Women of the Word: the Shunammite Woman


In 2 Kings 4 we read of a woman whose name is not given – she is only called the Shunammite woman. She lived in a place called Shunem and the Bible calls her ‘notable.’ The word notable is defined as worthy of attention or notice; remarkable. This Shunammite woman was not a judge like Deborah, she wasn’t a queen like Esther, and she wasn’t the mother of a nation like Sarah; so what made her remarkable? Let’s check out some reasons below:

1. The Shunammite woman had the spirit of a servant. The prophet Elisha often passed by the Shunammite woman’s house. She took notice of this and invited him to come in where she served him meals and prepared a place for him to rest. The Shunammite woman did this on her own accord. She wasn’t told to do it. She didn’t have to do it, but it was genuinely in her heart to help others. This is what made her notable.

Did anyone notice what she was doing? No one but God probably did. And He was the only one who really mattered. The Shunammite woman showed that she loved God by helping Elisha, and this made her great.

Matthew 23:11 reads, “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.” Not everyone is made to be famous, but everyone can be great by having a heart of service.

2. The Shunammite woman was content with her life. After doing so much for him, Elisha sent his servant to ask the Shunammite woman how he could repay her. According to 2 Kings 4:13, he asked: “What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?” Most of us probably would have been like, “Yes, please tell the king about me!” or “Of course, I want POTUS to know my name!” But the Shunammite woman said no such thing. She didn’t even mention the fact that her husband was old, and they did not yet have a child. Because she was content with what she had, God saw fit to bless her with even more.

The more we focus on what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we do have – the less we can expect to be blessed.

So, I may not have Nike sneakerboots, but at least I have shoes to wear. I may not be living in a Mediterranean mansion, but at least I have a place to stay. And I may not have a brand new Camaro, but at least I have a car to drive.

Worrying about what you don’t have makes for an unthankful, unhappy life. Being grateful for what you do have allows God to bless you with even more.

3. The Shunammite woman would not leave. At the end of her story, we read that the child she was blessed with suddenly becomes sick and dies. The Shunammite woman immediately went to the prophet Elisha. On her way to him, her husband and Elisha’s servant question her. She answers, “It is well.” Why did she say everything was well when her child was dead at home? The Shunammite woman said this because she believed everything would be well; she had faith that her child would be healed.

2 Kings 4:30 tells us that when she reached Elisha, the Shunammite woman said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.”

As followers of Christ, we must be willing to say the same thing to God. “God, I will not leave you.”

Through good times and bad times, through uncertainty and difficulty, through pain and loss – God, I will not leave you. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” We have God’s word that He won’t leave us. Does He have ours?

Many people walk with God on sunny days. But as soon as a storm hits they blame Him for their hardships and turn their backs on Him. No matter what our futures may hold let us remember Who holds the future and choose to say with the Shunammite woman – God, I will not leave you.

Image credit: entertainmentmesh


3 thoughts on “Women of the Word: the Shunammite Woman

  1. Pingback: Women of the Word (Recap 7) | The Virtuous Girls

  2. Pingback: The Virtuous Girl » Blog Archive Women of the Word (Recap 7)

  3. Pingback: Women of the Word | The Virtuous Girls

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