What need is before you? Where are you empty and desperate? Go to the Lord and seek his face. The good shepherd cares for you. God desires for us to come to him in our need, and as we learn today, he is able to supply our needs and even make our cup overflow…
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 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.”
What do you have left? Any gas in the tank? At the end of your rope? Cupboard bare? Yup. I’m down to my last small jar of olive oil… That’s where this widow was. Her sons were being taken as slaves to pay the debts of the family. We don’t see that much in North America, yet such tragic circumstances still play out around the globe in some places.
We can, however, understand the feeling of being desperate and in need. Many of us live pay cheque to pay cheque. And so what do you do when you have nothing left?
Collect jars. That’s what Elisha told the widow to do. Go collect jars. God intended to supply the widow’s needs and as she poured the oil from her small jar into the next, it kept flowing until every jar was full. Then it stopped.
Kinda reminds of the story of the loaves and fishes doesn’t it? Five loaves and two fish, donated to Jesus, turned into a meal for thousands, with leftovers remaining.
The truth is that God does not want us to go hungry, doesn’t want us to run out of oil, and doesn’t want us to pursue our fulfillment in other places. God wants us to come to him for his help. We are the sheep of his pasture, and watch what the good shepherd will do.
David wrote, “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows,” (Psalm 23:5). That’s what God wants for us. For our cups to overflow with his provision.
What need is before you? Where are you empty and desperate? Go to the Lord and seek his face. The good shepherd cares for you.