Summary: Connecting with God’s abundance is often missed out in our world that believes in hoarding
When circumstances are desperate
A bus carrying only ugly people crashes into an oncoming truck and everyone inside dies. When they get to meet their Maker, because of the grief they have experienced, He decides to grant them one wish each before they enter Heaven.
They’re all lined up, and God asks the first one what she wish is. "I want to be gorgeous." So God snaps His fingers, and it is done. The second one in line hears this and says, "I want to be gorgeous too." Another snap of His fingers and the wish is granted.
This goes on for a while with each one asking to be gorgeous but when God is halfway down the line, the last guy in the line starts laughing. When there are only ten people left, this guy is rolling on the floor, laughing his head off.
Finally, God reaches this last guy and asks him what his wish will be. The guy eventually calms down and says: "Make ’em all ugly again."
So, the next time you are last in line...smile!
I am betting that the woman in our Bible story today felt like she was the last in line, feeling quite desperate, feeling quite left out. Let’s read today’s text...
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD . But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves."
2 Elisha replied to her, "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?"
"Your servant has nothing there at all," she said, "except a little oil."
3 Elisha said, "Go around and ask all your neighbors 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."
5 She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another one."
But he replied, "There is not a jar left." Then the oil stopped flowing.
7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left."
2 Kings 4:1-7 (NIV)
Love this story!
Problem: Scarcity… There is a lack here!
Of what? Cash flow! Creditor is coming to make slaves out of widow’s two boys. Her only hope of cash-flow in a society with no welfare system such as ours. Operating from deficit became what’s real in her life.
Circumstances are desperate!
It is also the way we see things...
Canada’s Olympics – what is the focus – deficit – how few medals we have, just three after a week, how weak we are.
Health care problems in Canada - looks like no national pharmacare, why? - scarce resources
Most of us are there, been there, done that, feel scarcity of resources!
Problem of world: scarcity…
Bigger problem: At the core, we are deeply committed to meeting our own needs -.i.e. self-centred!
Biggest problem/crisis for humanity is unbelief –wrong beliefs about life.
Budget item discussion: how much will it cost? (lack) show me the money!!!
Workplace problems: work on your weakness (lack), lack of good paying job, lack of incentives, lack of benefits…
Olympic basketball: US team shambles work on poor shooting (lack) but what if they work on strengths
One guy traces the scarcity mentality back to Genesis when Pharaoh confronted with news of famine, started hoarding…
That’s the way it has been in our world, we believe in scarcity… we believe that we lack!
One day I was reading Scripture, these verses came on like neon lights to me in Neh. 9…
17"They refused to listen and did not remember the miracles you had done for them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt! But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and full of unfailing love and mercy. You did not abandon them, 18even though they made an idol shaped like a calf and said, `This is your god who brought you out of Egypt!’ They sinned and committed terrible blasphemies. 19But in your great mercy you did not abandon them to die in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud still led them forward by day, and the pillar of fire showed them the way through the night. 20You sent your good Spirit to instruct them, and you did not stop giving them bread from heaven or water for their thirst. 21For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness. THEY LACKED NOTHING in all that time. Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell! Neh.9:17-21 (NLT)