Don’t Lie to Me Man of God [Part 1]

By Alan Wright — January 30, 2019

Are you ready for some good news?

The Good News is so good that it seems too good to be true but it’s good news because it is true good news.

Today’s Text: “And he said, ‘At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son.’ And she said, ‘No, my lord, O man of God; do not lie to your servant.’ But the woman conceived, and she bore a son about that time the following spring, as Elisha had said to her.” (2 Kings 4:16–17, ESV)

The Gospel announcement is astonishing. Unless there’s a part of you that cries out “that’s too good to be true,” you probably haven’t heard the Gospel. In Luke’s account of Jesus’ first post-resurrection appearance, the disciples “disbelieved for joy” (Luke 24:40, ESV). The thought of such good news was so hopeful, so joyful that they couldn’t let themselves believe it for fear that it was too good to be true. That’s what a childless, wealthy woman felt when Elisha gave her news that seemed too good to be true.

There was a wealthy woman in Shunem who showed regular hospitality to Israel’s prophet Elisha. At first, she simply fed the man of God as he passed through town, but eventually she and her husband made a small bedroom just for the prophet to use whenever he had need.

Elisha was grateful and wanted to bless the woman. But she was a woman who, by appearances, had it all. She had a lovely home, a fine husband, and nice things. It seemed like she had no need. But, like all of us, she did have a deep yearning – a secret grief.

Though the Shunammite woman reassured the prophet that she didn’t need anything, Elisha’s servant confided to the prophet: “She has no son, and her husband is old” (2 Kings 4:14, ESV). A word of the Lord came to Elisha. He called in the Shunammite and declared: “About this time next year, you shall embrace a son” (2 Kings 4:16, ESV).

Elisha’s word aroused the deepest grief of her life. In a culture that established its economy according to the customs of primogeniture, a woman with an old husband but no son, was vulnerable. She’d put the dream of a son to rest many years earlier.

“No … O man of God; do not lie…” (2 Kings 4:16, ESV).

As Pastor Kenny Thacker has pointed out, that is the rightful response of any one who hears the Gospel: Don’t lie to me man of God! The Good News is so good that it seems too good to be true but it’s good news because it is true good news. The Shunammite had a son. Jesus is alive. And that’s the Gospel!

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