April 20, 2021

Apr 20, 2021    Jim Osmond
Beginning in 2 Kings 4, we are presented with a widow who being in debt after the death of her husband was faced with the possibility of losing her sons to slavery upon the arrival of the creditor. After presenting her case to Elisha, she is asked if there is anything left in the house, to which she replied that only a jar of oil remained. She is told three things which I’d like to highlight:

1. Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors – empty vessels; do not gather just a few. (vs 3)

There is a similar story as we speed ahead in the life of Elisha that I want to share that I think has relevance. King Joash was asked by Elisha to strike the ground with arrows, he struck it only three times. The Bible says that Elisha was angry with King Joash. Had he struck the ground more, it would have meant that Syria would have been destroyed. (2 Kings 13:14-19). Coming back to our story, the widow was asked to get as many vessels as she could. Had she only collected a couple, I imagine only a couple would have been filled and she would have missed out on what God was willing to offer.

Perhaps our lives do not seem full because we have offered so little to Him who is able to fill. Our prayer life may be limping along because we have lifted up so few requests to Him who is waiting to answer. Let us be encouraged that He who provides can do so abundantly. Let us not strike the ground three times, but several. Let us not come with a few vessels, but rather expend energy in collecting all we have in which to offer. Let us take Ephesians 3:20 to heart, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”.

2. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons (vs 4)

This miracle was not to be a public demonstration, but a private provision. Shut the door Elisha says to her. I seem to recall Jesus saying similarly, “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” What a wonderful reminder of how God wants to meet with us one-on-one. We can shut the door to worldly distractions and outward piety, and come as we should in humility and just as we are.

3. Then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones (vs 4)

Lastly, imagine with me the widow who at the start begins filling the first vessel. I would suspect at some point she would realize that her jar is not getting any lighter. Think of her excitement at this realization. (Imagine how you would feel at this recognition.) In that private moment behind a closed door she was witnessing a miracle! From a simple step of faith and obedience brought about unimaginable provision. “Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, ‘Bring me another vessel.’” (vs 6) More, more she says to her son! Hear such strong faith in that statement. Bring more that it too might be filled!

In closing, I’d like to tie this into the Christian experience. The sinner has only one vessel - himself, but he comes to One that can fill. He comes in humility and repentance, behind “close door” as it were. He takes a step of faith and believes in Him who can save. As he pours out of himself into the arms of his Savior, he witnesses a miracle of filling. What does the redeemed experience in return? “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Do you need a filling today? Come to the one who promises to fill, and who does so abundantly. How wonderful it is to know that we can be filled today if we believe in Jesus!

“Fill My Cup, Lord”

Fill my cup, Lord
I lift it up, Lord
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul
Bread of Heaven, feed me ‘til I want no more
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.