2 Kings 4

2 Kings 4 has Elisha being confronted by the wife of one of the sons of the prophets.  Her husband had died and she was living in poverty.  And Elijah asked “Tell me; what have you in the house”?  Seems like a strange request considering she had lost her husband.  But the woman tells him she has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.  Elisha doesn’t hesitate to give her a solution.  “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few….Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside”.

That seems a little strange.  She has one jar of oil and Elisha instructs her and her sons to go borrow all the jars and vessels they can from those around them.  They did it, and then went in and shut the door and began pouring from her jar into the ones they collected.  She asked her sons to bring another and they were gone and said “There is not another.  Then the oil stopped flowing”.  The size of their faith determined how much God would give.  Had they gathered more jars, undoubtedly the oil would have flowed to fill them all.  But God went only as far as the woman’s faith allowed.

Elisha moved on traveling with his servant Gehazi and they came upon a Shunammite woman who fed them and became a regular stop on their travels.  In fact, they were so regular that she had her husband build a room up on the roof of their home for Elisha to use when passing by.  She and her husband had no child, but God had a different plan and Elisha told her she would become pregnant and give birth.  Even though she couldn’t believe it, “the woman conceived, and she bore a son”.  The child grew but one day became ill while out harvesting with his father and “the child sat on her lap till noon, and then he died”.  She was filled with grief and went to find Elisha.

Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed….he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord…..he went up and lay on the child….the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes”.  There’s a miracle for you.  Elisha came at the insistence of the woman and God used him to restore life to the young man.  Elisha moves on without much fanfare and came to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land. A man came to him from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread and other things in a bag.  Elisha tells his servant to give it to the prophets who were hungry from the famine, but they said “How can I set this before a hundred men”.  There just wasn’t enough to go around.  But as we saw with Jesus, God can take little and turn it into enough.  They obeyed Elisha’s command and the men “ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord”.

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