Read: 2 Kings 4:1-44
2 Kings 1:2
Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”
2 Kings 1:14-16a
“What can be done for her?” Elisha asked. Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.” Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”
Often times the generalization is made that the Old Testament is only a God of judgment and wrath and the New Testament is when we see His love and mercy. This particular chapter of 2 Kings messes with that generalization. The four miracles recorded in this Old Testament chapter show the tender side of this multifaceted God of ours.
These miracles show God’s compassion and care of the faithful. It shows that He sees His people and is involved in their lives. I can’t help but notice that they are very similar to the kinds of miracles we read of Jesus doing in the New Testament.
Our God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He was the same God in the Old Testament as He was in the New Testament and as He is today. He is faithful, He is loving, He is just, He is good, and He is consistent. These miracles highlight His compassion and attention for those who love Him and foreshadow the work that will be done by Jesus, God in the flesh.
The miracle of the widow’s oil reminds me so much of the account of the feeding of the five thousand found in John 6:1-15.
In both situations there were not enough supplies for what was needed. God started with what each had; the widow, “only oil” and the boy’s lunch of five loaves and two small fish. He took the little they had, defied all natural laws and He filled every jar the widow brought and every empty belly of the people following Him.
God can take the little we have and multiply it if we offer it to Him. He is not confined or restricted by the laws of nature and He can do immeasurably more than we could hope or imagine.
The miracle of the woman and her son is also a picture of God responding to a faithful offering. By preparing a room for Elisha to stay in, she saw a need and gave what she had to the work of the Lord. God blessed her because of it. She didn’t even ask for the baby. She probably couldn’t even imagine it and would no longer allow herself to hope for it. Too many months, too many years had gone by barren.
But Elisha and his servant could hope enough for her and she was given a son. In a shocking twist to the story, the son dies. This precious gift from God dies and she hurries to Elisha and says, 28 “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”
I just imagine her running to Elisha saying, “I didn’t even ask for him. I couldn’t allow myself to hope for this, and now he has died!?” It is heart wrenching!
But then she is given a very special gift and sees the power of God in her life. She sees God do what I consider the most miraculous of all God’s natural law defying miracles and He raises the boy from the dead. Again He does immeasurably more that we can hope for or imagine.
This is the God we love. This is the God we serve. He is the same today as He was when He was with Elisha in the Old Testament. He is the same today as He was in the flesh, walking this earth as Jesus.
He is able to do more than we can possibly imagine if we give the little we have to offer back to Him. Whether it is our finances, our possessions, our loved ones, our energy, our bodies, or our very lives, He can do amazing things with “the little” we give to Him. Will you offer Him what you have today?
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Father, Thank you that you have compassion and care for those who love you. Thank you that you are the same God today as you were when the Bible stories were taking place. Thank you that you are so much bigger than we realize. Thank you that you are bigger than our hopes and imagination and bigger than the natural laws you created. May you be glorified in my life and may I share of your wonderful deeds! Amen