Summary: Many believers do not trust God completely. Many believers are not convinced that God can, and will resolve any situation in their favor.
Last week we studied about the importance of listening to the voice of God, and moving towards His will. We learned that when we are willing to listen and do His will, we will receive the blessings that He has stored for us. We learned that we must trust Him in all things, and that we must not allow our faith to falter or fail. But the sad reality is that the faith of many believers does falter, and sadly enough, does fail on many occasions. The main reason for this is that many believers do not trust God completely. Many believers are not convinced that God can, and will resolve any situation in their favor. In other words, many believers doubt that God is attentive to their needs. The problem is that the end result of this doubtful attitude is always the same. The end result is that once a difficult situation arises, or when confronted with a problem, the faith of the person will fail, and that person will be blinded to the blessings of God. Let’s now turn to 2 Kings Chapter 4:1-7 to learn the message that God has for us today.
2 Kings 4:1-7 - Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.2And 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. 3Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. 4And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. 5So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. 6And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. 7Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
Now, this first verse sets the tone to our story. I say that it sets the tone because it clearly lets us know the state of mind of this woman. Look carefully at her words; she said “Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.” If we were to just read this, we would probably miss the pain and suffering reflected in her statement. But when we take the time to analyze her statement, we quickly realize that she was desperate. The reason for this desperation was because her husband had died. This perhaps does not have the same meaning today as it did back then. Now, let me stop here and clarify something, I do not want to be misunderstood. I am not saying that the death of a spouse is not important; the death of a spouse will always cause sorrow. What I am saying is that in our days, it is much easier for the surviving spouse to continue living without much difficulty. But this was not the case back then. In those times the husband was the principal provider for the family. Therefore, the death of her husband meant that she and her family would now find themselves alone; they would now have to fend for themselves. But as if that alone was not enough, we see that the creditor was coming to take away her only two means of support. She said “the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.” But what does this mean? In order to comprehend this we need to understand the way things worked back then.
Back in that time, very much like today, people did not have the money to pay for certain things; therefore, people would buy on credit. But unlike today that when we are not able to make a payment all we do is pay interest charges, in those days, those who could not pay the creditor, the creditor could legally take possession of their sons and make them slaves. So let’s imagine this woman’s pain, her husband, the provider, died. Her sons were about to be turned into slaves to pay the families debts. She was in a state of panic, her world was crumbling. Everything that she had was shattering to pieces. Now I ask; how many of us have been through a similar situation? How many of us are suffering or going through very difficult times? Desperate and suffering because we are faced with problems or situations that seem impossible to defeat. When we read between the lines, we quickly see that the way she was speaking to Elisha reflects that her faith in God was slaking; by the tone of her conversation we quickly note that her faith in God was weak. I am sure that she, as well as many people today when faced with similar situations, was asking herself, how can all of this be? She was saying my husband was a man of God, he was a good husband, he was a good father, and how could God just take him away like this? Her faith was defeated. She was doubtful, of God, she was desperate and in a state of panic, and look at how the prophet answered her.