July 13, 2014
READ: 2 Kings 4:8-17
Let’s build a small room for [Elisha] . . . and furnish it . . . . Then he will have a place to stay (v.10).
When I agreed to help start a book club at my church, I was excited about choosing the titles and discussing the literary works. I wavered, however, when I had to decide where to hold the meetings. (My house often has cluttered countertops and my kitchen appliances don’t always sparkle.) Thankfully, one Sunday morning, a woman in my church offered to host the meetings at her home. I sensed a genuine spirit of hospitality, and I gratefully accepted her proposal.
Elisha accepted hospitality from a woman who lived in the town of Shunem. Although the Bible never names her, it does say that she was willing to share from her abundance. “She urged [Elisha] to come to her home for a meal” (2 Kings 4:8). Eventually, her home became a haven where Elisha stopped whenever he was in town.
One day the woman suggested to her husband, “Let’s build a small room for [Elisha] . . . and furnish it . . . . Then he will have a place to stay” (v.10).
There were no strings attached to this woman’s hospitality. And when, through his servant Gehazi, Elisha asked if he could commend her to the king or an army official, she declined (v.13). This demonstrated her sincere heart and care for Elisha.
True hospitality springs from an attitude of open acceptance towards others. It’s okay to start small. We can begin by simply letting people into our hearts and lives through conversations. Eventually, we may have an opportunity to “cheerfully share [our] home with those who need a meal or a place to stay” (1 Peter 4:9). This is one way we can honour our hospitable God—the One who will open His home to us for all of eternity (John 14:2-3). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
365-day plan› Matthew 9:27-38
Read 2 Kings 4:15-37 to see how God blessed the Shunemite woman for her kindness. Look up Hebrews 13:2 for some unique motivation related to hospitality.
What’s the relationship between our busyness and our willingness to show hospitality? How might showing hospitality bring glory to God?