Creditors came to take her two sons as slaves when this mom called for help. According to the book of Josephus and rabbinical historians, the mom in 2 Kings 4 was Obadiah's wife (Jim Cole Ross, 2011, globalchristiancenter.com). Obadiah was King Ahab's administrator who hid 100 prophets in two caves while Queen Jezebel was introducing Israel to Baal worship. Obadiah's service to God opened up a line of credit in heaven for his family to deduct from in hard times.
Obadiah's widow lived during a time of famine in Israel. She sought the only one who could help her, Elisha. He doesn't give her a handout but asks a question that could be considered unsympathetic. "Tell me, what do you have in your house?" (2 Kings 4:2)
Today's desperate woman would probably reply, "What are you talking about? I'm broke! I have nothing." The widow replied, "Nothing at all except a flask of oil." She had no life insurance, no cattle to sell to pay her debtors or rich relatives to bail her out. She had just a flask of oil. Oil in the Bible was used to anoint leaders, honor the dead or bring healing.
Elisha instructs the widow to gather as many jars from her neighbors, close the door and pour out the oil from the flask until their were no more jars to fill. She instructs her sons to borrow as many jars as they could from their neighbors. When she closed the door and poured oil, that little oil multiplied until every jar was filled.
The widow had so much oil that she paid off her creditors and set aside funds to pay for any future expenses. That flask of oil took care of her current crisis and financial future. Here are some lessons from this mom's financial crisis:
You must have a relationship with God for Him to step in to rescue you financially. This wasn't a woman who was careless about God. Her husband put his life at risk to protect the prophets during the reign of an evil queen. Her husband was a righteous, faithful man.
You have something that may be common or overlooked that could be a source of provision to answer your financial crisis and set up your future if you put that in the hands of God. A little flask of oil multiplied in her hands was able to pay off her creditors and set up her financial future.
You have to do something to get your financial deliverance. The kingdom of God does not operate like the welfare system. While God loves you and has compassion, He doesn't give handouts. Instead, He partners with you by putting His hand on what you consider ordinary, mundane or common, like a job or a gifting that you have. The widow had to get her sons to gather the jars and she had to pour the oil.
Are you in a financial crisis? Good news: God wants to help you! He will by giving you favor with creditors or wisdom on how to structure the terms. He can send you someone to give you wisdom or an answer you never thought of. Above all, He can open your eyes to the flask of oil that you don't realize is valuable and multiply that "flask," which is a gift or talent you consider common. When He shows you that gift or talent or gives you an idea, take action and trust Him to open doors!
Leilani Haywood is the online editor for SpiritLed Woman. She is an award-winning writer and frequent contributor to Charisma, Christian Retailing and Ministries Today. She recently wrote Ten Keys to Raising Kids That Love God. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
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