Hints for Hospitality- Not Seeking Something in Return - 2 Kings 4:11-13
April 11, 2024, 8:38 AM

11. One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there.  12. He said to his servant Gehazi, "Call the Shunammite." So he called her, and she stood before him.  13. Elisha said to him, "Tell her, 'You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?'" She replied, "I have a home among my own people."

Elisha and his servant recognized the gracious spirit of the woman and her husband and wanted to do something for them. They asked what could be done for them. The response was they were cared for. They already had  a home among her the people in her community. They were her people.

 I am impressed with the attitude exhibited by this kind woman, willing and wanting to provide hospitality to Elisha, the man of God. Her motives were pure. She did not expect anything in return for her actions. When given the opportunity to request something, nothing came to mind that she would want. She was a contented person living among her people.     

Too often those who might be considered wealthy also feel as if they would be satisfied if they just had one more thing. Of course, that desire for more seldom ends and we find we have more than we can handle.       

The woman gave what she had. It was not with a selfish attitude or desire to use it to gain more; it was a gift freely given. Sharing was not anything she did for personal praise or benefit. It was her way of giving to God because she saw that Elisha was used by God. She could not go and speak and declare the Word of the Lord, but she could give meals and a room when he traveled.      

When asked what she might ask from even the king or the commander of the army, two of the most influential people in the land, her thoughts were not to leave for any other place, no matter if it was fit for kings or rulers. She wasn’t out to look for more than what she already had.

There are many who keep records of who paid for the last restaurant bill, who invited whom over last, or whose turn it was to host the next party. We do want to share in the responsibilities and do our part if we are able to contribute. But with the gift of hospitality, there are those for whom they do not keep records. Their delight is in sharing and serving without any expectations in return.

As God has blessed us, His instructions are that we should bless others also. Freely we have received, freely give. As far as the hospitable woman,  there was nothing Elisha owed her. She was content.

Application:   Have you discovered the gift of contentment?  How would you answer Elisha’s question?

Prayer:   Lord, give to me a spirit of contentment and thanksgiving so that I can truthfully declare, "The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want."