Hold On To God-Given Dreams 2 Kings 4:8, 16-22, 32-37 June 13, 2004

Dreams help to focus life. When we participate in God-Given Dreams life's focus is even more enjoyable. Elisha and the Shunammite woman enjoyed participating together in these dreams from God
and gave all the glory to him. I hope you have God-Given Dreams.

1.    The . . Privileges Involved In God-Given Dreams. v 8
    The Shunammite Lady used her prominence, wealth, and influence to provide for the Prophet of God.
What a privilege to provide for the prophet Elisha. Today it would be like showing hospitality to Billy Graham. Did the Shunammite lady have a God-Given dream inspiring her to do this? I think so.

    A.    The Privilege of Being . . Prominent. v 8a
        8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. A prominent woman who [lived] there persuaded him to eat some food.

    B. The Privilege of Being . . Providing for the Prophet. v 8b
        "So whenever he passed by, he stopped there to eat."

2.    The . . Promises Involved In God-Given Dreams. v 16-17
        The Shunammite woman wanted a child. This is the desire of most if not all godly women but this hope incubated in her as a God-Given dream. The prophet knew this and God allowed him to foretell the birth of her son. The women faulted the prophet because even though this was her dream she had all but given up on it being fulfilled. It is interesting how God causes delays, and the fulfillment can then only be credit to God's special act. God fulfilled the prophecy, and a year latter she welcomed a baby boy into her world.

    16 Elisha said, "At this time next year you will have a son in your arms." Then she said, "No, my lord. Man of God, do not deceive your servant." 17 The woman conceived and gave birth to a son at the same time the following year, as Elisha had promised her.

3. The . . Pain Involved In God-Given Dreams. v 18-22
    Many times the action of God seems to be contradicted by a latter action. God gave the dream, but then took the child. I find comfort in the words of Isaiah as he reports God saying "My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:9). I have seen some amazing demonstrations of faith in times of tragedy. This woman put herself in the constraint of pressure as she placed her son in the prophets room, and then went looking for the prophet. She made haste to find him and place her burden at his feet, and in his ministry. She felt if God intervenes He will use His prophet.

    18 The child grew and one day went out to his father and the harvesters. 19 [Suddenly], he complained to his father, "My head! My head!" His father told his servant, "Carry him to his mother." 20 So he picked him up and took him to his mother. The child sat on her lap until noon and then died. 21 Then she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut him in, and left. 22 She summoned her husband and said, "Please send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so I can hurry to the man of God and then come back."

4.    The . . Prayer Involved In God-Given Dreams. v 32-35
        Elisha believed in prayer both public and private but on this occasion he wanted to be alone in private prayer. He believed in all kinds of positions for prayer but in this case placed himself prostate before the Lord, and on the body of the boy. Then he continued to be persistent in prayer as he got up and paced the room. He experienced a miraculous answer to his prayer. John MacArthur's study Bible displays a chart of 8 resuscitation from the dead such as this one, and Elijah, and Elisha each have one..

32 When Elisha got to the house, he discovered the boy lying dead on his bed. 33 So he went in, closed the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he went up and lay on the boy: he put mouth to mouth, eye to eye, hand to hand. While he bent down over him, the boy's flesh became warm. 35 Elisha got up, went into the house, and paced back and forth. Then he went up and bent down over him again. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

5. The . . Pleasures Involved In God-Given Dreams. v 32-35
    What a pleasure to be present when God fulfills your dreams. Elisha received pleasure as he call for
the Shunammite lady, and then communicated what happened. She enjoyed the pleasure of celebration as she honored Elisha, and she pick up her son and left holding the focus of her God-Given dream. Amen? Amen!

36 Elisha called Gehazi and said, "Call the Shunammite woman." He called her and she came. Then Elisha said, "Pick up your son." 37 She came, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; she picked up her son and left.