Today we meet back up wif a familiar character: the Shunammite woman whose son Elisha brought back to life. We also meet back up wif Elisha's servant Gehazi.
We don't know Joram's motivation in bringing Gehazi before him to hear about Elisha. It could be to find out private details of the prophet's life for future reference. Maybe he thought there would come a time when knowing Elisha's habits would come in handy, just as Judas found it handy knowing where Jesus went regularly to pray. Or it could be Joram had an intense curiosity about a man who could perform miracles in the name of the Lord. Or maybe Joram just enjoyed hearing tales of great feats. I like to think something in his heart yearned toward God and that, in learning more about the prophet, he hoped to learn more about God. Whatever his motivation, the dramatic moment that comes at the end of a day of hearing delightful tales so pleases him that he gives the Shunammite more than she asked for.
Figuring out what's in the Shunammite's heart is far easier than figuring out what's in Joram's heart. She's a woman of faith, a woman who ministers to the saints of God, a woman who embodies Proverbs 31 because she possesses all the attributes of a virtuous woman. Like any good mother, she's concerned with providing for her son. She's also concerned with her national heritage, in the keeping of family land in the family. I am sure she came before the king with a humble and respectful spirit, yet she is bold enough in faith to ask for what she wants.
It's interesting that she comes to the court without her husband. We are not told that he has died. And it's interesting that she brings her young son with her. There's no way for us to know for sure but I think maybe this is exactly how the Lord instructed her to appear before the king. I think she spent time in prayer before going to ask for her land back and that the Lord told her to go with her son to see the king. The woman and her son are the only two characters featured in Gehazi's story and they are the only two who need to appear before the king. Going by herself wouldn't have been as effective as going with her son who has been raised to life. Bringing her husband or other relatives along would have been unnecessary. The Shunammite and her son are living witnesses of the Lord's power and only the two of them are required to be a testimony of God's goodness.
We see the faithfulness of God in how He interacts with the godly Shunammite and the less-than- godly King Joram. He is showing mercy and grace to both of them. The woman is being rewarded for her faith and for her service to a prophet of God. "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them." (Hebrews 6:10)
Joram receives grace and mercy because the Lord is still dealing with his heart. The Lord is displaying His goodness and His power to the king in allowing him to hear about the miracles and to meet the recipients of a miracle in person. Joram is sitting on his throne faced with three witnesses of a great miracle, all three testifying to the truth of God's word and the power of His name. How good God is! Joram is not wicked like his elder brother or his father, but he is not a very spiritual man. He has shown disdain for the ways of God and for God's prophet Elisha. Yet God loves him, just as He loves all of us. God longs to enfold Joram in His arms and call him "child". As the Apostle Paul said, "God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance." (Romans 2:4b)