Borrow Vessels, not a Few
Elisha was a prophet in Israel.
There were many who, though contrary to the “popular religion”, followed God.
They would gather together to hear Elisha, as he traveled the country.
He ministered to the people with the Word of God, and instruction.
Many followed the teachings of God, and they were called the “sons of the prophets”.
Some set themselves aside for ministering, and prayer.
Others had families, and lived for God in their jobs.
A widow of one of these men came to Elisha in dire straights. After her husband had died, things had gotten very tough financially, and they had come into debt.
2 Kings 4:1 “Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.”
This was very serious. Both sons being taken, must have meant a large debt.
But she came to Elisha;…..he would be able to pray for her, or tell her what she could do by the Word of the Lord.
2 Kings 4:2 “And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee?
Tell me, what hast thou in the house?
And she said, Thy handmaid hath not anything in the house, save a pot of oil.”
At first, it is as if Elisha is not asking the woman at all….but rather praying for direction…”What shall I do for thee?”
Then, he asks her, according as the Holy Spirit showed him, “What do you have in the house?”
She had nothing to sell, nothing to trade. She only had a pot of oil.
How often we think we need something more, before we can serve God.
More knowledge, more courage, more understanding.
But really, we just need to use what we have: God’s grace which He has already given us, by the Holy Spirit.
When we do, then God will enable us,…..and He will supply more of what we need.
2 Kings 4:3-4 “Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
When thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee, and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.”
Here was the answer:
She would have to be obedient,……and God would supply her need.
She would have to borrow empty vessels; for the Lord was going to work a miracle for her.
But it was to be for her and her sons. No one else was to be present, or even see through the door.
Elisha was not present. He did not do this.
The Lord did this for her, and her sons;……..using empty vessels……and their obedience.
Did God supply the need? Yes!
2 Kings 4:5-6 “So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel.
And he said unto her, there is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.”
Abundantly the need was met! All the vessels they had borrowed were filled,…..till there was no more.
God would have us bring our “empty vessels” to Him to be filled with His Spirit, for our everyday needs.
Shutting the door, so we may be alone with God in prayer and devotions, is often the means He uses to supply our need for the day.
The oil of joy, and strength, and peace…..and increased faith is often given as we close the door on the world, and seek Him, only.
2 Kings 4:7 “Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.”
After the miracle, she did not get “swelled head” and say, I know what I will do.
No, she came and asked for guidance as what to do next.
Amazingly, the answer was an answer for the rest of her life.
God saw to the need, and more. He gave to her, so that she would be able to live beyond this debt.
That is what God always gives us: life. It is what He supplies, even as He is supplying a specific need, for now.
Our life as His children, here and now; and every time we need it.
It does not say whether the oil came drop by drop, or poured out fast from the vessel she had.
Only that the oil came, the need was met. He supplied it for her and her son’s life.
Let us look to God to supply the need of our life, bringing our “empty vessels” for His Spirit to fill….that we may have His life for us,…..and live by His direction.