Scripture: 2 Kings 4:1-7
We enter the scripture today and see a widow with two small boys who are facing a desperate situation. The husband and father of her sons was a servant of the Lord; he died after an illness and left them a tremendous debt. She has only a small jar of olive oil to her name to maintain herself and her sons.
Olive oil is used for almost everything at this time:
- bathing for some of the rich
There is a knock on the door. She opens the door to see the man who the debt is owed to. He demands his money. She says she does not have any. He says, “I will be back in a week and if you cannot pay me, I will take the boys and sell them into slavery to pay your debt”.
She cries for mercy and time. He refuses her request. She is beside herself and does not know what to do. She goes to Elisha, a prophet, telling him her situation.
He asked her, “What do you have”?
She says “Only a small jar of oil”.
He tells her to tell the boys to go into their neighborhood asking for an empty jar, take the jar to their mother, close the door, and take the oil and pour into one of the empty jars. There will still be more oil, and Elisha instructs them to continue this process until all the jars are full and take the oil to the market place and sell it.
This is enough to pay off all their debts and provide them enough oil to live on.
Elisha was much like our Lord Jesus Christ in that he had wisdom, compassion, and care.
Now, no one escapes:
- or affliction
We often think that if we were rich, these things would not befall us. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the needs of this life?! But this is not the case.
I like the American Indian saying “Don’t judge any man until you walk in his shoes for two full moons.”
No one is exempt from having life’s troubles. Everybody experiences difficulties. Our scripture today is about a young preacher and his family. He dies quite young after an illness, leaving them in great financial need. They are a good family, yet they face life’s financial needs, difficulties and problems. Misfortune may or may not befall any one of us.
Our precious Lord even endured many hardships during his life on Earth. He was arrested, given many lashes, beaten nearly to death, forced to wear a crown of thorns, tortured, and tormented. Then He was crucified on a cross between two thieves.
Yet our Lord Jesus the Christ walks daily with us each step we take and each moment in our lives, enabling us to preserver through each calamity that befalls us because of the promise and certainty of eternal life.
Have you ever felt that each calamity in our lives is a badge of courage and honor?
Even though we will endure some pain and suffering there is hope, rest assured, the free gift at the end of the line is eternal life in His holy presence. Amen!