Widow’s Oil

Widow’s Oil

2 Kings 4:1-2
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” 2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”


2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all...” 


2 Kings 4:2
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” 


2 Kings 4:3-7
3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” 5 She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
2 Corinthians 4:7
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay...

hey guys how are you this morning
good alright I’m just making sure you still out there it’s good to see you guys glad to be with you this morning hey it’s March already it’s hard to believe that it’s March but it is here and it feels like a year just started like last week doesn’t it and many of us are like in this first quarter of the Year already and many of us were like worn out already how many of you would just maybe in a moment of honesty say I was kind of hoping that this year would start out a little differently that has and if I’m being really honest I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment kind of overwhelmed at the beginning of the year hear my prayer for for myself for you this morning is that this message is really good at minister to you and I feel like it’s really going to minister to you if you feel overwhelmed you feel like you don’t have enough time you don’t have what you need and we’re going to look at an Old Testament story as Pastor Greg said we’re in a new series on Elisha
I know you don’t study Elisha all the time but he’s an old testament prophet and his life is kind of a symbol to us of the presents in the power of God and we really believe that the Old Testament and the New Testament all of it is about Jesus and we’re going to study his life and it has some implications for our modern-day live in Pursuit with Jesus and that’s why I did this really crazy story and you’re going to see it’s really short story so we’re going to like we’re going to read some things in here that I really feel are going to be really applicable to your Lodge. Into it here it says the wife of a man from the company of prophets cried out to Elisha so in other words there were a bunch of like prophets that would travel together and ministers together and one of them died and his wife is coming to Elisha and she says your servant my husband is dead and you know that he revered the Lord’s but now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his sleigh
Elisha replied to her how how can I help you tell me what what do you have in your house your servant has nothing she says nothing there at all except for a small jar of olive oil to the list talk about these verses real quick don’t even know her name right we just know that she was the Widow of a prophet that happened to travel around and as a lot of people in Jewish tradition actually feel like this woman is actually if you’ve ever heard of Obadiah Obadiah this may have been obadiah’s wife and if that was the case over. It was really famous for supporting about 50 other prophets and pastors and so if that was him she very likely would have been financially stuck even if that wasn’t the life of a prophet they were constantly on the Run constantly trying to like make ends meet so either way this this woman is in kind of in Dire Straits here
and so quite honestly it’s it’s not hard for us to route to imagine why she’s in such a place and back in that time you could see the part of the story is the reason she’s upset is there somebody there her husband owed money to and then sew in but he died he’s not going to pay me so I’m going to take your two sons as slaves as payment for what your husband over there but that was actually a very common practice until you could either pay off the debt or whatever so she is is freaking out and so she is grieving the loss of her husband her bills are piled up she’s probably early thirties she’s a woman in this culture so basically she’s on employable unless there’s some kind of like a miracle like she’s at the end of her rope and she’s a really really devastating place and I don’t know I’m probably at this point in your life you probably had a moment similar to this world like if God doesn’t come through if there’s not some kind of Miracle here I really really don’t know how we’re going to make it through this and that’s where she
and so this is just too mean to be really clear to paint a bigger picture here this is not one of those like those things that we all complain about that are just like modern conveniences but we like to pretend like it’s the end of the world that you know like all my GPS took me to the wrong location again I guess where the switch to Apple Maps or Google Maps or Waze or which one this month right or like one of them is menu the course there’s none available tonight or I asked for my side drawer my salad dressing on the side and they mixed it in like you know it’s the end of the world and this is not the kind of problems she was having entry-level problems she was on graduate-level problems and the reality is and in a crowd this size many of us are carrying some graduate-level problems right here right in this room, view your your marriage has been barely hanging on some of you someone you loved betrayed you or your processing through some kind of trauma or you have a child that’s going the wrong way or there’s
somebody in your life you can see that they’re heading in the wrong direction and it’s it’s agonizing maybe you’re in so much Financial stress this suffocating and you don’t know how you’re going to get out of it or maybe there’s a medical problem that you were loved one is facing and unless there is some kind of Miracle you don’t know what you’re going to do there are graduate-level problems and in your life and if you are insignificant need today I just want to really really encourage you that the key fought for this message that we’re about to get to hear then I hope it blesses you this has been blessed me this week is that when you don’t have what you really want God is what you really need when you don’t have what you really want God is what you really need and in other words that emptiness that you feel that longing that you feel it really really is the situation were only God can fill that longing for so let’s unpack the story
