2 Kings 4:26
Run now, I pray you, to meet her, and say to her, Is it well with you? is it well with your husband? is it well with the child?…
I. THE TRIAL WHICH THE WOMAN ENDURED. "Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upwards." "The ills to which flesh is heir" are diffused with wonderful impartiality. The palace is as much accustomed to the visits of sorrow as is the cottage. The robe of honour cannot ward off the touch of pain any more than the garment of beggary. The glittering diadem often encircles an aching brow, and the silken robe often covers a bleeding heart.
1. In her trial there was the disappointment of a strong desire. She seems to have had only one strong desire ungratified. No child had ever called her mother; she had no son to perpetuate her husband's name in Israel. The desire to be a mother was peculiarly strong in the heart of a Hebrew wife, from the national relationship to the promise, that of the seed of a woman would come the Destroyer of the serpent and the Deliverer of Jacob. This desire in the heart of the Shunammite had almost died away, when the prophet assures her she shall yet "embrace a son." As the desire had been strong, so would the joy be great when the desire was realised. Who can blame her if her heart swelled with a joyful pride and a proud joy, as she clasped her baby to her breast, and pictured for him a future of happiness and honour?
2. An additional element in this woman's trial was the blasting of a bright hope. What sweet and sacred hopes cluster round every cradle! We all know the power of hope, and to how large a degree hope constitutes the beauty and blessedness of human life.
3. As another element of this woman's trial — her tenderest affections have been torn. Her child has been taken from her. The grief of "one that mourneth for a first-born" has passed into a proverb. She had lost her first-born — nay, she had lost her only child.
II. HER CONDUCT UNDER THE TRIAL. Notice, first:
1. She is filled with the most pungent sorrow. When trial is sent, it is designed we should feel it. There may be sorrow, there must be sorrow, under the afflictions and bereavements of life; only it should not be despondent sorrow, nor rebellious sorrow, nor murmuring sorrow, but sorrow submissive and sanctifying, like that of this woman.
2. She acquiesces in the will of God. She says, "It is well." This is one of the highest achievements of Christian faith.
3. In her trial this woman cleaves to God. She does not sit down and brood over her bereavement, and nurse her grief, and indulge in "the luxury of sorrow." She goes at once to consult the oracle of God.
(1) She may have gone to inquire whether there were not deliverance from her trial.
(2) She may have gone to seek strength to bear her trial. The prophet was the mouth of God to her.
(3) She may have gone to seek the sanctification of her trial. Whether this was one of the blessings she desired in going to the man of God, may be doubted; it cannot be doubted that this ought to be our main desire in going to God Himself in seasons of trial and sorrow.
III. THE GROUNDS WHICH MAY PRODUCE AND SUSTAIN SUCH A COURSE OF CONDUCT AS THIS WOMAN PURSUED. There are three grounds which may contribute to this desirable result. A consideration —
1. Of what we are who endure the trial;
2. of what He is who sends the trial; and
3. of the purpose the trial is designed to serve.
(G. D. Macgregor.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.