Elisha and the Widow at Zarephath
2 Kings 4: 1-8
Elisha and the Widow
During this week of Thanksgiving, we turn to a bible story of the Widow Women of Zarephath, or Sarepta., which belonged to Zidon. After the death of King Solomon, the kingdom of Israel plunged into a civil war. Elisha often found comfort in the home of an Israel prophet and his wife and away from the bitter conflict in Israel. Coincidentally, the land was also the birthplace of his lethal enemy, Jezebel, daughter of King Eth-Baal of the Zidonians, who married King Ahab.
The widow’s homeland was rife with Idol worshipers and strange gods. However, she assimilated into the Hebrew faith, through her husband the prophet of God. All prior to Elisha the prophet came her way. She came to wholly accept the faith as the outcome of what she saw and heard due to Elijah’s stopovers in her meager home. She herself was most likely inborn of the area.
Now, along with her two young boys, she was subject to slavery (or worse) due to indebtedness to a collector. Acting a mother, she gathered her strength to confront the ‘Man of God’ by issuing a dossier in hopes of garnering support to survive. She wastes no time in reminding Elisha that her husband was in his network of being a voice of (his) God and his servitude was unto death. Elisha responds by asking her request. The widow asked for relief from her debtor. Elisha does not dismiss the debt, rather conveys that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). He asks what is in the house. She responds with menial items. Elisha uses the jar of oil to carry out God’s miracle. He orders her to gather as many pots as possible. Today, God is asking the same of you as your blessings with go as far as you allow God to give to you. One should gather as many pots in their lives for God to fill for His supply is limitless.
Elisha carries out God’s orders by providing the oil as an agent to complete the task. Only after every pot is full did the jar of oil stay (v.6). The widow could pay off her creditors AND provide enough for her and her two sons to live.
Bishop George Lockhart, Pastor
Bishop Meharry H. Lewis, Ph.D., Chief Overseer Tuskegee, AL
Bishop Luke D. Lewis, District Bishop Riviera Beach, FL