Intro: I am always praying for creative ways to help people with debt and lack; yet, I am grateful Connect2Christ Church is faithful to partner with other non-profits and churches to help those in our community who need food and resources. No one should go hungry in our community; we are responsible to take care of one another.
In our passage today, we gain a whole new perspective of what life was like for the poor in 797BC during Elisha’s prophetic ministry. Today, we cannot comprehend the debt in which the poor could find themselves, as well as the cost of trying to satisfy that debt. Widows were left with little or no option; they were abandoned by the government, as well as the religious organizations. If a person could not pay what he or she owed monetarily, the only other option was to sell family members as slaves. Elisha called on the name of the Lord and God provided an amazingly creative way to meet the needs of one poor widow. God provided based on this woman’s obedience. I can only imagine the witness of this woman to the goodness of God from that day on.
2 Kings 4:1-7 Elisha Helps a Poor Widow
4 One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.”
2 “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”
“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.
3 And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. 4 Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.”
5 So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. 6 Soon every container was full to the brim!
“Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.
“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.
7 When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this lesson revealing the reality of your miraculous love and creative provision for this poor widow. Her faith to seek your help and her obedience to follow through is an amazing example for us. Continue to give your sons and daughters a heart for the poor and a willingness to be a blessing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.