Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Vision (1/12/12): Borrow not a few

In my “state of the church” report at our annual CRBC membership meeting last evening, I shared some reflections from the miracle of the widow’s oil in 2 Kings 4:1-7.

First, the narrative tells of a great need (v. 1). There was a certain woman, the wife of a prophet, whose husband had died. She came to the prophet Elisha in her distress. The creditors were coming ready to sell her two sons into slavery to pay her debts.

Second, there were only meager means (v. 2). Elisha asks, “What shall I do for thee?” He then asked what of any value she had in her house. She replied that she had nothing, “save a pot of oil.”

Third, there was a miracle of provision and blessing (vv. 3-7). Elisha told the desperate women to go to her neighbors and to borrow vessels, adding “borrow not a few” (v. 3). The woman did as commanded, pouring out her oil into the borrowed vessels. Miraculously the oil did not cease to flow till all the vessels were filled. Only when the last one was full, do we read, “And the oil stayed” (v. 6). By selling the miraculously supplied oil she had all she needed to pay her debts (v. 7).

I suggested that the church often finds herself in the situation of the widow. We are poor, in a state of need, and completely dependent on the Lord for help. Consider also the gaping needs of the world all around us. From a worldly perspective, we have only meager means. Still, the Lord commands us to gather our vessels, and he is then so often pleased to provide beyond all that we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

As we enter the year ahead we look forward to experiencing all the ways God will bless, grow, provide, fill, stretch, and encourage us, as we depend on him for everything.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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