The Resurrecting Power
II Kings 4:8-37
The study this morning the incident in the Scriptures of the raising of the Shunamite’s son by Elisha. It is related that a certain woman called the Shunamite had a son who died suddenly. She was a friend of Elisha the prophet, and her first thought in her need was to go for the man of God to come and restore her son to life. Elisha was on Mount Carmel, sixteen miles away. When Elisha saw her coming he sent his servant Gehazi to meet her and ask of her, “Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with thy child?” And she answered, “It is well.” In the original Hebrew this reads, “Is it peace with thee? is it peace with thy husband? is it peace with thy child?” Her answer was, “It is peace.”
This answer of the woman in the face of the most adverse conditions is what we call scientific. Not all of us at such a time would say, “It is well,” but if we are in the understanding of the Truth and of the powers of the mind we can see that this answer is metaphysically correct. It cuts off all the error side of the proposition and makes possible the demonstration that “it is well.” Here is a lesson for us. When we can say under all conditions, “It is well,” we start the Divine Law into operation.
When Elisha heard the Shunamite’s request that he come and raise her son to life, he gave his staff to Gehazi and told him to go and lay it upon the face of the child; but the treatment did not work. Here again we have a lesson. A staff is something one leans upon. A staff represents a negative phase of consciousness. Gehazi means “one who denies.” The meaning of Elisha is the same as Jesus—“Jehovah, I Am, Savior.” In the consciousness of every individual are these two—the denier and the saver. We call them Denial and Affirmation. One is Satan, the denier, the adversary; the other is the definite, positive, spiritual I Am. We find in our healing system that a certain consciousness of truth is necessary before we can demonstrate. The servant, Gehazi, is thr word of the nothingness of error, sent forth as a denial of seeming conditions. He carries the staff, representing dependence, weakness, negation. A staff is a good thing for those who need it and do not know any better way, but it always weakens one to depend upon it. “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” It may comfort, but it cannot save. This woman came to Elisha not merely for comfort, but for the saving power of God. Be careful what kind of comfort you give to those in trouble. Too often it is on the negative side. What we want in sorrow is not a little comfort, but the knowledge of how to get above and free from wrong thoughts.
The resurrecting power in us comes through Elisha, Jesus Christ, I Am. “I Am the resurrection and the life.” Make definite I Am statements of life and power. Jesus Christ dealt almost always in affirmations of I Am power. He demonstrated the power of I Am to save. This is why he is called the Savior. Through the demonstration of life in Christ Jesus the soul and body are quickened and lifted up into fullness of living.
When Elisha came to the house of the Shunamite woman he went to the upper chamber, where the child was, “and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.” Then Elisha walked about the room and again stretched himself upon the child. “And the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.” The restoration was complete.
This child, this inactive one, is within all who are not truly regenerated. All who complain of ills of various kinds have the negative consciousness of the Shunamite’s son, which must be made alive by the I Am of God.
It is very important that we make the body wholly alive. One who loses his body is like a man who has lost his clothes. If you want to be “clothed upon,” do not be led off with the idea that it is only necessary to save the soul. Get hold of this subjective child in you. Lay your eyes upon its eyes and open its perception. Touch the lips of flesh with your spiritual lips. See God in your flesh, as did Job. Then you must lay the whole spiritual man upon this body and make it alive. Take hold of it with your I Am power in the consciousness of the Life Omnipresent, and raise it up.
Read the promises, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” Do you believe this? Remember that anything that was ever done can be done again. What the Law produces once it will produce again.
I once heard of a man who advertised for room and board in exchange for his good Christian example. This Shunamite woman knew the value of a man of God, and she built a room for Elisha on the top of her house. This illustrates that a room should always be prepared in consciousness ready for the spiritual I Am, Christ. This heavenly guest should always find place, and his presence will prove the best friend we have in times of great need. This means more than leading an exemplary Christian life. It means that you shall have power and do the works that Jesus Christ did. If this raising of the Shunamite woman’s son were mere history, it would pass away and do no real work in us; but if we get the understanding of the lesson it becomes alive in us, and goes on and on in consciousness. The body can be made conscious with living words like these:
“I am the resurrection and the life. I am alive in Christ. I live in the One Life. I live, move, and have my being in God.”
These true statements will awaken one to the consciousness of the indwelling life, and the demonstration will follow: the son (body) of the woman (soul) will be made alive in Christ.