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.
· John 2:6-7 - Wedding Feast - no wine - nearby stood 6 stone water jars…Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water".
· John 11:39 - Jesus was about to called Lazarus out of the grave - He asked the people to move the stone away from the tomb.
· Mark 6:38 - feeding of >5000 people - Jesus asked, "What do you have?"- 5 loaves and 5 fish.
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.
4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side."
Did she do as was told? Yes. 4:5 - She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring.
This is FAITH in action… If you believe this is the Word of God, then she must act in obedience. In fact, both her sons were involved in carrying the jars. They did not ridicule Elisha for this absurd instruction because they believed the word of the prophet.
God wants us to experience His miracles in our lives, but God wanted us to put our faith in His Word. We must exercise faith. Performing the miracle is no problem to God, but He wanted man to have faith in Him, in His Word, in His Ways and do according to His instruction.
Very often, we pray for the situation to change. We wanted God to solve our problem, but we are not willing to do as God says. Through the Word, we received certain instructions - some things we need to do or change, but we are unwilling to obey. And therefore failed to experience the miracle that God has planned for us. We cannot believe, or we are unwilling to do as was told.