All Is Well

In II Kings chapter four the Bible registers the story of a Shunammite woman. No name was given, just the place where she lived. Shunem was located in the tribe of Issachar, to the north of Jezreel and north of Mount Gilboa. The Bible views the Shunammite as wealthy, influential and respected, a woman with kind heart, and compassionate. We see that in her good deeds toward the Prophet Elisha. As she watched him often passing by, she perceived him to be a man of God. Her perception led her to provide Elisha a furnished chamber to rest while in his journey. She not only had good perception, but she was also an initiator of action. She was willing to receive the Prophet Elisha in her house because he was “a man of God.” Her good deed toward Elisha was for love of God. Although they were wealthy and had everything they wanted, they did not have children.  Children in those days were not inconvenience, but considered a blessing from God. They were not aborted, but they were given their place on earth to fulfill God’s plan for them. Elisha was most grateful to her and wanted to reward her. Knowing this detail, he promised her a child. Knowing her husband to be old, she pleaded the prophet with these words: “No, my lord, you man of God, do not lie to your handmaid.” Nevertheless the Shunammite woman conceived and bore a son at that season the following year, as Elisha said to her.  A true Abrahamic miracle!

A Watchtower and a Flock

What links these two in their commonality? I would like to bring to you the most amazing story known to the entire world, not like you have heard before, but according to facts hidden from translations. When we hear about the Birth of Christ story we think shepherds, star, manger, sheep, goats, donkeys, the three wise men, and their gifts. It is a story of light and angels singing; a story of hope of salvation. We understand that and we rejoice that our Savior has been born. “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). However, there are specific insights missing in this wonderful story hidden from us in the past, but now revealed. Thanks to those dedicated students of the Bible. These are specifics of great significance that confirms the divinity of our Savior, YAHSHUA, and His role as the Lamb of God. I have written about this before just in passing, but now I want to bring this story to you in its entirety and meaning. Perhaps you will never celebrate the birth of Christ the same way as before.

A Book of Remembrance

Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the lord and who thought on His name (Mal. 3: 16)

I remember when young while living in the orphanage in Brazil, I was given a book of remembrance where friends and acquaintances wrote beautiful thoughts of encouragement and what they thought of me. It registered sentiments that would later bring me memories of those days, although not all positive, but sifting them through in my mind, there were a few wonderful memories which I treasured. They bring me joy as I relive those days. It is to me a privilege to know that the Lord is aware and taking notice of the things we say that is pleasing to Him to the point of having them written in a special remembrance book.

A Song in the Night

(Acts 16)

On his missionary journeys, Paul was confronted with angry Jews, and Gentiles. He was mistreated unfairly several times and sometimes thrown in jail. In one of his letter to the Corinthians he gives a summary of his experiences in his mission field. He wrote: five times I received from [the hands of] the Jews forty [lashes all] but one; three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I have been aboard a ship wrecked at sea; a [whole] night and a day I have sent [adrift] on the deep; many times  on journeys , [exposed to perils from rivers, perils from bandits, perils from [my own] nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the desert places, perils in the sea, perils from those posing as believers; in toil and hardship, watching often, in hunger and thirst frequently driven to fasting by want, in cold and exposure and lack of clothing ( II Cor. 11:23-27). However, Paul arose from it all with a song of victory even in the darkest hours of his life: we are hedged in on every side, but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; we are pursued, but not deserted; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed; always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord YAHSHUA suffered, so that the life of YAHSHUA also may be shown forth by and in our bodies. For we who live are constantly being handed over to death for YAHSHUA’S sake, that the life of YAHSHUA also may be evidenced through our flesh which is liable to death (II Cor. 4:8-11).