THE KIND WOMAN REPAID

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    [2 Kings:4:8-37]

    Lesson No.: 
    71
    Class: 
    Elementary
    Memory Verse: 

    "Honour thy father and mother" ([Ephesians:6:2]).

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    Notes: 

    Mother's Day
    Once a year, a day is set apart in which to give special honour to our mothers. Of course, a Christian honours his mother every day of the year. We are told in both the Old and the New Testaments to honour our father and mother. Not all mothers are Christians; but those of us who are fortunate enough to have a Christian mother may be very thankful, for it is one of the greatest blessings we can have. A Christian mother will read the Bible to her children, pray with them and for them, and teach them that they must be saved from their sin, so that someday they may go to Heaven to be with Jesus. The early Christian training is something we shall never forget. The Bible teaches us, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Although some seem to forget their early training, in many cases they return to the Lord later on and thank God that their parents taught them about Jesus when they were small.

    A Great Woman
    In our lesson today we learn about a woman who lived in a place called Shunem. She was called a great woman. Perhaps it was because of her kindness to the man of God, Elisha, that she was called great; perhaps it was also because of the faith she had in God.

    This woman saw Elisha passing her house often, so she asked him to come in and eat with her and her husband. She told her husband that she knew Elisha was a man of God, and she wanted to give him a room with a bed, a table, a stool, and a candlestick in it, so that he would have a place to stay whenever he came. Elisha accepted her kindness and, no doubt, was very thankful.

    Kindness Repaid
    One day Elisha wanted to do something to repay her for her kindness, and had his servant ask her what she wanted Elisha to do for her. Then Elisha told her that God was going to give her a son. True to the word of the man of God she was given a son. She must have loved him very much.

    Her Faith
    One day the boy went out to his father where the reapers were. Suddenly he said that his head was hurting him. He was brought to his mother, and about noontime he died. The mother took the boy and laid him on Elisha's bed, shut the door of the room, and went out.

    Then she called her husband to send a man with a donkey so that she could go to the man of God. She said to her husband, "It shall be well." That showed her great faith that God would help her.

    She told the servant to drive very fast. Elisha saw her coming and sent his servant to ask her if all was well with her, with her husband and the child. She answered, "It is well." Her faith was growing! She knew that now since she had reached the man of God, all was well.

    Elisha wanted to send his servant to lay his staff on the face of the child. But the mother would not leave Elisha; so he arose and followed her. The servant had arrived ahead of them, and had laid the staff upon the child; but there was no life in the boy.

    Restored to Life
    When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child on the bed. He went into the room, shut the door and prayed to the Lord. Soon the child sneezed seven times, and then opened his eyes. Elisha called for the mother and said, "Take up thy son." The child was restored to life. She was once more a happy mother, and fell at Elisha's feet and bowed herself to the ground. The Lord had raised up the child through the faith and prayer of Elisha, and also through her own faith. Truly, she was a great woman – she believed in God and in prayer.

    Mother's Prayers
    Many mothers who have taught their children about Jesus in their early life have found that teaching to prove very helpful in later years. A man who had lived the life of a gambler and "dope fiend" said, after his conversion, "Sin had robbed me of everything good. I didn't have a friend on earth – except my mother. Up on the side of a hill, in an old log cabin by a peach orchard, was a mother praying for me. I thank God that one day he answered that mother's prayers. Her criminal boy in a county jail wept his way through. Mother would go back of the prison walls and eat her holiday dinner with me, and sit and talk with me. The railroad was never too long, nor the prison walls too high for that dear old mother to come to see her boy. One day in jail I called on God. It was my first prayer, but that day a criminal and a dope fiend prayed a prayer that God heard. I rose to my feet in that jail, walked out of my cell, and up and down the aisle, singing a song I had never sung before in my life, "Oh, How I Love Jesus."

    This mother went to be with Jesus many years ago, and her converted criminal boy, who told the story of Jesus over a period of years, has been reunited with his mother in Heaven, never more to be parted.

    Childhood Faith Restored
    A minister of the Gospel today thanks God for his Christian mother and early teaching. He was born and brought up in a mining town, and learned to drink and do many other bad things early in life. His father died when this boy was only eleven. His family was scattered, and he was brought up on the cattle ranges of Idaho. Sin robbed him of everything good in his life. He testifies:

    "For years I hadn't been home to see my mother. I was in a dying condition, a most hopeless sight, my eyes sunken in my head – just a shadow. But I thank God for the memory of one thing, and that was the memory of my mother who taught me about Jesus when I was a little fellow.
    "

    I remembered the Story I had heard at my mother's knee. In a little mining town, in a little cottage on the side of the hill where I first saw the light of day, she told me about God. She told me there was a Jesus that He was the sinners' Friend. She told me that if I ever got into trouble and needed a friend, Jesus could help me. She gathered the five of us children around her knees and every night we would have prayer. She would tell us a Bible story before we went to bed. I never got away from it though I drifted many years. And somehow in my distress and despair, with every hope blasted and everything gone out of my life, the memory of that day and that story seemed to get hold of me.

    "I was sinking and needed help. I crawled out of that bunk, down on to that old, dirty, greasy floor, and prayed and asked God to help my poor miserable soul. I said, ‘Jesus, won't You help me? I don't want to go to hell like this. Help me!' I never gave up. About three weeks rolled by, and one night there was a rift in the clouds. Heaven opened, and the power of the living God shot down into my dead soul and resurrected me, opened my blinded eyes, and started a whole orchestra playing in my soul. I cleaned up the old life. It has been a wonderful salvation! He is a wonderful Saviour! He has been mine for many years."

    Questions: 

    1. Tell of the kindness which the woman showed to Elisha. [2 Kings:4:8-10].
    2. How was she rewarded? [2 Kings:4:13-17].
    3. What did the mother do when her boy died? [2 Kings:4:21-22].
    4. What did Elisha do when he saw that the child was dead? [2 Kings:4:33].
    5. Was the boy raised from the dead? [2 Kings:4:35].