2 Kings 4:1-7:
1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
Now let’s meditate upon this situation. In verse one we discover a wife has lost her husband who himself feared the Lord and evidently served along side Elisha in the ministry himself. Elisha certainly knew him and knew his testimony for the Lord. As time past this dear man died and left his wife and two sons on their own.
Unfortunately, the family found themselves in debt and now with the husband and father gone creditors came to take the only asset available to them—namely her two boys.
How many of you know when trouble comes God is still on the throne? This mother is faced with a great trial. Her heart is troubled at the thought of her two boys going into servitude for an extended period of time. Already bereaved of her husband soon her boys would be gone as well.
So, she cries out to Elisha. She makes him fully aware of her situation with the hope he can help her. As Elisha listens to her plight he first makes it plain that he cannot help her. He says, “What shall I do for thee, or how can I help thee?”
Like Peter in the New Testament who said to the lame man, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” So, Elisha cannot help this mother by his own means, but he knows the Lord will help her. So he says, “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”
As we see from the text, the only thing she had in the house was a pot of oil. As soon as Elisha became aware of the pot of oil, the Lord quickened to his heart the answer. What confidence the prophet had in the Lord! He proceeded to tell this mother to borrow as many vessels as possible from her neighbors and once in possession of those vessels she was to shut herself and her boys in the house.
Elisha then instructed her to take the pot of oil and pour from it into each vessel. Once one was full, they were to set it aside and take another and fill it. They were to continue this way until all the vessels were full.
The Bible says, “so she went from him,” and she obeyed Elisha. Now I trust you see the faith of this dear mother. As she moved about the neighborhood borrowing vessels, she is embracing the word of the Lord from the prophet. She is moving in faith. She is trusting the Lord for the miracle Elisha is clearly speaking of.
Once in the house with her boys I believe they had quite the church service! She started pouring from her pot into a vessel perhaps two or three times the size of her pot, but as she poured the oil kept coming. She topped that one off and had one son move that one aside as her other boy put the next vessel in front of her. She began to pour again, and the oil kept flowing until that vessel was also filled.
About right there I think some excitement was building in the house. Mom had to say, “Boys, look what the Lord is doing,” as she kept filling those vessels. Finally, mom said, “bring me another vessel.” But her son said, “mom, that was the last one.” I mean, she was ready to keep pouring!
Now let me remind you of something. This miracle illustrates to us the limitless supply of the living God. We can exhaust our resources, but we can never exhaust His! When he supplies our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus there is as much remaining as when he first started. There will never be a run on the bank of heaven because His riches can never be depleted!
Now look again at verse seven . . . God’s provision paid her debt and the remainder was enough for them to live on.
Do you know something? God’s provision has also paid my debt. The debt I owed left me in bondage to sin and death. I was destined to eternal servitude facing a debt I could not pay, until God opened a fountain that still flows from a hill called Calvary. My friend, the work of Christ upon the cross is sufficient to pay all our sin debt and set us free!
Do you know something else? Not only is God’s provision enough to pay my sin debt, but I live on the rest of it. Christ is my Savior, but Christ is also my life!