Summary: Like the widow woman 2kgs 4, many people find themselves in a rut, which can lead to rot, unless they undergo a revival.
Text: 2 Kings 4: 1-7
1A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” 2So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” 3Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. 4“And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
5So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. 6Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased.
7Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”
Subject: “Rut, Rot, Or Revial?”
In the text, we find a woman who is in a predicament that many individuals and many families find themselves in from time to time. She In a “Rut.” You know what a “rut” is don’t you? A rut is place where you feel “stuck, helpless and hopeless.” It’s a terrible and frustrating place to be in because many times you feel like you haven’t done anything to deserve being in a such a place.
Being in a rut will cause you to lose sleep at night. Being in a rut will cause you to have to take nerve medicine. Being in a rut will cause you to be irritable and hard to get along. But the worst thing about being in a rut is that if you don’t find a way to get out of it, a rut will turn into a rot! In order words, a rut… unless you find an escape from it, will rob you of joy and life, and leave you in a dead and rotting place.
It’s the kind of place this Widow woman of Zerapheth found herself in. Here in the scripture we find this poor widow in a desperate situation. She is trying to raise her family alone. Evidently, her husband died leaving her with a mountain of debt. How many of you know that bills will mess with your mind and put you in a mental rut?
The record says that she found herself in such financial trouble that the sheriff has threatened to come and take her sons as slaves. It was not unusual, during bible times that if a person got behind in their bills members of their family were sold into slavery until the bills were paid off. Thank God they don’t do that today. If they did… there might not be many of us in church this morning.
And so, this woman widow does what many of us have learned to do when we find ourselves in a rut. In her despair she cries out to the man of God. It’s good to have a preacher in your corner! But now, sometimes you need to recognize that the preacher is human and gets tired. As I preacher who gets tired from to time, I need to tell you that sometimes, you can get out of your rut yourself, if you know how to pray!
I’ll give this woman credit… she got in touch with somebody who knew how to get in touch with heaven. Even if know how to pray for yourself, it’s good to be able to get in agreement with someone who has a right relationship with God. That way, you can touch on a thing and get a good result as you petition God together.
The bible says that this widow woman called on Elisha and asks him to help her find a way out of this seemingly impossible situation. She is looking for a miracle.
Now Note: the first thing Elisha does is to ask her a rather strange question. Although she has already explained that she is destitute, he asks her what she has in her house. She responds by saying: "Well, nothing at all" but then she remembers, "Well actually we do have something... there is just a little bit of oil"
Of course this is one of those O.T. stories that is really so very rich in meaning. You’ve probably heard this passage preached many times before. You know that as the widow gathers up empty jars from her neighbors, God indeed does a wonderful miracle with that tiny bit of oil. He multiplies it somehow so that once she starts to pour, the oil doesn’t stop flowing until every vessel is filled. Then she takes the oil and sells it to pay off her debts.