For those of us who are extremely creative visionaries:
“People will kill you over time. And how they will kill you is with tiny little phrases like, ‘be realistic’ “. (quoted by unknown)
Can you imagine if someone was there when the Lord envisioned the heavens and the earth and told Him to be “realistic” – to “get real”?
I fight the voices of nay-sayers around me and in my own head every day … and have successfully gotten to the point where I truly believe and have SEEN that God can do ANYTHING. If it’s His will, it WILL come to pass. You put one foot in front of another and walk ahead with every effort you can conjure and watch your vision become a new definition of “realistic”.
Not everyone is a visionary, so if you are not, don’t stomp the dreams of those who are – after all someone envisioned the Eiffel Tower, the television, computers, the IPhone, modern medicine, and more … and the Lord spoke the world into existence.
2Kings 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
2Ki 4:2 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.
2Ki 4:3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, [even] empty vessels; borrow not a few.
2Ki 4:4 And 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.
2Ki 4:5 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.
2Ki 4:6 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.
2Ki 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.
1. What state of mind was the woman in when she came to Elisha? Look up the word cried in the Strong’s Concordance and describe more fully the type of “cry” she made to Elisha in verse 1? Have you ever been in this situation of total desperation? What raced through your mind?
2. What do you think of Elisha’s reaction? What first step did he tell her to do? What was the second step he instructed her to do? What happened in between? __________________________________________________________
3. What was the issue at hand and what led up to the crises? __________________________________________________________
4. Do you think she had tried anything before this to remedy her debt? Think of what she told Elisha she had when he asked her what she had . . . she answered “nothing, save a pot of oil.” Think of the story of Jonah, a dear teacher of mine pointed out that he didn’t cry out to the Lord until AFTER he had spent three days in the darkness of the whale’s stomach. Why did he, and why do we, wait so long to cry out to the Lord for help? __________________________________________________________
5. The word oil is used five times in this passage – five is the number of grace … What is that little pot of oil in your life that can be used of God – no matter how meaningless it may seem to you? Take time to pray and think on this … __________________________________________________________
6. Vessels is mentioned seven times – seven is the the number of completion. God always does His delivery rescue completely and fully. In this passage vessel can stand for people, or commodities that can be of value- we are vessels of honor as people. What are the vessels or who are the vessels in your life? __________________________________________________________
7. Who are your neighbors in your circumstances? What is it that God can use in your life to bless you and others? How can you pour for more into others?
8. Explain what you think it means when the passage mentions that she closed the door on herself and her sons when she began to pour and the miracle took place – Who was present with her besides her two sons. Closing the door is representative of prayer … __________________________________________________________
9. How does this apply to your life or to someone you know? __________________________________________________________
10. Are you willing to give everything you have to the Lord to use, or do you feel you having nothing to offer him? How far are you willing to sell out to get answers to your needs, before you go to the Father for answers and for replenishment? What is YOUR oil that God could use to multiply? __________________________________________________________
11. Do you BELIEVE that the Lord can do the same miracle for you as He did in this passage for this woman? __________________________________________________________
12. Once the woman finished pouring the oil, what did she do then? __________________________________________________________
13. Did the widow know before hand when she performed part one of the instructions from Elisha what he was going to tell her to do with all of that oil she collected? Did she even know ahead of time that the Lord was going to perform a miracle? What does this tell you about faith?
14. Why would it have been a disaster if she had simply given up and not followed through with Elisha’s wise counsel for the reason of that fact she didn’t see how this would work or remedy her problem? __________________________________________________________
15. When you are in a despair, run out of resources, are destitute, and on your last few drops of oil, do you think it is simply enough that someone hands you replenishment, or is it more valuable to learn how to exercise faith and a strategy that can supply you for a lifetime. “Feed a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”.
Does it make sense that this woman had NO experience as an entrepreneur oil merchant, yet the Lord made her into a success story almost over night? It certainly doesn’t mean she didn’t have to work, exercise faith, and OBEY, but none the less, she was set for future means forever, and she could now help others with the overflow from the oil. Can you imagine what she told her neighbors once she sold the oil and then returned the borrowed vessels back to them? What vessels do you have in your life that may be filled with impurities or foul waters and need to be emptied in order for the Lord to fill them with fresh oil?
In the production of oil – there are a myriad of rich, beautiful, realistic parallels to Christ’s life and that of the believer. To hear an informal in-depth series of teaching on the subject, click on links below in order and listen quick, with pen, and a Bible. You will be enlightened as to the depth of what the Lord meant when He created oil for His glory and for our use.
My prayer for you: Lord Jesus, show us what our resources, talents, and skills are regardless if we believe we have anything to offer for Your use or for anyone else. Will You lift the veil of our eyes to see You more clearly as we turn our faces to truth according to II Corinthians 3: 16? Guide us into where we should use our abilities for Your glory. Show the person reading this right now, that NOTHING is too insignificant for You to use, but more importantly, that we do offer our gifts for use without self condemnation, doubt, or negative assumptions, and not sit on a miracle waiting to happen right in front of us. Amen