She knew he was a man of God. Everyone knew it. For sure, he knew it. But there was something he didn’t know and wanted to know. It involved her.
Never calling her by name, he always referred to her by where she lived. She started off by making him a meal whenever he traveled through her village. Later on, she asked her husband to build a room for him in their house so that, whenever he passed that way, he would never worry about where to rest his weary bones. She had been so thoughtful and kind.
One day, wanting to show his appreciation, he asked her what he could do for her. Confident of his influence in high places, he offered to put in a word for her to the king or to the army’s general, whatever she desired.
This woman from Shunem, however, was not impressed that Elisha’s connections reached to the highest authorities. She had given to him with no agenda. Neither covert nor overt. Unswayed by his suggestion, she did not taint her pure motive and replied: “Nothing. I’m secure and satisfied in my family” (2 Kings 4:13 MSG). She was content. But not Elisha.
As successor to the renowned prophet Elijah, he, too, had God-given power. He could do something special for her if only he knew what this Shunammite woman needed or wanted. Maybe his servant Gehazi knew something he didn’t.
Gehazi was not oblivious to the obvious. “Well, she has no son, and her husband is an old man” (2 Kings 4:14 MSG).
Thus it came about that Elisha promised the Shunammite woman: “This time next year you’re going to be nursing an infant son” (2 Kings 4:16 MSG). The gift of that son was Elisha’s sixth miracle.
Although he was a prophet, Elisha did not think of himself as a know-it-all. Otherwise, he would not have asked the advice of his servant. Even he, a miracle-working prophet, had limited knowledge.
The Shunammite woman knew contentment with her circumstances—where she was and as she was. Her desire was to be a blessing, pure and simple.
But godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6 NIV).