Scripture Reference: 2 Kings 4:1-7
1– The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” 2 – Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil.” 3 – Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 – Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”5 – She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 – When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 – She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
The prophet ELISHA in this story was the successor of ELIJAH. The Bible says that Elisha was given a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.
This widow was in danger of losing her young sons to the creditors. It was demanded that her sons be sold into slavery to pay their father’s debts.
What can we learn from the widow’s story?
(1) One very important fact this widow’s experience shows…is that God CARES.
Our Holy, Almighty, all-knowing God not only HEARS our cries. He actually CARES about the pain and fear that PROMPTS them. No matter what your needs may be. No matter what you are going through right now; financial difficulty, sickness or grief, you can know that God cares deeply. Scripture reveals again and again that He has a special place in His heart for those who are alone and hurting, for people who have been abused, for people who struggle with fear, for people who are trapped in sinful thoughts and actions etc. and God ESPECIALLY cares for widows and orphans.
Consider the following scriptures: Psalm 68:5 says,“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.”
Psalm 146:9 says,“The Lord watches over…and sustains the fatherless and the widow.”
James 1:27 says,“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”
Some of you can relate to the pain and emptiness that this widow felt because you’ve lost your husband. I can only imagine how alone you must feel at times. Well, let me remind you that God knows what you are going through. He hears your cries in the night. He is your Defender and He will sustain you.
But as I said, God’s caring is not limited to widows. He cares about WHATEVER burden you are bearing…whatever fear you are wrestling with.
In Psalm 50:15 He says to us, “Call on Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you…”
Psalm 134:15, 17-19 says,“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 10: 17 says,“You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them, and You listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may be terrified no more.”
So listen, no matter what mountain you are faced with that causes you sleepless nights, you can rest in this comforting fact: GOD CARES.
There is one TRUE GOD and He sincerely cares about you and me. He loves us and so He hears and responds when we cry out to Him like a parent hears when a child cries out to her.
There are countless times in my life when my experiences have shown that God knows my hurts and hears my cries. He responds when we call out to him and this widow’s experience demonstrated this comforting fact. But there is more we can learn from her story.
(2) Her experience shows us that God uses our LITTLE to do MUCH.
Remember? When this poor widow came to Elisha asking for help, he answered her pleas with a question. In verse 2 he said, “What do you have in your house?” She said, “Your servant has nothing there at all, except a little oil.” Elisha said, “I want you to go to all of your neighbours and relatives and borrow every container.
She obeyed and God multiplied her small amount of olive oil, filling every jar she had. Only when the last container was full did the oil stop flowing with plenty remaining for her family to live on.
The point I think we need to see here is that we have more than we think when we offer God the little that we have. I say this because, as this widow learned, God takes what we offer Him even the little things and He multiplies them and uses them in amazing, BIG ways. I believe that many times we think too small. We don’t factor in God’s power and so we don’t attempt great things for Him. I mean, the only limiting factor is our obedience. I think if that widow was still alive and still had empty jars, the oil would still be flowing because our little is MUCH when we put it in God’s all-powerful hands. Think of all the scriptural examples of this fact.
He used a Joseph who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers to rule the nation of Egypt and eventually provide a food source for the Hebrew people.
God made David a shepherd boy into Israel’s greatest King.
He used the lunch of another boy to feed 5,000 men and to teach all mankind that Jesus is the Bread of life.
When we give God control He does amazing things. You may think you are small and insignificant…but not in almighty God’s hands!
Listen to God’s promise in Ephesians 3:20 “By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.” Friends, our LITTLE is MUCH in God’s hands.
Another important lesson this widow’s experience can teach us. It shows that…
(3) God is our ultimate PROVIDER.
I mean, this widow knew who to run to when she had a need. Her response should remind us that we NEED God. We need Him to help us and guide us and PROVIDE for us. We weren’t created to live independent of Him. We are designed to live in intimate and dependent relationship with Him to obey Him, seek Him, learn for Him, and ask Him for wisdom and help.
Philippians 4:6-7 says,“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
1 Peter 5:7 says,“Cast all your anxiety on Him because you are His personal concern.”
Luke 12:22, where Jesus said,“Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
God has promised to provide for our needs. We can trust Him to do just that. This means we can give of our finances and our time to further God’s kingdom without fear. We can obey God knowing He will indeed meet our needs.
This widow was poor. She came to God and became rich. And every time a poor sinner comes to faith in Jesus he or she leaves with abundance. Wouldn’t you like something like that to happen to you today? Let’s give God the little we have and trust Him completely.
Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing
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