The Woman with a jar of oil
When it seems that you have nothing; typically, you have a seed. God can take what you already have and use it to bring forth a miracle. Moses had a rod, the widow in 2 Kings 4: 1-7 had a jar of oil.
The Author, attributed to Jeremiah, illustrates a woman whose husband died and dramatically her life changed. Her husband was a son of the prophets and known by Elisha. In a time of apostasy, he was not guilty of serving Baal, but served the only wise God. Scriptures do not elicit why he was in debt; however, he did not contract his debts by prodigality, and luxury and riotous living, for he feared and loved the Lord. Subsequently, the widow was now in debt and the creditors were severe and wanted her sons as assets. The woman is now desperate and cries to Elisha for help. The prophet asked her what did she have of value or sale. She said she had nothing except a jar of oil. Elisha sees past the one bottle of oil– he envisions a family business and profit. He foresees a woman coming out of debt and able to live a prosperous life.
Elisha gave specific instructions for the women to borrow empty vessels from her neighbors (friends, family, everyone she knew). He specifically advised her not to borrow a few but in abundance, and fill each bottle with the oil. She obviously had favor with friends and family and was able borrow several bottles. Elisha also instructed her to go home and shut the door behind herself and her sons. To shut the door connotes to sealing the blessing from the creditors. Often times we broadcast what the Lord is doing and how he is doing it. You must protect your business venture, vision, or dream. Just because someone tells you they are happy for you, does not mean they aren’t envious of you. You are a secret. You are hidden with Christ. Keep the vision hush-hush; keep it a mystery until the grand début. If you reveal what street your parade is going down, the enemy will sabotage it.
God gives specific instructions—He is the strategist of details. The prophet advised the woman to fill each vessel and put them to the side. She trusted the man of God, by faith she did the ground work and started a family enterprise. One son put the bottles to the side as she filled them and the other son brought the bottles over. The more she poured the oil, the more the oil multiplied. When she had filled them all, she asked her son for more bottles, but there were no more and the oil ceased to multiply. When God instructs you to give, sow in abundance. When he ask you to collect, don’t grab a cup, but get the largest bucket you can find and expect to receive great in measure.
Elisha told the woman to sell the bottles to those who could afford to buy them. They were to pay off their debts and live off the rest. Who would have thought one bottle of oil would multiply into a business? Where there is vision there is provision. According to your faith, you will receive in quantity and abundance? Do not limit yourself from the blessings of the Lord, and never put God in a box. If you are lacking, never ask for the exact amount, just ask God to bless over and above—He knows what we are in need of. God is limitless. God will go where your faith takes you. Him is a great and huge God–there is nothing mediocre about Him.
- Habakkuk 2:4
- Ephesians 3:20
- 2 Corinthians 5:7
- Hebrews 1: 1-3
- Jude 1:3