One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, "My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the LORD. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves." (2 Kings 4:1 NLT)
Sometimes, the ways of this world just don’t seem to work in our favor. You accept the job that will provide income for your lifetime, then the layoffs begin. You get a good education so you will be valuable, then the marketplace gets flooded with people with your degree. You try to do things right, but you still end up jobless, in debt, and with no apparent way out.
"What can I do to help you?" Elisha asked. "Tell me, what do you have in the house?" "Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil," she replied. And Elisha said, "Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled." (2 Kings 4:2-4 NLT)
People often come to me as a preacher/teacher wanting money. I guess they figure that churches have more money than others, or at least they will be more generous with that money. What they don’t know, though, is that churches are sustained by the will of God just like we are as individuals. In other words, God provides what we need to do what God wants us to do – nothing more – nothing less. Church leaders are instructed by God to do the same thing Elijah does here and many other apostles/prophets/pastors/teachers do throughout the pages of Scriptures. They answer the request with, “Trust God.”
So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim! "Bring me another jar," she said to one of her sons. "There aren't any more!" he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing. (2 Kings 4:5-6 NLT)
Until you’ve experienced it first hand, it’s difficult to understand. It seems counterintuitive to start reading Scripture because your Gas and Electric bill is due. It doesn’t seem to make sense to start praying because your house or car is about to be repossessed. It’s hard to bring ourselves to do something, like attending church services, that seems completely unrelated to our problem, like finding a job. But that’s exactly what God is trying to get us to do.
When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, "Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over." (2 Kings 4:7 NLT)
How about you? Do you trust God for your provision? Do you follow God’s instructions in order to receive that provision? When you do receive God’s provision, do you thank God for providing? Do you see God provide?