Summary: Put your trust in a God who can make a way even when there seem to be no way. Obey Him and do as He says.
Have you ever been in a situation that is quite hopeless? This passage tells us of a woman in a very difficult situation, but God opened a way out for her. He did a miracle through a prophet. God had a plan even in a hopeless situation. God had a way even when there seem to be no way.
A woman had two sons. Her late husband was a man who revered God. He was "from the company of the prophets" (v.1) - the school of the prophets - trains them to serve as priests and prophets. Apparently the family went through some hard time and must have borrowed large amount of money. Now her husband has died and she was unable to repay the loan. The creditor wanted to take her two sons away as his slaves. She did not know what to do.
Her situation seemed hopeless until she saw prophet Elisha. She cried out to him, not because she believe Elisha can give her money - prophets are not rich, and it is obvious that Elisha couldn’t help her - but in her times, prophets are spokesmen for God. Her late husband was a prophet, so she wanted to seek God’s help. She wanted to ask God for answers to her problem. What must she do?
Elisha looked at her and said, "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house." God has a plan and He revealed it to Elisha.
The first thing Elisha does, is to point the woman to look at her own resources. What can she offer? Elisha did not say, let me see how much money I have in my bank account, or let me go around and raise some funds, or ask the neighbours to donate. Instead he said, "Tell me what do you have in your house?".
God is going to do a miracle. But He wants us to offer what we have. God can actually create something out of nothing. He created the world that way. Yet very often we read in Scriptures, God wants us to offer him what we have and when we do so, we see miracles. God wants us to exercise faith, and participate in His works.
Now the woman could have gotten angry with Elisha. Here she was coming to him for help and he was asking her what does she have in her home. Of course she don’t have enough. If she had something, she would not have to come to Elisha in the first place. She could have said, "Brother, I don’t have anything. There is nothing there at all."
But that was not her attitude. She wanted to do anything she can and offer everything she had. So she gave a thought and said, "Oh yeah, I do have a little oil left that’s used for cooking and lighting the house." She may have expected Elisha to give her some money, but instead, she was given some instructions on what she would have to do.
3 Elisha said, "Go around and ask all your neighbours for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few.