A popular children’s book tells the story of a poor, country boy who took off his cap to honor the king. An identical hat appeared instantly in its place on his head, inciting the king’s anger for what appeared to be disrespect. Bartholomew removed hat after hat while being escorted to the palace for punishment. Each time, a new one appeared in its place. The hats grew increasingly fancy, bearing precious jewels and feather plumes. The 500th hat was the envy of King Derwin, who pardoned Bartholomew and purchased the hat for 500 pieces of gold. At last, Bartholomew’s head was bare; he walked home with freedom and money to support his family.
A widow came to Elisha in financial distress, fearing her children would be sold into slavery to pay her debts (2 Kings 4). She had no assets other than a jar of oil. God multiplied that oil to fill enough borrowed jars to settle the debts plus care for their daily needs (v. 7).
God provided financially for the widow in much the same way He provides salvation for me. I am bankrupted by sin, but Jesus paid my debt—and offers me eternal life as well! Without Jesus, we are each like the poor, country boy with no means to pay our King for our offenses against Him. God miraculously supplies the extravagant ransom for us, and ensures that those who trust in Him will have life abundant forever.
Thank You, Lord, for paying my debt through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I had nothing; You paid it all for me.
Jesus’s sacrifice pays for our spiritual debt.
In today’s account of the never-ending oil, the woman and her sons follow the prophet’s instructions without question. They were in need and knew God could provide. Many of us may wish we had that kind of faith—faith that doesn’t doubt or question.
Some background to their inspiring faith helps put this story in context. Verse 1 tells us that the widow’s husband had been a member of “the company of the prophets”—a group of men who had remained faithful to the true God in a time of paganism. They had also seen God do miraculous things through Elisha, so they knew nothing was impossible. Their faith was the logical conclusion of their experience and gave them the confidence to obey.
God often provides in ways we don’t expect. Is there a situation you need to trust God for today?