The Widow’s Oil

2 Kings 4 1-7

2 Kings 4:1-7 (NLT) 1 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.”

This is one of my favorite Old Testament stories of how God supernaturally supplies our every need. This widow woman was in a terrible crisis: her husband had died and she had depended on his income to provide for both her and her sons. Now there was no one to care for them and the creditors were coming to take her sons away as servants to pay for their debts. So she turned to the Lord, through Elisha, to get wisdom to know what to do about this problem. She needed help and God provided the wisdom and direction that she needed to solve her problem.

The first thing that Elisha asks this woman is “what do you have in the house?” Many times the answer that we need is right under our noses and we can’t see it until someone else points it out to us. God meets us right where we are. He asked her to search her heart for what might be the solution to her problem. Often we run from one agency to another expecting everyone around us to provide for us when God really wants to work His miracle through our own hands. Resources are often right within our reach but we look for others to “take care of us”. What this woman saw as a simple a jar of oil was just what God needed to work with to provide for her family for the rest of their lives. Her oil had an unlimited supply when surrendered to her God. As long as she had vessels to pour the oil into the supply kept coming.

Elisha told the woman to go into her house with her sons and shut the door behind them. And then pour the oil into the jars until all the jars were filled. When we follow God’s direction for our lives many times those around us don’t understand and can easily hinder our ability to stand in faith believing that what God has told us will come into reality. Elisha told her to shut the door behind them. I believe he was saying to shut out the talk of unbelief that would hinder her ability to believe that God would fill the jars as she poured the oil into them. God’s provision continues to flow as long as we continue to trust Him to provide for us and follow His directions as He gives them. This woman’s faith was only as large as the number of jars that she had borrowed to fill. If she had had more jars the oil would have continued to flow as long as she had the jars to be filled.

Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

God’s riches never run out and He never runs short on the supply. His riches are provided for us through our faith in Christ Jesus. Our faith has a tendency to waver at times which can affect the supply that we receive. The two words “according to” actually mean “in a manner consistent with”. God’s provision for our need is “in a manner consistent with” His riches in glory through what Jesus did for us on the cross of Calvary. Jesus paid the price for every need that mankind would ever experience. That supply never runs out! He is the gift that keeps on giving. Our ability to receive is the only things that varies. And that is dependent upon whether or not we believe and act on our faith.

What provision do you have need of today? Is it for finances or a material need such as a home or car; a job that He can use to provide those finances; a physical, mental or emotional need? Whatever the need is the supply through Christ Jesus is available. God works through many ways, but the provision is already there for you to reach out and receive.

James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man unstable in all his ways.

God’s wisdom is there for the asking. He will not turn you away when you come to Him for direction to solve your problems. The only thing that He requires is that you come in faith, with no doubting. If the widow woman had questioned God’s ability to fill her jars from the one jar of oil that she had in her house she would not have received anything to pour into the other jars. She had to believe that what she was told by the Prophet would work. When you come to God the only requirement that He asks of you is that you believe Him and act on what He says. Believe and receive; doubt and do without.

The Greek word for “doubting” is the word diakrino and it has two definitions: 1) To judge thoroughly; to decide between two or more choices; to make a distinction; to separate two components, elements, or factors; to render a decision; to evaluate carefully. 2) The word also connotes a conflict with oneself, in the sense of hesitating, having misgivings, doubting, being divided in decision making, or wavering between hope and fear.

In James 1:6 I believe the second definition is the one to which the Lord is referring. Doubting is wavering between hope and fear. One minute you’re in faith believing that God is providing for your need and the next minute your in fear that He will not come through for you. You have a conflict going on within your heart that causes you to hesitate in standing strong in your faith. In this case the Word says that this person is double-minded and unstable in all their ways. This doubting affects every area of their lives. If they can’t believe in one area they will have that same problem when they come to the Lord for something else. The word says the answer to strengthening their faith to avoid having doubts is to hear the word of God.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Faith comes by hearing the word of God. So if you need provision for finances the word of God that you need to hear to build your faith would be every scripture that talks about how God supplies for financial needs. Search the Word to find every scripture that talks about money or financial supply and then meditate on those scriptures; read them over and over again, silently and out loud and begin to proclaim that God is supplying your need. Do the same thing for other needs that you might have. For healing, look up every scripture that talks about God’s provision of healing in someone’s life. Study those out and let them sink down into your heart. Then begin to proclaim that God is your Healer. Resist the thoughts that come that say He will not come through for you. Spend time with people that will reinforce your faith and not throw cold water on it through doubt and unbelief.

Throw fear out the door! That’s the devil’s primary mode of operation. He always comes with fear to try to stop a believer from standing in faith to receive from God. But God is not the author of fear; that comes from the enemy.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

God has given us these things to overcome fear: His power, His love and mental stability.

The Greek word for “sound mind” is sophronismos and it means safe-thinking. The word denotes good judgment, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions. It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline.

You have the ability within you to think clearly, to make sound decisions, to be self-controlled and self-disciplined. All these qualities when applied in your life will help you to be stable, standing firm and strong during adversities while waiting for God’s provision to come into reality. God has equipped us to win. The battle is the Lord’s and the victory is ours if we will stand up and fight.

1 Timothy 6 12

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Standing in faith believing for God’s provision is fighting the good fight of faith. Paul told Timothy to “lay hold on” eternal life. To me that gives a picture of grabbing it with a tenacity that says “no one is taking it from me, God has provided it for me and I’m going to hold onto it with all that I have within me”. Eternal life is the life that God has provided for you that is filled with His goodness and provision. It is life that never ends and for a believer that is a good thing because once this physical life is over we change residences to heaven to continue the life that He has provided for us. For an unbeliever eternal life last throughout eternity outside the presence of God in darkness and despair, filled with torment and never-ending pain. God says that eternal life is something to be desired and fought for; it is a life worth living and that we should not let anything keep us from living it to the fullest.

Whatever it is that you have need of this morning, God is waiting for you to come to Him for that provision. Won’t you believe that He will provide it for you?

Father, I thank You for the provision that You have made for each one of us in everything that we have need of. Thank You for making that provision available to us through our relationship with Christ Jesus. I pray for those who don’t know Jesus today that may have needs that are going unmet simply because they are outside the covenant that You provided to meet their every need. I pray that they will invite Jesus into their hearts this morning so they can begin walking out the good life that You have planned for them. Father, for those who know You that are in need this morning, I pray that You will show them what to do in each situation. Give them the wisdom they need to know where to go and what to do in their particular situation that will bring the supernatural provision that You have for them. I pray that they will search out Your word to find the scriptures that apply specifically to their need and will begin to meditate on them and speak them over their lives. I pray that unbelief will not be a part of their lives, but that they will stand firm in faith believing until they see the reality of what You have promised for them. Father, join them with people of like precious faith that will reinforce their faith and help them to stand strong until the provision comes. Help them to guard their hearts from unbelief and to put double-mindedness out of their lives. Thank You for providing for their need, Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gaby1948
    Feb 16, 2013 @ 15:02:57

    This is a wonderful blog. You included all my favorite verses and favorite story (Elisha) in the Old Testament. Thank you for always spreading the Truth. Let’s pray that you reach more every day! God Bless you!


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