ONLY A POT OF OIL
“And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.” II Kings 4:2
The woman in our text had recently lost her husband. He had been a prophet serving under the ministry of Elisha. After his death, creditors came to her, demanding payment for outstanding debts. She had no money to pay them. In her distress, this widow cried out to Elisha. He asked her, “what hast thou in the house?” The only thing she had was a pot of oil. Elisha instructed her to gather all the empty vessels she could borrow and to begin to pour the oil into the vessels. She did as she was told and filled all the vessels with the miraculous provision. Elisha then told her to sell all the oil, pay her debt, and live on the remainder.
This great miracle began with the man of God encouraging the needy woman to give what she had, even if it were ONLY A POT OF OIL. Here is a great principle for us to apply. The first thing Elisha had this needy woman do was find what she had at her disposal and give it. Her words were, “Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.” This was a great lesson for her and for us as well. We may not think that we have enough, but we should give what we have.
Truthfully, none of us have all that we need. Most of us live with the sense that we do not have the resources we need to accomplish what God wants us to do. Sometimes, it would seem much easier if we had more to give. If only we had more wisdom, or more money, or more personality, or more intelligence, we could serve God and men in a more capable way. There are a great many who look at their apparent lack of resources, esteeming them to be of little value, and thus feel incapable or inadequate to meet the challenges of ministry. God is not so much interested in what we do not have, but in what we do have.
Elisha wisely helped this woman remove her focus from what she lacked to that which she possessed. She would take what she had and invest it. When she did so, God began to work mightily. What do we have to give to God? It may not seem to be all that much, but if we will give it to God, He will take it and use it. Like the lad with the fishes and loaves, when we give our lunch to Jesus, He can bless it and multiply it, even if it is ONLY A POT OF OIL.