The Potent Influence of a Good Man
2 Kings 8:1-6
Then spoke Elisha to the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go you and your household…

I. HIS COUNSEL IS VALUABLE, AND GRATEFULLY ACTED UPON. Here we see how the kindness shown by the Shunammite receives still further reward. There is nothing so fruitful in blessing as kindness. In the great dilemmas of life we seek counsel, not from the frivolous and wicked, but from the wise and good. A good man has the destiny of many lives in his hands; a word from him has great weight.

II. HIS BENEFICENT ACTS ARE THE THEME OF POPULAR CONVERSATION (ver. 4). A good action cannot be hid. Sooner or later it will emerge from the obscurity in which it was first done, and become the talk of a nation, until it reaches even royal ears. All good actions do not attain such distinguished popularity. There were many good things that Elisha said and did of which history takes no notice. A good act may be remembered and applauded for generations, while the name of the actor is unknown.

III. HIS HOLY AND UNSELFISH LIFE IS A TESTIMONY FOR JEHOVAH IN THE MIDST OF NATIONAL APOSTASY. In the darkest night of national apostasy, Israel was favoured with an Elisha, whose divinely-illumined life threw a bright stream of light across the gloom. How deplorable the condition of that nation from which all moral worth is excluded!

IV. HIS REPUTATION IS THE MEANS OF PROMOTING THE ENDS OF JUSTICE (vers. 5, 6). There was surely a Divine providence at work that brought the suppliant Shunammite into the presence of the king at the very moment when Gehazi was rehearsing the great works of Elisha. Justice triumphed; her land and all its produce for the seven years were restored to her. It requires power to enforce the claims of justice, and the highest -kind of power is goodness. The arrangements of justice are more likely to be permanent when brought about by the influence of righteous principles, than when compelled by physical force. The presence of a holy character in society is a powerful check upon injustice and wrong.

(G. Barlow.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.

WEB: Now Elisha had spoken to the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, "Arise, and go, you and your household, and stay for a while wherever you can; for Yahweh has called for a famine. It shall also come on the land seven years."

Permanent Effects of Godliness
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