The Widow’s Oil (2 Kings 4:1-7)

by Xylia Sparks-Davis on 09/27/12

The widow of Second Kings Four was married to a man who was seeking God, a follower of Elisha and the school of the prophets.  Scripture does not state what happened to him – just that he died.  When death comes there is plenty to do – preparing the body, conducting the services, and the settling of accounts.

It was time to administer her husband’s estate.  The ledgers are opened only to find that there is far more debt than money to go around.  Her husband had been seeking spiritual wisdom but had not gotten his financial house in order.  He had not prepared for the time when he would no longer be there for his family. Maybe he thought that he had time to make the debt right- but now he was gone and the ones he tried to protect inherited his burden.

 A sure rule is- when there is debt, there will be debt collectors.  I can see her creditors in my head now, sending letter after letter; notice after notice. They did not care about her pain, her loss or her circumstances.  The creditors only cared about the money. There were no wages to garnish – she did not have a paying job. Her family was her life. Her home was her domain.  Now a creditor was coming break up her home and sell her sons into to slavery to pay the debts.  The widow’s future depended on how this crisis would be resolved.  With the death her husband, she lost her income.  The loss of her sons would cause the loss of her protection – her social security - in her later years. What could she do to solve this?  Where would the answer come?

In a crisis, the first place you turn can show you who or what you trust.  The widow turns to Elisha, the man of God, for guidance and help.  His questions were straightforward. What do you have in your house? His instructions were clear. Go borrow vessels (jars) from your neighbors and do not get a few. Shut yourself in your home and begin to pour out the oil.

 The widow did exactly as she was told. She and her sons pulled together what was required and did not hesitate to ask their neighbors for the help they needed.  She shut herself up in the house and reached for her little oil jar.   How could something so small fill so many vessels much larger than itself?  She believed God was able and began to pour. She poured and filled vessel after vessel, until every jar was filled and there were no more to borrow.  The debt could be paid with money to spare.  The oil multiplied to fill the need and overflowed to provide her family with a stable financial future.  That is how God solves problems.  He more than just fills the need.  He overflows.  His supply runs over.

That reminds me of an issue God solved that was bigger than the widow’s debts.

God had an issue one day. His precious children whom he had created sold themselves into slavery – the slavery of sin.  Owned by a hard taskmaster called Satan.  The Lord looked at all the majesty around Him seeking for something of true value to pay back His children’s debt.  Gold Streets?  No, not worth enough….  Pearl gates? Not worth enough…Jasper walls? Not worth enough.  Our debt was so large none of these things combined would buy back even one of His precious ones.  Then He looked into the eyes of His only beloved and asked “Son, are you willing?  You know what must be done.”  The beloved one answered, “Father, I’m willing and I submit to your wisdom.” The Son came to Earth and was pierced – crucified.  His blood ran everywhere. His blood poured filling vessel after vessel. Jesus emptied Himself of His blood and surrendered His life for us. His blood bought our freedom, just as the oil spared the widow’s children.  Just like the widow’s oil, there was more than enough blood to pay the price.  Blood to wash away sin. Blood to heal the broken.  Blood to free the captive.  Blood to overcome life challenges.  The debt was paid and we who have been set free live on the rest – the victory.

Go fill your jars; there is more than enough to go around.

Until next time,