You’re Going to see this this principle illustrate a little bit little bit more so how does Elisha respond when he when she you know she asked was to help me you know my husband is died you know that he loved you like help me out what does he say like what that’s not my problem that stinks stinks to be you you know good luck with that you do you know not what is he say he says how can I help you how can I help me tell me what do you have in your house and your servant has look what she says nothing there at all
isn’t it interesting that when you’re hurting when you’re lacking all you can see is what you don’t have and that’s not just her in the story we do the same thing when you’re hurting when you’re lacking all you can see is what you don’t have and hopefully this will speak to somebody who’s hurting right now because all of us when we get down and we get depressed all we can see is what we don’t have right I don’t have enough money to to make it through this I was think of Dumb and Dumber right like we don’t have enough money to eat
turn off money that’s fully bright like some of us get their emotionally right I don’t I don’t have a nice house so I can’t do what God’s telling me to do right or even when you finally do get a house like I wish it was nicer house ready or are we don’t have friends around us that love us or I don’t have maybe some some of you that are single today maybe like I don’t have a spouse’s like that my life doesn’t have as much meaning as it could that war we’ve all done this right we all of us have enough clothes in our culture to like clothing entire African village right but we walk into our closet right and we all say I have helped me out I have nothing to wear right we’ve all done that when we were in the first place of hurting or lacking all we can see is when we don’t have and that is the exact time we’ve got to shift our focus and we can focus on what we don’t have it so when you don’t have what you really want God is what you really need and so the second one to this is stop this is what were the store
going to shift it stop waiting for what you want and start working with what you have
let me see that again. Waiting for what you want and start working with what you have this is a principle of like this could easily be transferable if you are a parent you are an entrepreneur a lot of us wait to take action until the conditions feel right like for her she knows she’s in a terrible situation she didn’t waste he was taking action on what she had it with her and so that’s a principled it’s transferable for us to a lot of us we get into this like I’m just going to wait I’m waiting and waiting and then we use the excuse I’m I’m waiting on the Lord right but the thing is is that we are refusing to take action and others just a principal of like imperfect action Trump’s Perfection right have you heard that and so a lot of us we’ve just got to move forward with what we have until look what she says she said your servant has nothing there at all and then she remembers except a small jar of olive oil I have nothing at all except for this one
and then we don’t have a context for for olive oil right like all like I was reading this in like so is it like version extra virgin I like I don’t know I mean like that’s about the end of our olive oil knowledge in our culture you do so but it was a big deal because olive oil you could cook with it obviously that’s what we use it for mostly but you could burn it and lamps they use it as medicine they use it as moisturizer they do it would make leather pliable and keep your tools and weapons from rusting it was something that you use in a religious practice for anointing or it was one of the I described offerings of is acceptable to bring to God at that time there was a lot of uses to it and the only a modern-day equivalent that I could think of that would maybe fit our understanding of this it was like I was trying to think of like an Amazon gift card okay let’s say it cuz if you had a $10,000 Amazon gift card you can like start a whole new life somewhere right and so
that’s kind of what she had but the problem was she didn’t have much on her gift card she had like three bucks and like great that’s going to help a lot so she had this really really valuable thing but not a lot of it okay so so she only had a very very small amount she said just a small jar of whale oil and we serve a God is you see is step into the story we serve a God who specializes in taking something very small and making it significant
and maybe you’ve experienced that in your own life but there are example after example and scripture that illustrates this Forest just real quickly like we’ve all heard the story probably of the Five Loaves and the two fish that fed thousands of people right God takes us at one small Stone in the hands of a child and if it’s a giant and freezing Nation even Jesus himself said if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can move a mountain or God Specializes in taking the small and seemingly insignificant in your life and turning it into something significant and there’s a lot of us in this room that would say I if I’m being really honest I’m not only my tire not only am I overwhelmed I’m being a hundred percent transparent I’m probably locking some faith that this season of My Life
I’m really liking some faced and I come here and we sing the songs and do all the things but when I leave here I’m not really sure that God’s going to come through for me
and I just want to encourage you in that shouldn’t be a guilt thing but it should be just a reminder for you if faith is trusting in what you can’t see it’s not like a when you play the lottery in like how I hope my numbers come up and gods can answer my prayer it it’s not a blind hope it’s a trust and who God is and his character and his ability to come through for you and so today I hope that this story in Courage is your face the trust him with the small things in your life that feel and seem insignificant and know that he wants to do something incredible in that so it goes on it says this is an important part of the story he says I’m trying to help her what do you have in your house what do you have in your house cuz earlier in scripture God ask Moses if you remember the story he asked me what do you have in your hand
so we asked her what do you have in your house what do you already have it is not good that you didn’t even ask her like what do you want or what do you need he asked her what do you already have what do you already have and for a lot of us we’ve got to stop waiting for what we want and start working with what God has already given us in our lives and that’s how he operates and you ever have those moments where you just like you have movie of a moment of introspection and you’re thinking like okay how I’m this some this amount of years old where is my life going like what am I doing with my life how you ever have those moments the passwords have those moments 2
