And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.
2 Kings 4:2
The tension in the middle east in recent days, has caused us all to think about the possible pending oil crisis which will resort in an out of control economy with global ramifications. The truth is that we have an even greater “oil crisis” in the church, a shortage of the oil of the Spirit. In today’s passage, the poor widow had nothing, at least she thought she had nothing, until Elisha started focusing on the jar of oil. She had no idea how valuable that oil was to her, she saw her need but could not see or recognize the supernatural nature of the oil. That is how it is with us many times. We see our problems alright, but remain unaware of the powerful anointing that is ever present with us. Elisha instructed her to “gather vessels, not a few”. That is when the miracle began to happen, that is when the miracles always happen. It was in the pouring out of the oil that she began to discover the oil’s powerful nature. The oil lasted as long as there were empty vessels to pour into, and then it stopped just as quickly as it started.
This story was a very real historic event that met the need of the prophet’s widow. But there was more to the story than that, this was also a parable about the anointing of the Spirit. What do you have in your house? Maybe you think you have nothing of value left in this world, and then you remember the jar of oil. That oil is the most valuable treasure imaginable, and many people treat it as insignificant. Of course this oil is a picture of the anointing of the Spirit. Do you value the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you look past Him for human remedies to your overwhelming problems in life? Like the widow, many times, we are focused on our own needs. Elijah told her to gather up some vessels and then, begin to pour the oil. Of course this is a picture of ministry. We are to take our eyes off of our lack and gather together “empty vessels”, and begin to pour out the oil. As we pour out the oil, the empty vessels are filled, the anointing begins to bring life to the empty vessels all around us. There are hurting people, empty vessels all around you, start pouring out the oil, and as you do, miracles will begin to flow.
What about your lack? Oh yeah, go sell the rest of the oil and pay off your debt. As we pour out the oil our needs seem to be met as well.