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A Mother's Oil

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Invite attention: 2 Kings 4:1-7

King James Version Chapter 4

Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of athe sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and bthe creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. 2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. 3 Then he said, Go, cborrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; ||borrow not a few. 4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. 5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. 6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. 7 Then she came and told dthe man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy ||debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.

Introduction:

Now this text has so many truths that could be fleshed out, but I want us to notice this morning the emphasis in this story is on a Mamma and what she had, a pot of oil.
Lets get a little context of what is going on here: The notices had been coming faster and more aggressive. The Bill collectors were getting serious. She had sold everything she could, she had tried to keep up, but with the loss of her husband, his paycheck, and he had always taken care of this stuff, it was just too much.
The letter in her hand reminded her of what she had feared so long, if you don’t pay by the first of the month, we will take action. Your sons will have to work to pay your debt.
Now this sounds extremely cruel and unjust to us today, but in reality God had included this into the Law as a means of mercy. Someone who doesn’t pay their bills is a strongly condemned by God, someone who can’t pay their bills is offered mercy and help.
But the help isn’t always comfortable or kind - Leviticus 25:39-41 God gave creditor the right to claim the services of a debtor who could not pay their debt as well as that of his children. However they could only claim them until the year of Jubilee a Jewish celebration that was supposed to occur every seven years. They were then to be set free and their debts marked “paid in full.”
This dear Mamma just couldn’t imagine her boys put into this kind of arrangement, even if it were for seven years.
There are a few things I want us to notice about this mother that speaks to me of a true woman of God’s attitude and actions.

1. Her children were not expendable

She was a desperate person, but her children were not up for debate - no matter if it were seven years.
We need some biological and spiritual Mother’s who aren’t willing to have the children sacrificed for their pleasure and freedom. Who do whatever they can within their power - even if they don’t know exactly what that is yet - to save their children.
This dear woman had a great love for God and her children.
Not only where her children not expendable, but for her as well as for every true woman and godly mother,

2. Her resources were not extinct

While she no doubt had sold everything of worth she could think of to pay her debt she couldn’t think of anything else to do to earn the income to pay the debt.
Now she was not condemned for having the debt - she was not told to take a Dave Ramsey course, she was not told to listen to Dan Celia on the radio - she was not guilted about any unnecessary expenditures -
The Bible never calls debt sin - but it does warn about its dangers
The issue was she was now a widow - and an extremly poor one at that.
Her late husband had been a prophet or at least attended one of the schools of the prophets. - some even think it possible he was Obadiah one of King Ahab’s employees.
Not much money in that.
However, it was, her resources in her eyes were gone - so she goes to the One source she knows is not exhausted GOD!!!
She cries to Elisha who is her way of crying out to God for clarity and help.
A real mother, biological or spiritual recognizes that their hope and help comes from GOD!!!
She took her burden to the Lord.
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources - our Father’s full giving has only begun....
Now I want you to notice what Elisha did not do - He did not whip out his wallet and hand her a bunch of money. Nor did he use miraculous power to turn the stones around them into money. He just asked her a question:
2 Kings 4:2 “What do you have in your house?” now that is an interesting question - I’m sure he is trying to figure out what her assets might be. But all she could think of was something insignificant to her.
Now being spiritual doesn’t hinge, THANK GOD, on being smart. Nor does it mean you will get everything right. She was honest and forthright and told Elisha, “Sir all I have in my house is a pot of oil.”
Now this pot of oil could have been cooking oil - therefore it could have just been a pot of cooking oil - a most unassuming thing
Or it could have been a Holy Anointing oil - left over from her late husbands ministry - A pot of anointing oil - a most unusual thing.
I’m not sure which it was but either would have been worth money (quite a bit of money) if her quantity had been more - but this was just a pot, just a little, her neighbors all had more than she had, they even had better brands of oil.
But that’s all the prophet needed to hear - You have a pot of oil - that’s enough to conquer this thing.
So remember, this godly woman and mother’s children were not expendable, nor where her resources extinct - but I also want to tell you her pot of oil was not exhausted!!!

3. Her Oil Was Not Exhausted

Elisha’s instructions were unusual and some might even say absurd. It consisted of a few directions.
Borrow all the vessels of your neighbors they are willing to loan you.
Now this would have been an interesting discussion to listen to. “Hey Neighbor Suzy, would you have any empty vessels I could borrow?” and the reply, “Sure, what do you need them for?” “Oh I just have a pot of oil and the Prophet said to borrow empty vessels” “OOOOKAY????” Have you been to a grief counselor lately? Are you taking all of your meds, Honey do you need something to eat.” Can you imagine how crazy some of her neighbors thought she was. But that didn’t stop her, “Suzy, I’m fine just let me borrow these empty vessels and I’ll be on my way.”
Now this was a public step - it no doubt brought the attention of the community, they weren’t sure how their empty vessels were going to help this poor widow woman out of her debt - but at least they were willing to help.
The next thing she was to do was to go home and shut the door - There are somethings that need to take place between you and God. There is a time for public need meeting - but some needs can only be met when you shut the world out and get alone with GOd. I want you to notice that’s when the miracle happened!!!
This dear Saint of God was willing to get alone with God to multiply the oil.
That was the third step - Pour your little pot of oil into those empty vessels.
She begins to pour, and the first empty vessel is full and she says, JR hand me another - and she fills that one and looks at her little pot - there was still oil in it so she gets another vessel and fills that one and the next and the next.
That must have been quite the time in that little house - she had struck a regular oil well.
Now this might not sound like much to us - but there were several miracles here
The oil multiplied - that is tremendous
A pot of oil wasn’t worth much - but a house full of oil was enough to save her little family, and take her through the rest of life -
A woman of God who learns the lesson of multiplying the oil will get her family through.
Who knows that her strength is not in how she feels about herself, (as important as that is and that's a sermon for another time)
it’s not in her abilities, or intelligence,
it is in the getting alone with God and seeing the oil multiply. Oil in the Bible is a representation or symbol of the Spirit of God - Don’t ever loose that - Stay Filled with the Spirit .
A true woman of God a true mother knows her strength lies IN FINDING THE OIL IS NOT EXHAUSTED
This morning - you may not be facing a creditor - but you are facing something - something that wants to take your family, your loved ones, your peace, your joy
It could be overwhelming debt
It could be family problems
It could be work struggles
It could be any number of things...
I want you to remember there are somethings that are not expendable - as a mother thats your mother - as a spiritual woman that is any child you know.
I want you to remember that Your RESOURCES ARE NOT EXTINCT
I WANT TO REMIND YOU GOD’S RESOURCES ARE NOT EXHAUSTED - The Oil still flows.
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