Elisha the Prophet & the Shunammite Woman
To Remember: "You reap what you sow" - kindness returns to the giver.
prophet: someone who speaks for God (chosen by God)Lesson Handout Pages (.pdf) or use as lesson text
2 Kings 4:8-37Activity: Kindness bounces back (taken from http://childmin.com/SS/helps/k0306_99.txt) Bring a beach ball to class and have the students bounce it back and forth between each other. Each time say kindness bounces back. Review the kindnesses of the story in order: woman feeds Elisha, woman builds room for Elisha, Elisha gives woman a son, Elisha revives the son.
Craft: Build or draw a paper or lego house, and add a room to it for Elisha. Put in it the things the woman did: bed, table, chair, lamp. There are several house templates online - search for house craft
Discussion: Some people wait until they need something to approach God, or the church. The Shunammite woman built her relationship with God, through Elisha, before she was in need. Because she had already shown kindness to Elisha and appreciation for God's work, she had somewhere to go when her son died, and was able to receive much more. How do we build relationships that will support us in hard times? First we have to get to know God. How do we do that? We talk to him through prayer, we listen to him through study of the Bible, and we see and acknowledge his work in our lives through praise. We also get to know his family (the church) by meeting with them regularly, spending time with them individually, and meeting their needs. We don't do all this just to have help ourselves, but it is part of God's plan for helping us.
Discussion: The Shunammite woman was kind to Elisha, and still a terrible thing happened to her son. Bad things don't happen because we've done something wrong. The story of Job tells us that Satan targets the faithful for trials, but that God controls how much we go through. Jesus explained in John 9:2-3 that God can turn a hardship into a sign of glory to God. He certainly did that for this woman. Her son had died but lived again through Elisha's miraculous power. When we are going through hard times, we should not think that it is necessarily a punishment for wrong, nor should we think God doesn't care. We should trust in his power to control the situation, and even to bring a great good from it.
Memory Work: (be sure to explain what the words mean)
2 Corinthians 9:6 "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."
Sing: "This little light of mine"
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