Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The widow's oil

In Kings we read two different stories where widows were blessed by the prophets to "have enough and to spare." In 1 Kings chapter 17 we learn of the first widow. There was a great drought in the land and the widow was feeling the effects of it. She was out gathering a few sticks to build a small fire to prepare the last meal for herself and her son. She only had a handful of meal and a little oil. With this little bit of what she had left she was going to make a little cake for herself and her son, then they would wait to die. While on her journey she met up with the Prophet Elijah and told him of her plight. In 1 Kings 17 verse 13-14 we read Then Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. 14 "For thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth."  And so it was, the Prophet Elijah, the widow, and her son, all had enough to eat until the crops would grow again.

The second story comes from 2 Kings chapter 4. Another widow was in need of help. She was about to lose her home. The debtors were knocking at her door wanting to be paid. She had nothing to give to them. The prophet Elisha came to her rescue.  He asked what do you have? She replied that she only had a bit of oil.  It says in 2 Kings chapter 4 verse 3  "Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few."   He told her to gather up as many vessels as she could find. He then told her to pour out that oil amongst the empty vessels that she had gathered. To her surprise the oil was multiplied until it filled the empty vessels. He then told her to go and sell the oil to pay her debt. She was also blessed with a supply of oil when she needed it.

In both of these cases the Lord knew of the trials of these widows. He knew of their needs. He was watching over them and provided for them. The same goes for us today. The Lord knows each of us. He knows our trials. He knows what we are in need of. Often he sends us blessings in ways we cannot comprehend. He will fill our souls and bless us in our times of trial. He is very aware and will send help.

It is truly amazing how the Lord blesses us. Often I pray with a special blessing or favor in mind, yet what he gives me is a thousand times better than what I ever thought possible. He is always watching and will help us, but often he asks us to do things in the process. In the first story the widow was asked to take care of the temporal needs of  the prophet. She was given the means to be able to care for herself, her son, and the prophet. I  wonder what her morning prayer might have been like that day as she contemplated the ending of her life and that of her son. She was hopeless, and I am sure that she asked that the Lord would understand her decision. I would suppose that she prayed the that Lord would receive her soul and that of her son to heaven.  She was praying for peace of mind and soul, and yet what she got was so much more. I wonder what her prayers would have been like that evening and the days following as she had to opportunity to serve and to sit and learn at the feet of the prophet who had saved her life.

The second widow story has much to learn from it. Like the second widow woman when we come to the Lord or his servants asking  for help, often we are asked "what do you have/what can you give? "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."  She was then commanded to use what she had and it was multiplied.  She was asked to give all she had. Which she did, and she was blessed for it. How often are we asked to come before the Lord and give him all and trust in his goodness? And again, how often are we blessed that our small offering is made larger in Christ? Think in your own life about how the Lord has blessed you.

When we give to the Lord first and trust in him somehow it all works out and we are truly blessed in our time of need. There are countless stories of those who give of themselves and are blessed. There are so many stories of people struggling and yet they paid their tithes and offerings and the Lord blessed them to have the things they needed. Somehow the money goes further and seems to be multiplied once the tithing is paid in faith.

In Luke chapter 6, verse 38 Jesus Christ himself taught us "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."  

Give to the Lord and his work and you will be blessed more abundantly than you could ever imagine possible. I know of this for a fact. He blesses me so much and often he asks me to give back and yet what I have to give seems so small. Somehow he takes what I give and makes it larger.

The Lord Jesus Christ needs people to assist in his work. From the strong to the weakest, he needs all of us and we need him. He will multiply your efforts more than a hundred-fold, and the joy that comes from serving; (if only you could feel what is in my heart) it is more than you ever dreamed of. I invite you to come and let the Lord heal you and bless you. If you are discouraged to the point of despair, come and let the Lords power be felt in your life. Ask, and you shall receive more then enough. I testify that it is true, I do not know how or why, but I know that it is. May the Lord ever bless us always.  


1 comment:

  1. This is so true and very encouraging! Thanks for sharing and for linking up with Marriage Monday!