Can you take a moment to place yourself in this widow’s shoes…and imagine how she felt?
How about the desperation of losing her two sons — and she had already lost her husband previously? If you’re a mother, then it’s not hard to imagine the extreme yearning and pain in her heart not to let this hardship come upon her sons.
How about the fear? Who would not fear losing it all… especially their children? And how about the fear of being left alone and perhaps starving to death or having no shelter?
Quickly read through the following verses of II Kings 4:1-7, and I will share some more thoughts about this matter below the Bible verses…
1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
As I said earlier, we see this widow woman was in great need to pay a debt.
Now let me share seven good pointers from this Scripture about Elisha and the widow woman’s oil…
Seek the right counseling when necessary. (II Kings 4:2)
This widow needed wisdom, guidance and help from a spiritual leader. Don’t neglect seeking godly counseling when necessary.
Use what you have regarding your talents and possessions.
Elisha wanted to know what she already had in her house. The widow obviously owned nothing of value (perhaps she had already sold what she had trying to stay afloat), but she still had some OIL in her house (II Kings 4:2) Don’t give yourself excuses that you don’t have enough to make a difference.
Don’t look at what others have that you don’t. Use what you have to work with…and let God do the rest. He uses the little things to accomplish great things.
Listen to godly advice and take action.(II Kings 4:3)
What if this widow had neglected to take the advice that was given to her? I’ve seen people take good advice and throw it away. It’s a shame for sure. Sometimes we’re not always going to like the advice given to us, but we must listen to godly counseling and take action when it’s given to us. Remember, there’s also safety in a multitude of counselors. (Proverbs 11:14)
Humble yourself when necessary to do what needs to be done.
What if she had been too embarrassed to go borrow those vessels from her neighbors? Sometimes we have to humble ourselves and ask help from others. Some people refuse any handouts. God uses others to bless us… don’t let pride get in the way.
Roll up your sleeves and get to work. (II Kings 4:4)
It takes work to get results. Don’t try to go it alone. It often takes a team effort, especially when time is of essence She was to shut the doors of her house and put a team effort with her sons to get the job done of pouring oil in these vessels.
Stretch your faith to get bigger results. (II Kings 4:6)
Expect God to accomplish more than your human mind can fathom. Elisha had told the widow woman not to borrow just a few vessels (II Kings 4:3) …. in other words, he recommended that she borrow a LOT. I’ve always wondered if she would have been a very wealthy woman had she borrowed even more vessels? 🙂
When the last vessel was used, the miracle was finished. There was no more giving. She received according to the number of vessels she took time to gather.
Pay your debts first. Place your priorities in the right order. (II Kings 4:7)
First, the oil had to be sold to turn a profit. Next, it wasn’t their first priority to celebrate and have a big feast after the work was done. Even though they may have been very hungry, they were to go pay their debts first and then live off the rest.
I believe this principle also applies when we are to pay our tithe. People say they cannot afford to pay the10% of their income (which is their tithe). God’s Word shows us this is a priority. In fact, we are stealing from God when we do not give our tithe. (Malachi 3:8)
It takes some faith… but amazingly when we pay our tithe, the miracle of increase happens when we have faith that God will take care of the rest of our needs. We are to live on the rest (our 90%), just as the widow woman was instructed to do after she paid her debts.
Trust God today! Use what you have! Let God do the rest!
Stay faithful and be blessed,
P.S. You may use my devotionals here at HCH to share in your own ministry.