Jars, pt. 1

Today, I opened a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly. I put sandwiches in my kids’ lunch. Did you open a jar today? Jars are common today and were common in Bible times. In and of themselves, they had no special or holy function. They just hold stuff.

2 Kings 4:1-7 provides a wonderful little story about the prophet Elisha and a widow and some jars. I won’t put the whole story here but click here and have the text open while you read this post. I will be referring back to it many times.

The story opens with a widow and her two sons that are in a terrible predicament. The husband has died and now the two boys are about to be taken into slavery to pay off the debt. Not good. And that is just verse 1!

Verse 2. The prophet asks the widow what she has in the house. Her response seems honest enough, “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

Elisha tells the widow to collect as many jars as she can. Ask the neighbors. Hit up everyone in town. Many jars were collected. Then the mother took her boys, the jars, and the little oil that they had and went into a room by themselves. Insert a miracle here. This part is in verses 3-5.

The oil kept flowing. Just as a jar would fill up, the mother asked for another one and the boys would remove the full one and bring an empty one. Can you see this little family working in that room as the oil kept flowing? Then, as verse 6 says, the mother asked for another jar and the son said there were no more jars. Then the oil stopped flowing.

Here is what I feel God revealed to me. May you be encouraged as I was.

  1. We all have problems that can be bigger than ourselves. They can overwhelm us.
    1. The widow cried out to Elisha.
    2. We can cry out to God.
  2. Even when we seem to have nothing, we have something.
    1. The widow had a small jar of oil.
    2. We have the Holy Spirit living in us. That is enough.
  3. When we think we are alone, we are not really alone.
    1. The neighbors helped the widow by giving jars.
    2. There are people in our lives that God has put there to help.
  4. As long as there are jars, the oil will flow.
    1. For the widow, the oil only stopped when the jars stopped.
    2. The Holy Spirit will flow as long I keep bringing jars to be filled.

Let those thoughts sink in until next week.jars-of-clay

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