A Little goes a long way!
Character in time of Crisis ( Day 30) The Widows oil ( Part 2)
Elisha’s answer to the widow is positive and practical. “How can I help?” He is positive in his response; he’s also practical in what he does. The main issue is getting the debt paid.
All she has is a little oil, probably olive oil in a jar. A little oil was all that God needed. It is fascinating how God works in miraculous ways, in the little things. There are many examples of a little becoming much in scripture. We have the case from the book of Judges of Gideon’s army reduced to a mere handful ( Judges 7) There is the story of David versus Goliath in 1 Samuel 17); we have the account from the life of Elijah, which is so similar to this one ( 1 Kings 17). The flour and Jug of oil of the widow. In the New Testament, there is the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves and two fish. This the same kind of miracle. God is taking the little things we have, and in His hands, they become not only much but also a means of great blessing. Think of it this way; God doesn’t even need our efforts or offerings. He provided food and water for the people when they had nothing ( Exodus 16), and water from the rock ( Exodus 17) to supply His people’s need. Something small innocuous insignificant, like the grain of mustard seed ( Mark 4:30), becomes mighty in the sovereign will of God.
In all these occasions and others, God chooses to work to prove that He is God. Gideon and his small band of brothers knew they hadn’t defeated the Midianites, but God did. Indeed even their enemy knew this ( Judges 7:14-15). David knew he hadn’t defeated Goliath; he knew the battle was the Lord’s ( 1 Samuel 17:47). Hezekiah knew it was God who defeated the Assyrians ( Isaiah 37:36). The widow of Zarephath knew it was the God of Elijah who raised her son to life ( 1 Kings 17:24), and similarly, this widow knew that the God of Elisha had provided the miraculous flow of oil to save her sons from slavery.
The application of this passage to today’s ( very different) Godless culture seems very obvious to me. Human weakness, limitations and the desire for God’s help often invite the miraculous help of heaven.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)