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Let us look into the story of Elisha who helped a widow and her sons and find out what God is telling us today.

2 Kings 4: 1-7
Now a wife of one of the prophets appealed to Elisha for help, saying, “Your servant, my husband is dead. You know that your servant was a loyal follower of the Lord. Now the creditor is coming to take away my two boys to be his servants.” Elisha said to her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a small jar of olive oil.” He said, “Go and ask all your neighbors for empty containers. Get as many as you can. Go and close the door behind you and your sons. Pour the olive oil into all the containers; set aside each one when you have filled it.” So she left him and closed the door behind her and her sons. As they were bringing the containers to her, she was pouring the olive oil. When the containers were full, she said to one of her sons, “Bring me another container.” But he answered her, “There are no more.” Then the olive oil stopped flowing. She went and told the prophet. He said, “Go, sell the olive oil. Repay your creditor, and then you and your sons can live off the rest of the profit.”

Before Elijah went to heaven, he and Elisha ministered and trained a group of men in different places to teach God’s Word to the people. These men were baptized as sons of the prophets; they had families to take care of and teach God’s Word as well.

One unfortunate day, one son of the prophets died. He left behind a wife and two sons. After this man died there was a knock at the widow’s door. It was a man who was looking for money that her husband owed him. Her husband had an unpaid bill with this man. The man wanted his money now. “I am sorry sir, I have no money to pay you the money my husband owed” the widow may have said. “Well, ma’am since you don’t have the money to pay your husbands debts, the law says I can take your two sons as full payment for his debt. I will make them my slaves for the debt your husband didn’t pay.”

How do you think this widow felt at this news? Her husband had just died and now she was going to lose her only 2 sons. What could she do? She had no money and nothing to offer this man to pay the debt that was owed.

She knew that Elisha was God’s prophet. When we have a need we should go to someone who believes and trusts in God for help. The widow went to Elisha and said, “Your servant, my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. Now that he is dead the man he owed money to is going to take my sons away to be his slaves!”

“How can I help you?” Elisha asked this depressed widow. “What do you have in your home that you could sell to make money?”

“All I have is a jar of oil.”

Most of the time, we may feel like this widow that what we have is not enough and is insignificant for God to use. As we learn from this story today listen to how God used what the widow had to see that what we see as little or insignificant is much if God is involved.

Oil during Elisha’s time was used both as a luxury and as a need. It was expensive because it was time-consuming to make. One olive tree will yield about ten gallons of oil a year. It was maximized for medicinal purposes, lighting, cooking, and even for cosmetics and soaps. In the tabernacle, pure olive oil was utilized in the golden lampstand. Cuts and scrapes on animals and humans would be rubbed with olive oil to help the healing process. Prophets, priests and the kings of Judah and Israel were anointed with the finest of olive oils.

In the story, Elisha instructed the woman and her sons to go around to their neighbors and ask for as many empty jars as they could get. “When you get as many jars as you can, go into your house with your sons and close the door. Take the jar of oil that you have and begin to pour that oil into the empty jars that you have collected.”

The widow went home and did exactly what Elisha had instructed. She and her sons went knocking on their neighbors’ doors and asked them if they could borrow any empty jars that they had. When they had borrowed all the jars that they could find, the widow and her sons went inside and shut the door.

The widow picked up the small jar of oil that she had and began to carefully pour it into an empty jar that she had borrowed. Amazingly the jar filled with oil to the top. There was still oil left in the widow’s original jar. She went to the next empty jar and began filling it with oil. Again she was able to fill that jar with oil and still have oil in her original jar. Imagine how her sons felt as they were watching this miracle happen before their very own eyes! Their mother kept filling each and every empty pot that was in their house and she still had oil in her jar! She finally filled the last empty jar with oil.

The widow and her sons looked around at all the jars filled with oil that came from her one jar of oil. This was a miracle! God had delivered in an marvelous way! The widow ran to tell Elisha what had happened. He told her to go and sell her jars of oil and pay the debt her husband owed. With the money that would be left over she and her sons would be able to live on for a very long time.

It was a great day for the widow and her sons. They were faced with a very difficult situation and they had no way of getting out of their problem without God’s help.

All the widow owned was one jar of oil but God was able to use that oil and reproduce it to meet the widow and her 2 sons’ needs. God takes whatever gift or talent you may have no matter how great or insignificant you may feel it is and use it in a great way to help others to know Him better.

As the widow went to the man to pay her husband’s debt I wonder if she shared how God provided so miraculously to give the needed money and also to have money to live on as well? As the widow and her sons returned the jars to their neighbors did they share God’s miraculous provision.

God definitely went above and beyond what she or her sons could ever imagine! God was worshiped through this widow’s struggle. Everyone was able to see the miracle God performed by providing for this widow. When God helps you in your problems it’s important to share with others so they can see how much God loves and cares for His people.

The widow went to the right place to ask for help. She went to God’s servant and cried out for help. That’s true for us today. When we face problems in our lives we must cry out to God and ask Him for help. God may send us to a Christian we know who loves and obeys God so they can help us. God is waiting to answer and meet our every need.

This story symbolizes that even if we feel like we are not enough for discipleship, God will pour more for us. We just have to trust Him and surrender our lives to Him.