June 14 – Today’s Readings – 2Kings 4-6 and Proverbs 14
Once again there are an amazing number of lessons to be learned from these four chapters of Scripture. The account that I would like to spend a moment on this morning is that of a certain widow and her sons. This single-parent family was in serious trouble – “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 Kings 4:1)
What on earth was this woman to do? The first and most important thing any of us can do when faced with insurmountable problems – she turned to the Lord for help. I’m sure she prayed a whole lot, then went to see Elisha the prophet. He gave her very specific and strange instructions – here is the account – “Elisha replied to her, ‘How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” (vs.2) “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil”. Now remember that in Scripture “oil” is very symbolic of the anointing and healing power of God. What did she really have in her house? Not much physically but she had not lost God, or her faith in His provision – and she knew who to run to. “Elisha said, ‘Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 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.” (vs.3-4) She did so and began to pour out the few drops of oil she had. “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.”
Now, let your thoughts drift a little and imagine the “oil” as being the presence and provision of God. It may not seem that you have a lot when you look at things with the natural eye, but God always finds ways to surprise us with His grace. Think of Jesus multiplying the five small barley loaves and two small fish that the boy had provided to feed the crowd – (John 6:9).
Now let me take you to 1Kings 17:7-15 where God commanded Elijah to go to a starving woman so that she could provide for him during a drought and famine. “As surely as the LORD your God lives,’ she replied, ‘I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” (vs.12) As we read on in this passage, we find this woman, using her meagre resources, not only provided for the man of God, but also for her own needs and those of her son. Instead of having the mindset that she and her son were going to die, she actually thrived and became a provider for others.
We must never say, “I have nothing”, for God has given everyone a measure of faith. Begin to work with the Lord and let Him multiply what He has provided for you.
”What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
1. What are the empty vessels in your life that God wants to fill and use?
2. What hidden or insignificant resources do you possess that you are willing to yield to God so He can multiply them and feed others?
3. Do you have a certain “mindset” you must change so that God can make you a provider instead of seeing yourself as poverty stricken and close to death?