First of all, she had her credentials. The God of the Universe is not a “boops” or a “sugar daddy” or some sort of a genie in a bottle. He is the God that rules in and oversees the affairs of men. He cannot be bribed, bought or blind-folded. He has His guidelines by which He operates and one of them states that the Father of some people is the Devil (John 8:44), and the Father of others is God (John 8:42). He is openly partial to the Children of God. He declares that healing is the Children’s bread (Matthew 15:26), and it is the Father’s pleasure to give the Kingdom to His children (Luke 12:32). Straight up… serving God has its blessings and benefits. This woman could say to Elisha, “…Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord…” (2 Kings 4:1). Not only did he revere the Lord, but he was also engaged in active service for the Lord. The wife of such a man is coming with high credentials, and undoubtedly, she would have had some of her own.
What are your credentials? Hopefully, you are a Believer in Christ. If you are not, the only really important miracle you need is salvation. If you are a Believer in Christ, what are you doing to help spread the Kingdom of God?
In 2 Kings 4:2, Elisha asked her what she wanted. Sometimes I have a difficulty being specific about a request to God, because I am not sure that I have His will in the matter. That may have its benefits, but the rule is, go to God with specific requests. Lord I want my sight said the blind man. Lord I want to walk said the lame man. Lord I want to be cleansed said the leper. And Lord I want my child to be brought back to life says the relative of the dead. She wanted to avert the disaster of her sons being sold into slavery. She needed money.
Next, note that Elisha asked a question that God loves to ask. What do you have? She almost failed the test, because her instinctive first answer was “nothing…” (2 Kings 4:2) Nothing is always the wrong answer. The question God asked Moses in the desert, is the same question He is asking us today. What is that in your hand? What assets do you have? What is there in your life for which you can give God thanks? There is always something, and our duty is to be always aware of what we have for which we can give God thanks, and which we can use to the honor and glory of His Name. Having initially said, “nothing…” it was almost condescendingly that she mentioned, “except a small jar of olive oil”. God will perform His miracle with the smallest of contributions from us… but He always wants us to be involved in our own miracle.
Her contribution to her miracle was two-fold. She was to use the little oil she had, and she was to gather as many pots as she could. Please note that the number of pots she obtained was what limited the size of her miracle. It is a fact that our minds cannot handle concepts to which we have not been exposed. In another place I mentioned a requested miracle of $100M. But because I have had the privilege of writing several $100,000.00 checks for Kingdom-building activities, my mind has been expanded to be able to conceive of $100M. Any of the Trumps, on the other hand, would consider $100M a little petty cash that is used to lubricate the cash-flow wheels. God has no difficulty filling 1,000,000 barrels of oil, if we can stretch our minds enough to believe it, expect it, and receive it, by gathering 1,000,000 empty barrels.
I do not know how many pots she and her sons acquired, but I know that they were not enough. For by the time she caught on to the miraculous power and provision of God, she had already failed to collect enough pots. She requested, “Bring me another one.” (2 Kings 4:5). Her faith had now been expanded, but it was too late to alter the size of the blessing. I have asked God for $100M. But were God to ask me how much I want, I would be telling Him multiple Trillions.
Worthy of note is that Elisha gave her a hint to help her expand her faith. He said,”… Don’t ask for just a few…” (2 Kings 4:3). I get the funny feeling that she may have delegated requesting the jars to her sons, although the Word does not say so. Her asking for another one could suggest that she did not have a firm grip as to how any jars had been collected, or it could be that her faith began to grow after she “saw” what was happening, too late for this miracle. She could have opened an oil industry.
Finally, God can only bless us with what we can handle, and He knows what we can handle. It is a great idea for us to practice being faithful in little so that in time we can be faithful in much. And remember that the restrictions of our expectations can limit the blessings of God in our lives.
Remember to visit RBC’s Our Daily Bread Devotional today at www.ODB.org