living at this school, and they were all hungry for the lack of food. So when this man from Baal-shalisha brought this food, Elisah did not withhold any of it but ordered that the men have it immediately. Along with one hundred prophets, came their wives and children to feed also. There were three miracle feeding of multitudes of people in the Scriptures, and the other two were done by Jesus Christ himself. Those were recorded in Matthew fourteen and fifteen.
The "firstfruits" of this generation are "God's election". Feed it to the elect. In our generation those are the only ones that can feed on the truth with understanding, and then distribute out to the people.
II Kings 4:43 "And his servitor said, "What should I set this before an hundred men?" He said again, "Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the Lord, `They shall eat, and shall leave thereof.' "
This was old Gehazi, the man of doubt that simply did not believe that it was sufficient to feed all the prophets and their families. God expects you to be alert, and pay attention to those of little faith that are around you. God had already told the prophet Elisha that this would feed all of them, and there would be food left over. Yet this servant questioned the prophet and God of what was just stated.
II Kings 4:44 "So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the Lord."
God said that there would be leftovers and there were. Remember when Jesus told the disciples to gather the twelve baskets of left over bread, and those baskets were full. Friend, we are never to think that there is not enough spiritual bread to go around. If God gives you a little morsel of truth, then take that morsel and pass it around. The knowledge that you gain from your studies and research does not belong to you, it is God's, for the purpose of feed many others beside yourself.
The more you receive and share with other, the more God will put back into your mind. If you take and refuse to give, than it will be taken from you and given to someone else. It is a gift to receive any part of the God's Word with understanding, and God expects you to be a good servant, and share that spiritual bread that He has put in your hand.
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