Should I Move Up?


Tucked away in a famous story in the Old Testament is a character quality I want to pass on today.  It’s the story of Elisha and the Shunemite Women (her name is not listed in the passage so she is only refereed to as the “Shunemite Woman”).  Anyway, as the story goes, Elisha visits the village of Shunem on a regular basis and each time he visits the town, the woman blesses Elisha with a meal and eventually a place to stay.  Here is the account from 2 Kings 4:8-17

One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?'”

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.

Gehazi said, “Well, she has no son and her husband is old.”

15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”

“No, my lord,” she objected. “Don’t mislead your servant, O man of God!”

17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

So, as you can read from the story, everything works out in the end.  But there’s more, did you notice what Elisha asked the woman in verse 13?  He asks, “Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?”  What’s he mean?  Well, by her answer we can see that he is asking her if she desires to “Move Up to a Better Position in Life”.

What would you say if you had the opportunity to move up?  To upgrade?  To Transplant in a new town?  Of course, there are times to do just that.  Nevertheless, it is important to think through all the details before we look at the UPGRADE as a good thing.  In today’s passage (short as it is) we see some great truth.  The woman says no to the upgrade.  She says no to moving to the big city.  She says no to being taken care of by the king and the army.  Why?  It’s simple…


     She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

Relationships always come before material possessions.  When you really look at the details of the story, this woman positioned herself to be a blessing to others with the stuff she had.  And when she was given the opportunity to GET MORE STUFF she had a simple answer – no thanks.  I want to be where my relationships are.

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