The story here is an interesting on a couple of levels. First, the issue of Gehazi. The last we saw of him, he had been struck with leprosy for his deception of Naaman in chapter 5. Now he’s seen here talking to King Joram about Elisha.
There are several possiblities. One is that the story is not in chronological order, so that this incident happened before Gehazi’s leprosy.
Another possibility is that God relented and healed him. One interesting rabbinic theory is that the four lepers in chapter 7 were Gehazi and his sons, and that because of their actions, God healed them. There are other possibilities as well, but I would say these are the two most likely.
The second thing that’s interesting about this story is God’s timing.
Here is this Shunnamite woman, who had been warned by Elisha to leave the country because of the famine to come. When she comes back, apparently her husband had died in Philistia, and she and her son had come to the king to beg for their house and land back.
At the exact moment they walk in, there is Gehazi talking to the king about how Elisha had raised this woman’s son from the dead.
Imagine the shock on Gehazi’s face when he recognized her. “This is the woman, my lord the king! And this is her son whom Elisha restored to life!” (5)
The king questioned her about the incident, and apparently was so impressed, that he immediately took care of this woman’s case, restoring her land and everything that belonged to her.
God’s timing is always impeccable. I can think of so many times in my life, when things fell into place at just the right time. When I think, for example, of how God brought my wife and I together, it particularly amazes me (but that’s a story for another time).
But I have to admit, in the midst of trial, it can be difficult to wait. Sometimes, it’s tempting to try to move ahead of God’s timing, and to force things to happen. I was talking with a guy who really wants to get married, but right now things don’t seem to be moving in that area. Many single Christians in Japan get tired of waiting and force the issue, getting married to a non-Christian. Only they find that when they do so, they’ve just replaced one problem with another, bigger problem.
Let us always remember that God’s timing is perfect. As David wrote,
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)