Asking for Enough
Lord, open my heart to hear Your Word and glimpse Your majesty, so I might praise You with all my heart.
Read 2 KINGS 4:1-7
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
God is “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Psa. 68:5). Let this both comfort and challenge you.
Mosaic law prohibited slave-like treatment of people in servitude to pay off debts, limiting the time required to pay them off and saying they should be treated as hired servants, but even if this widow’s sons had been treated humanely it would have been devastating for her to be separated from them. They were all she had. As in many societies today, there was no provision for widows or elderly women other than their children. The challenge for this woman in petitioning Elisha was to believe the prophet’s word sufficiently to garner every empty jar in sight (3). It doesn’t appear that she had any idea of the possibility of abundant oil, enough for sale, but her faith in God working through the prophet is rewarded and the jars of oil give her and her sons enough to stave off the calamity (7).
Unlike Elisha’s replication of Elijah’s parting of the waters of the Jordan (2 Kings 2:13-14) after he assumes the older prophet’s mantle, this is a private miracle. It models to disciples of Jesus God’s ongoing care for those who fall through society’s cracks. It also reminds us to ask big when we come before the God who loves to give. In C. S. Lewis’s words: “If we consider… the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures… like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are too easily pleased” (The Weight of Glory and Other Essays).
“You do not have because you do not ask God,” says James (Jas. 4:2b). Prayer expresses our dependence on the Good Father. Let the Spirit guide you in what to ask–for yourself and for others.
Perhaps you are called to cooperate with God in your prayer for others. Are you ready to act?
Dear God, You are truly a Father to the fatherless, a protector of the defenseless. Thank You for being my Father and Protector.