2 Kings 4: 1-7
NOW THE wife of a son of the prophets cried to Elisha, Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. But the creditor has come to take my two sons to be his slaves. 2 Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? Tell me, what have you [of sale value] in the house? She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil. 3 Then he said, Go around and borrow vessels from all your neighbours, empty vessels–and not a few. 4 And when you come in, shut the door upon you and your sons. Then pour out [the oil you have] into all those vessels, setting aside each one when it is full. 5 So she went from him and shut the door upon herself and her sons, who brought to her the vessels as she poured the oil. 6 When the vessels were all full, she said to her son, bring me another vessel. And he said to her, there is not a one left. Then the oil stopped multiplying.
I am a great believer in the tenet of sowing and reaping. I believe that we should sow for the future we desire. But have you ever had times when you wished you could sow but just did not have anything to give? At such times, you put on the TV and a preacher is on air and refers to the widow who gave her last bit of flour to the Prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17: 10-16). Then you have a guilt trip, because you really don’t want to let the little you have go.
At one such time, I found great comfort in today’s story. I was in a difficult season with lots of dreams and desires. I wanted very badly to sow a seed, but had almost nothing. As it was, all the Christian TV satellites were calling for donations with all the preaching ‘greats’ talking about giving from different perspectives. I began to have a guilt trip, and then the Lord led me to this story.
In this story, the widow was going to lose her sons to her late husband’s creditors. And she cried out to the Prophet Elisha. He asked her ‘what do you have in your house?’ She had nothing, ‘except a small jar of oil’. Unlike the widow in the Elijah story, Elisha asked her to look for as many empty jars as possible. he asked her to collect ‘not a few’. Then he asked her to go into her house with her sons, shut the door and pour the oil in the little jar into all the jars she had collected.
It did not make sense but she obeyed, and the oil began a multiplication process right before her eyes. She filled all the jars she could collect until her son told her, ‘there is not a one left’. Then the oil stopped flowing. You know that Oil is also symbolic of the Holy Spirit. When He steps into a matter, the impossible becomes possible. Things begin to happen. She had more than enough to pay her husband’s creditors and still look after herself and her sons.
I realised that anything we do with God, including sowing and reaping, is about faith. It is always about obedience borne out of faith and not anything else. Otherwise this widow would have had a crisis. Whenever we act in obedience to God there is a reward. So what did I do when He asked me ‘what do you have?’ I presented a project I was working on, that started really small as my little jar of oil. Then I presented all the ramifications and possibilities of this project as the jars and asked the Holy Spirit to manifest His power and fill them up. Then I sat back to watch the Multiplication Effect come to play in my life. It never fails.
So which side of the divide are you on? What is the Lord asking you to do-sow a seed for multiplication, or present your oil for multiplication? Either way, your obedience is all that matters. That is the sign of your faith in who He is. Where He sees faith, He always manifests His glory, His goodness, His provision, His protection and His superintendence over us. The Multiplication Effect will always come to play. All we need to do is trust and obey. There is no other way. Just trust Him. Ck