It is well

2 Kings 4:18-23, 25-37

The greatest earthly blessings are uncertain; the son who had made the Shunammite so glad was now to cause her grief.

2 Kings 4:18, 19

Perhaps the harvest sun was too hot for him, and he suffered from sunstroke, as many do in the east.

2 Kings 4:21

Full of grief she was, for she had lost her son; but she had a hope left, for she had not lost her faith.

2 Kings 4:22, 23

Her answer was the one word “well.” Her heart was full and her faith sorely tried, therefore she said but little, and would not pain her husband by mentioning their crushing loss until she had proved the power of the prophet’s God.

2 Kings 4:27

She was in an agony, tossed to and fro between faith and fear, therefore she acted not in the manner usual to her, but fell passionately at the prophet’s feet.

2 Kings 4:28

She argued that surely the son was not sent to mock her and break her heart, yet she felt that if he were to be soon removed it looked very like it, and this she could not believe to be the Lord’s intention. Thus her faith and her anguish pleaded with Elisha.

2 Kings 4:31

God would not grant this blessing to a mere form; there must be mighty prayer.

2 Kings 4:35

By faith this woman received her child raised to life again as the woman of Sarepta had done before. Although a miracle will not be wrought for us, we ought to have a like faith, and we shall then see things equally worthy of our gratitude.

2 Kings 4:37

We must imitate this good woman, and in all times of trouble go with it to the Lord, and he will surely help us through. “Trust ye in the Lord for ever.”

 

Shall I, for fear of feeble man,

Thy Spirit’s course in me restrain?

Or, undismay’d in deed and word,

Be a true witness for my Lord?

 

Awed by a mortal’s frown, shall I

Conceal the Word of God Most High?

How then before thee shall I dare

To stand, or how thy anger bear?

 

Give me thy strength, O God of power!

Then let winds blow, or thunders roar.

Thy faithful witness will I be:

‘Tis fixed! I can do all through thee.

 


Zion stands by hills surrounded,

Zion kept by power divine;

All her foes shall be confounded,

Though the world in arms combine:

Happy Zion,

What a favour’d lot is thine!

 

Zion’s Friend in nothing alters,

Though all others may, and do;

His is love that never falters,

Always to its object true.

Happy Zion!

Crown’d with mercies ever new.

 


God is our refuge, tried and proved,

Amid a stormy world:

We will not fear though earth be moved,

And hills in ocean hurl’d.

 

When earth and hell against us came,

He spake, and quell’d their powers;

The Lord of hosts is still the same,

The God of grace is ours.

 


Jesus our Lord is love,

All gentle are his ways,

And since he suffered in our stead,

No fear our heart dismays.

 

No fiery vengeance now,

No burning wrath comes down;

If justice call for sinner’s blood,

The Saviour shows his own.

 

Before his Father’s eye

Our humble suit he moves;

The Father lays his thunder by,

And looks, and smiles, and loves.

 


Our soaring spirits upward rise

To the celestial throne,

Fain would we see the blessed Three,

And the Almighty One.

 

Lord, how our souls are all on fire

To see thy bless’d abode;

Our tongues rejoice in tunes of praise

To our incarnate God!

 

And while our faith enjoys this sight,

We long to leave our clay,

And wish thy fiery chariots, Lord,

To fetch our souls away.

 


Straiten’d in God we cannot be,

No bounds his power and bounty know,

His grace is an exhaustless sea,

Which flows, and shall for ever flow;

And if its course suspended seem,

The hindrance is in us, not Him.

 

Long as our faith’s capacity

Is stretch’d to admit the blessing given,

We drink the streaming Deity,

And gasp for larger draughts of heaven!

But when we lose our emptiness,

The oil, the joy, the Spirit stays!

 

Empty us, then, most gracious Lord,

And keep us always empty here,

Till thee, according to thy word,

We see upon the clouds appear,

Thy glorious fulness to reveal,

And all thy saints for ever fill.

 


Since like the weeping Shunammite,

For many dead in sin we grieve;

Now, Lord, display thine arm of might,

Cause them to hear thy voice and live.

 

Thy preachers bear the staff in vain,

Though at thine own command they go;

Lord, they have tried and tried again,

They find them dead, and leave them so.

 

Come, then, thyself to ev’ry heart,

The glory of thy name make known;

The means are our appointed part,

The pow’r and grace are thine alone.

 

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