Thou shalt embrace a son - This promise, and the circumstances of the parties, are not very dissimilar to that relative to the birth of Isaac, and those of Abraham and Sarah.
Do not lie - That is, Let thy words become true; or, as the rabbins understand it, Do not mock me by giving me a son that shall soon be removed by death; but let me have one that shall survive me.
Reverence should be shown for God's representatives—for ministers, teachers, and parents, who are called to speak and act in His stead. In the respect shown them, God is honored. PK 237.1
Courtesy, also, is one of the graces of the Spirit and should be cultivated by all. It has power to soften natures which without it would grow hard and rough. Those who profess to be followers of Christ, and are at the same time rough, unkind, and uncourteous, have not learned of Jesus. Their sincerity may not be doubted, their uprightness may not be questioned; but sincerity and uprightness will not atone for a lack of kindness and courtesy. PK 237.2
The kindly spirit that enabled Elisha to exert a powerful influence over the lives of many in Israel, is revealed in the story of his friendly relations with a family dwelling at Shunem. In his journeyings to and fro throughout the kingdom “it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.” The mistress of the house perceived that Elisha was “an holy man of God,” and she said to her husband: “Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.” To this retreat Elisha often came, thankful for its quiet peace. Nor was God unmindful of the woman's kindness. Her home had been childless; and now the Lord rewarded her hospitality by the gift of a son. PK 237.3Read in context »