First Reading:  2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a


God Cannot Be Outdone!


8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. 9 Adonijah killed sheep and cattle and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En Rogel; and he called all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants: 10 but Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he didn’t call. 11 Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Haven’t you heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith reigns, and David our lord doesn’t know it? 14 Behold, while you yet talk there with the king, I also will come in after you, and confirm your words.”


15 Bathsheba went in to the king into the room. The king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king. 16 Bathsheba bowed, and showed respect to the king.


Who has shown you hospitality lately? How have you shown your appreciation for their goodness?


The story of Elisha and the hospitable Shunammite woman showed that generosity shown comes back to bless the giver. This was not a dynamic principle of the spiritual world, like "karma," but a simple reflection on human nature. The sincerely generous were more apt to freely receive, to share the good of others as they extended a helping hand.


The rich woman first gave meals to the wandering prophet, Elisha; then she prepared him a room to use when he was in the vicinity. In return, God blessed the elderly, barren woman with child, despite her misgivings. As the woman shared her wealth with God's man in his need, so God would share his creative wealth with the woman in her need.


Elisha and his mentor, Elijah, roamed the area known in Jesus' time as Galilee. They prophesied and worked mighty miracles, so their countrymen would return to the Lord. Jesus modeled himself after these two giants of faith. Like these prophets, Jesus wandered the countryside, preaching and healing. At the same time, he depended upon the hospitality and good will of the people he met. Like the Shunammite woman, their reward would be great! For God cannot be outdone!


Plan to show hospitality to a neighbor or acquintance this week. Extend yourself in the name of Christ.