Elisha first saves the home of a widow of one of the prophets of Israel. Then, God calls Elisha to travel outside his home base, just as a missionary is called to the field today.
But God is also silently calling a prominent, non-Israelite Shunammite woman to care for Elisha, by feeding him frequently as he passes by her country. She is then further inspired to provide an “upper room” for Elisha so he can rest along the way.
Elisha is graciously thankful for the comfort provided by the Shunammite woman. In return, he gives her a gift only a prophet of God can give – he assures her she will, after decades of disappointment, bear a son. Then, when the son dies tragically in her arms, Elisha miraculously brings him back to life. A non-believer has met God in a very personal way.
Question: Do we allow those who disagree with us to try and help us in a moment of need, or do we turn our noses up and ignore them because they are “sinners” or “losers”? Do we see an act of kindness from them as an opportunity to return the favor and in the process show them the never-ending love of God?
In this, a prophet is a path to the perfect unity Jesus prayed for.
In Chapter 5, Elisha is “tagged” by a faithful Israelite girl who has been enslaved by the Arameans, an enemy of Israel, and who serves the wife of a mighty warrior named Naaman (whose claim to fame was empowerment by God to defeat Israel as an act of God’s judgment). Naaman now has leprosy. The little girl says Elisha the prophet can heal him. While the king of Aram is willing to allow the prophet to heal Naaman, the king of Israel panics, thinking the Arameans are setting a trap for another military conquest of Israel.
But Elisha advises the king of Israel: “Now let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel” (5:8).
Once healed of his leprosy, an astonished Naaman says to Elisha: “Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel” (5:15).
Sadly, right after that, Elisha’s servant Gehazi is consumed with greed and fools Naaman into giving him gold and silver that Elisha has refused to accept.
Naaman finds God, while Gehazi finds only God’s judgment by contracting Naaman’s leprosy! The bad guy finds God through a prophet of God, while a supposedly good guy exposed to the prophet daily finds disease and death through the Godlessness of greed.
So how do you differ from Elisha? He is a man of God; are you not a man or woman of God as a believer in Jesus Christ? Elisha hears regularly from God; do you not have the promised Holy Spirit of God within you, express-delivered by the absolute promise of Jesus?
You are a prophet of God if you continuously converse with the Holy Spirit and practice over time the discernment it takes to make good decisions, not through the storm but through the whisper of God the Spirit, made possible by God the Son.
Before rejecting an overture from someone who opposes you, turn it into an opportunity straight from God to show that “there is a prophet in America.” That person could find God and be changed forever.