and like what do you want me to do with my life all those things and I was praying about this recently and I felt like God was telling me you’re doing exactly what I want you to do right now
I just need you to enjoy it a little bit more instead of worrying all the time
and I feel like that’s a message for for somebody else here today to you’re doing exactly what God wants you to do right now it just needs you to enjoy the journey a little bit more because he’s already giving you everything that you need to accomplish everything that he is calling you to do that’s how he works that’s how it works and so he says no no no like you know a lot of us will say I like what if I look at what I have if you’re asking me to look at what I have what’s in your hand I don’t have a whole lot right so we got to like shift our mindset to see what God is already placed in our hands what he’s already placing our lives in the the the Temptation for us is going to be like what I wished I had something more significant in my hand so I could do something more significant for God’s kingdom and for my life and for my family right we all we all get there all we can look at it as what we don’t have right I wish I was more of an upfront person
but I’m kind of more behind-the-scenes person are wish I was more charismatic to be a better leader and to start a company and do all the things and then sell it and make millions of dollars whatever the dream is there but God is already given you everything that you need to accomplish what he’s calling us to do and furthermore honestly it’s the behind-the-scenes people that are most valuable in the in the kingdom of God and how do I don’t know. It’s because Jesus says it that your servant the servant is the greatest in the kingdom of God and so if you feel like I’m just a behind-the-scenes person at all the things that I do or cut nobody else kind of notices our seas I want to know I want you to know today that you are significant your significant and what God has called you to do and who you are and the size of your assignment like meeting your job or your that you calling or whatever the size of your assignment doesn’t always equal the amount of impact that you have because a lot of times most the time we’re looking at our lives through a human set of lens
lens that that we all have it in our culture unless you were like famous you have a lot of followers on Instagram or Tik-Tok or whatever like you’re not making a difference right but that’s not the way that the kingdom of God worst some of you are making a huge contribution just by being a good mom or dad right now
the season of life that you’re in right now won’t always be like that but you’re making a huge contribution just be by being a great mom or dad or helping take care of an elderly parent or being that person of peace in your workplace you know what it’s like that crazy office that is feel or even on Zoom you like the one person of reason on that call you know like that’s that is your role right now or provide just simply providing for your family or we don’t ever talk about this part maybe you’re that one person in your family that keeps your family coming to church like if you weren’t there or you were sick like we’re not going to that one person that keeps your family coming to church and interested in the things of God
answer the second thought they will learn from this amazing story is this offer what offer God what you have and trust him to give you what you need
that’s that’s all it were required to do is to offer God what we have and basically leave the results up to him and that’s really really hard for us it’s easy to stay up here in a little bullet point it is really really hard for us because all of us are control freaks all of us we all like to control things right and I would have you raise your hand if you’re a control freak there’s that there’s a joke about it like as if your control-freak raise your hand right if anybody else has submitted you were tempted in that moment to raise the persons hand next to you right then you’re a control freak right that’s the joke right that’s where we all live so giving God doing my little part and then like releasing the results up to God that doesn’t feel good to us because we love being in control and so the story continues he says this he says go around and ask all of your neighbors for empty jars and then get some empty jars don’t ask for just a few basically asked for as many as you can find empty jars and then
inside and shut the door behind you and your sons and pour oil that thing that is the most valuable to you the only thing you have left in your house that out for that out into all the drawer all the jars as each is filled then put it but each one inside
what’s going on here she’s just getting a bunch of different containers right and then this is kind of like a little Nuance in scripture this was like a private private Miracle this is not like Dungy he could have easily said take your most valuable thing go to the square and pour the oil out in front of everyone so that everyone will believe like know this is like go to your house shut the door this is God providing for you and your family this is a moment between you and him and sometimes that the Miracles were were like that and so what he’s asking you to do is put your trust in God with the most valuable thing that she has
it’s really hard in a culture like we have or we have so much in affluence and things of value I wonder what you would say just maybe is a rhetorical question what you would say the most valuable thing that you have is beside your family cuz that’s where you’ll go and like check done like but really think about what’s the most valuable thing that you that you have and then got asking God coming in asking it I need you to pour that out I need you to pour that out and but it’s about trust and then basically he’s saying go ahead and pull that thing out and keep pouring and keep pouring and there’s basically he’s telling her there’s to be a miracle and as it fills up just set it aside and so she when she had the faith here’s the point for us when she had the faith to offer what was most valuable to her that’s when the miracle happened and she kept pouring and pouring and that’s what happened to the first five so she left him and shut the door behind her and her sons and then they brought the jars to her
