We do not know her name, but there is one thing we do know… she was a great servant of God. Known to the Lord as a faithful servant, but known to us only as the Shunammite Woman. (II Kings 4:8, 12, 25, 36) And while we may never know for certain why God did not reveal her name to us, we can be thankful that He did reveal her to us. She is a witness of faith for us to look upon and learn from; (Hebrews 12:1; Romans 15:4) and the truth is, she is all around us if we know where to look.
The Shunammite Woman is described by the Holy Spirit as a woman of prominence in the region. (II Kings 4:8) All indication is that she was of the sort of prominence you read about of the virtuous godly woman in Proverbs 31:10-31. The kind of woman who brings praise to her husband (Proverbs 31:23), and receives praise from him as well (Proverbs 31:29). And most certainly her children would have praised her also (Proverbs 31:28), if her womb had not been barren.
The Shunammite woman was a hard-working selfless servant. Recognizing the great prophet of God Elisha, at a time in which Elisha was not welcome in the ungodly kingdom (II Kings 3:11), she welcomed him into her home and showed great hospitality (II Kings 4:8). She even went on to ask her husband to do some home remodeling, to add on a room in which the prophet of God could reside on his journeys (II Kings 4:9-10).
The Shunammite woman was one of great honor and humility. Her care to others was not born out of a desire of reciprocity. She gave without the expectation of receiving anything in return. When God’s mighty prophet Elisha asked what could be done for her, she responded that all her needs were met. But the prophet declared unto her that thenext year her barren womb would be opened that she might bear a son. As the child grew older he became sick and died. Ultimately the Lord bestowed upon her a gift reserved for only a handful of people throughout scripture; and by her faith (Hebrews 11:35), she received back her only begotten son from the grave (II Kings 4:17-36).
The Shunammite woman did all of this; and why? Because of her faith. Because she loved God. She is a woman whose name you will never find in Old or New Testament scripture and yet she is hidden in plain sight in Hebrews 11:38; she was a woman, “of whom the world was not worthy”. Do you know any women like that? I sure do.
Women of faith are to be this Shunammite Woman. To love their husbands, to love their children, to be kind, compassionate and hospitable (Titus 2:3-5). Women that bring honor to the word of God. Women who win over souls by preaching the gospel through the beauty of holy and righteous living according to God’s will (I Peter 3:1-6). God’s vision for a godly woman (or any faithful servant) has never changed. While the Shunammite Woman has passed, we still have her with us today in the lives of the numerous godly faithful women about us. Witnesses of enduring righteousness that surround us, and encourage us, in diligence to our Lord. (Hebrews 12:1)
There is one such woman in particular that has touched my life and made me a better person. You may call her the Orangeite Woman. For that is where she was from (Orange, TX), and that is where her body was laid to rest this past week (April of 2012).
The Orangeite Woman was a woman of prominence wherever she lived. Faithful to the Lord all her life, she dedicated herself to toiling in the garden, toiling in the kitchen and in her home, and most importantly… toiling in the vineyard of the Lord. Her husband was “praised in the gates” because of the reputation of his godly wife, and her children raised up their voices in honor and respect for their caring, compassionate, and Christian mother.
The Orangeite Woman was a hardworking and self-sacrificing servant. She would take in those who were in need and open up her home and heart to them. There was always an open door and an open seat at the dinner table, and she showed hospitality in sincerity of love. Nobody went hungry in her house, and nobody left her home without knowing how much she loved and cared for them.
The Orangeite woman always trusted in the Lord for her blessings. Though the doctors told her she couldn’t have another child, she put it in the Lord’s hands and was blessed with another. And when they told her again, for sure this time, that her womb was closed, yet another child was born to her. She placed her hope and faith not in the wisdom of men, but in the grace and providence of the almighty God. And though she never received a child back from the grave in the manner of the Shunammite woman; she did train up her children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, so that they might be raised to the glory of heaven! What more could she give? What more could her children ask for?
I don’t know if anyone reading this knows her name Knows who I am writing about. And I will not tell you her name, because that is not what matters. What matters is that God knows her name (Philippians. 4:3; II Tim. 2:19). What matters is not that you know who she was, but that you know the life of faith that she lived (Philippians 3:7-14). What matters is not that you know where she is from, but that you know where she is… at home with her Lord. (Matthew 25:23)
What matters even more, is you examining your life and asking if you are living to be the faith-driven servant of God “of whom this world is not worthy” to have?!?! Worry not in striving to live your life to be known by men… live your life to be known by God and you will have a place in heaven alongside these great women of faith and godliness! Ultimately, it’s not finding this sort of righteousness and godliness in others around you that matters, it’s finding it in the person that you see in the mirror every day. BE a servant… known by God!!! (Matthew 7:21-23)