The Widow’s Olive Oil
4 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 small jar of olive 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 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.”
- The husband who revered God had debt (which the Bible warns about many times)
- In spite of it, God still provided for his family
- The widow went to God first, not to her neighbors or family
- She had faith
- Her sons assisted her in filling the jars
- Although olive oil was a precious and expensive commodity, she had so little oil left that her sons must be sold to slavery
- God made use of what she already has – olive oil
- The amount of oil she gathered was directly proportional to how many jars she brought.
- The prophet knew that the olive oil collected was enough to pay her debts despite:
- Not knowing much was her debt
- Not knowing if she collected enough jars to cover her debts
- Not telling her how many jars to gather
Am I ready for life’s unforeseen changes?
When I was 17, my dad passed away, and our lives changed forever.
Suddenly, my mom had to work full time in the family business, handling 50 people. She wasn’t part of the business then, so she didn’t have any idea where or how to continue what my dad started. Today, by the grace of God and by my mom’s faith, the business has grown to over 100 employees.
My financial status is OK. By that, I mean that I don’t have debts. I have enough money to get me by a comfortable life, but not the kind of lifestyle I have now under my mom’s roof. My investments in stocks are going down. But where I am not investing on now is on myself, which is even more important than money. I am lazy to learn new skills, which is why it is my goal this year to cook one dish per month.
I think that the best way to prepare oneself from life’s sudden changes is to cling on to God when things are difficult… and easy. It means not needing anything or anyone more than God. Wanting or needing anything more than Him is of course, idolatry.