I just kept pouring and pouring it says and then when the jars were fooled just said to her son bring me another one but he replied there is not a jar left and then the oil stopped flowing
it was a ridiculous request of Elijah to ask her to pour out the most valuable thing that she had and we already discussed she didn’t have much of it so asking her to pour out this place thing of value was a major trust for her in God’s ability to come through for her and it takes Faith because often we don’t feel like we have enough that’s the issue if we had plenty like we have poured out all day but when you feel like art when you already said I don’t feel like I have enough like we said in the beginning I don’t have enough time I don’t have enough energy we don’t have enough money to eat we don’t have enough money to sleep right when it when you get into that mode you already feel like I don’t have enough and then God’s asking me to pour that thing out and when’s that happens it’s because he is trying to bless you it is for your good it’s not to shame you is not to punish you it’s for your good and look what he says to her I said get a bunch of jars and notice he didn’t say
I want you to get a bunch of jars of this color or this size or this shape just get as many as you can I don’t care if it’s a milk jug a peanut butter jar a little like butter tub it does not matter a bowl get anything that you can get he just needs it to be empty it just needs it to be empty that was the only requirement
and how does this apply to us and 2nd Corinthians there’s a little verse in there and 2nd Corinthians 4:7 that says but we have this treasure which is Christ inside of Jars of Clay and that’s awesome that’s what he’s referring to we are the Jars of Clay we are worthy of the vessel and so what is that referring to its just saying that for us we got this amazing treasure inside of ourselves and what is God looking for from us
he’s looking for us to empty our own jars when when you guys came in this morning you should have been given a little bucket did you guys get a little buckets yes okay if you did not get one but please raise your hand and we’ll make sure we did bring you one down I loved it for this moment just to take out you’re a little bucket right now and this is just a reminder of two things you can put on your desk or on a shelf somewhere but this week I know it’s many of you won’t make it out of your car but on the on the way home love for you just to consider as you look at this little jar to realize the God wants to feel you God wants to fill your empty bucket but they’re there’s that kind of a catch to it right the way the physics works is if there’s already something in there we can’t pour any anyting else into it right and so we’re going to have just I just a moment of prayer just for you to empty yourself
and in this moment I just want to tell you you’re going to empty this if you’re going to have to hear yourself and just a moment and what does that mean that means coming before God and praying and asking him is there anything in my mind is there anything in my life that you want me to get rid of that you want me to just cast out of my mind and just get rid of God and ended up your prayer could be God just empty me of my guilt empty me of my shame Empty Me of of my last of my anger of my greed whatever it is that God wants to just get rid of it and here’s the thing we’re going to have this moment and my real sincere prayer is that God will come and fill you in the thing about oil is it is always been a symbol of the Holy Spirit to my my prayer it it just a moment here is that God would come with the Holy Spirit and unfortunately and tell Christ comes back tomorrow you’re going to have to go on empty
I think again we’re going to have this moment where you going to empty yourself but it’s a continual process and continual dying of self to become more and more like Jesus and your every day you’re going to have to empty yourself out of that bucket and allow the Holy Spirit to come in to fill you so I’d love to just invite you to stay close your eyes
I’m just going to lead you and in a little prayer
and then we’ll worship together
so if you if you have your little bucket I love for you just to hold it right now and just if there’s no magic to this or anything but it it’s just a symbol
the bucket that you hold is disassembled
and I love that it’s actually small because it’s a great reminder that God can do a lot with very little
maybe you feel like your life is very small right now
if you feel like you’re working
and nobody can see it you’re working an insignificant right now or if you going to grow up around the Bible you feel like you’re in the desert right now
but God sees you God Specializes at taking the small and making a significant the other thing this is a reminder for it’s just emptying your bucket so that God can fill you as well
so just for a second I would just love to invite you right now and just in the quietness of your own mind
just to ask him
what is in my bucket that you want me to pour out
I could be your anxiety
where’s I said earlier worried
did you spend a moment and ask him
consider your life
maybe you’re trying to hold onto control in an area that you have no business trying to control
I’m just as you are pouring out in your mind whatever you’re pouring out and offering back to him I just left for you to just imagine pouring that whatever that is that bucket in your hand there whatever it is you’re giving into the hand of Christ just give whatever that is
your sadness
your depression or anxiety your hurts
pour that into Loving Hands of Christ
in response to that with an empty bucket of love to ask you to stand with me and Unholy spirit will you come now and you will you fill us fill this church God fill our hearts Our Lives the way that we think the way that we act the way that we respond got will you give us power you tell us some scripture that we have the same power inside of us the rose Christ from the dead God will you help us to move and act in power you’ve given us spiritual gifts you’ve caught us to lead to teach to prophesy to evangelize God to work in your spirit God will you help each one of us hear your children will you help us to experience your your spirit fill this up Phyllis up fill this place up we ask these things in your name