Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 4:8- 17
Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the hottest part of the day, and saw three men standing there. In his hospitality, he invited them for some drink and food. These three men who later were known to be the Angels said to Sarah, “Nine months from now I shall come back and your wife Sarah will have a son” (Gen. 18:10). Of course Sarah laughed because she was already very old and above child bearing age. She doubted the Angels because she could not look beyond her physical self. Sarah forgot that nothing is difficult to God. Shakespeare said, “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we often might win; by fearing to attempt”. Henry David Thorean says, “Faith keeps many doubts in her pay, if 1 could not doubt, I should not believe”. In 1 Samuel 1:15 – 17 Hannah said, “No I am not drunk Sir, I haven’t been drinking! I am desperate, and I have been pouring out my troubles to the Lord. Do not think that I am miserable. Go in peace Eli said and may God of Israel give you what you have asked him for.” Beloved, one of the greatest challenges facing married couples today is the issue of childlessness. In this part of the world, a child as a fruit of marriage is a sign of success in marriage. Wealth is not therefore a yardstick to measure a successful marriage, but children.
In our reference today, the woman from Shunem and her husband had no child, but were wealthy. The situation must have been a problem in their home; and like Hannah, she was desperate. She may have prayed for many years without success and so when Elisha made a prophetic utterance on her, she could not believe and responded thus: “Please do not lie to me, you are a man of God . Undoubtedly, she may have suffered from many disappointments and heart breaks, and was no longer ready to have any more. But Prophet Elisha declared to her, not minding her unbelief, thus: “By this time next year you will be holding a son in your arms” (Verse 16). In the same vein, ‘I prophesy to you, childless wife that by this time next year you be carrying a son in your arms in the name of Jesus Christ’, Amen. In all these miracles of the fruit of the womb, one thing is common to them; that is hospitality (kindness). Abraham and Sarah were hospitable to the Angels. Hannah made a vow to give her child back to the Lord to work in his vineyard. The Shunamite woman and her husband provided shelter for the man of God (Elisha). For all these, God’s heart was moved to bless them even when it could have been naturally impossible.
Today, the therefore, the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the following facts:
i) God hears the prayers of as many as asking for this gift from him
ii) The couple must be prepared to show hospitality to all especially men of God and the less privileged.
iii) That as they pray, they must believe or have faith in the decrees made upon them by genuine men of God.
iv.) That God has the capacity, capability and audacity to bless them at any time and at any age. There is no reason to be anxious
v) There must be love and understanding between the couples
- Take a worship song as you are led
- Lord, Almighty, look at me; your servant! See my trouble and remember me
- Do not forget me. If you give me a son (state your vow)
- Lord, protect me, because evil men arc testifying against me and I am falling into despair.
- Standing on your word in Exodus 23:26, that none shall lose her young by miscarriage or barren in the land, I rise against miscarriage in my life in Jesus name (take seriously).
- Lord, when you say that Leah was despised in Gen. 29:31, you made her able to bear children. Father, I am being despised and mocked, do unto me as you did to Leah in Jesus name (Take seriously)
- In Psalm 113:9, you made a barren woman to have children, touch my womb (place your hand on your stomach now) in Jesus name (Take in deep breath seven times and start to thank God for blessing you)
Exercise: Take time today to praise God for his blessing upon your life
Memory Verse: Exodus 23:26