Thursday, March 17, 2011

a little oil

I am doing a study on the lives and ministry of Elijah and Elisha. This week I was reading the story in 2 Kings chapter four,  of Elisha and the widow of a prophet of God...

  "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 small jar of olive 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 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.” 

I wonder how often we feel like this gal? We come to God feeling desperate and overwhelmed. We feel as if we have nothing at all to offer God, or anyone else. We are spent and exhausted. We have the weight of the world on our shoulders, and the reality of our situation starts closing in on us.

As the woman lays out her case to Elisha, he responds with a question that seems deeper than just "Tell me, what you have in your house?"  ..."I have nothing."  Nothing to give, nothing to offer...except this little bit of oil. 

I love LOVE how God uses the very thing that she offers to show himself to her! I love how Elisha tells her to .."dont only ask for a few" ...God is gonna do something big, girl better get ready for it!

She does what Elisha says, but dont you think she wishes later that gotten more empty jars? 
She starts pouring, and pouring and pouring. You can just about see the excitement building as she keeps setting full jars aside, knowing her debt would be taken care of and her babies would not be taken away.  She keeps reaching and reaching, then as the last one is used up..the oil stops pouring.

I have been considering how little she felt she had to offer - how helpless she had felt only a short time before. She offered what she had, and God used it. He took what she had and multiplied it, as only He can, to meet her needs. 

I think that we can take a lesson from this lady ...first, she offered ..what little she felt she had, she offered it. Then, she obeyed, she collected jars, shut the door and starting pouring. Last, she saw God taking her little and making it more than she could imagine. 

You may not feel like you have anything ...but even that little drop of oil at the bottom of a dried up flask can be used by God to show his power in your life! I pray that you offer him what you have, and then are blessed enough to see it fill all the empty vessels in sight!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What perfect timing this word is! I loved reading it again and looking at it through your eyes, and remembering what God can do with what we turn over to Him, however small! Thanks for sharing this with us today!


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