March 1, 2017

Just a Jar of Oil

You probably already know, or are somewhat familiar with the story of the prophet Elisha and the widow’s oil in 2 Kings 4:1-7. Recently, I have again read this amazing story and I found myself visualizing the bottle of olive oil I have in my pantry. 

Then, I imagined pulling out the empty mason jars or other jars I store in a kitchen cabinet and thought about pouring my bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil into one of those jars, and then into a second jar, a third jar, and a fourth and so on - how awesome it would be to see that kind of miracle happen before my eyes.

I haven’t been in the same kind of dire situation as the widow we are told about in 2 Kings 4.  Creditors were threatening to take this widow’s two sons for slaves if she didn’t pay her debt. The prophet Elisha asks her what does she have and she reports she has nothing in the house but just a jar of oil.  

As the story continues, Elisha told her to borrow empty vessels from her neighbors, lots of them, and she collects the vessels and fills them all with oil from her one jar. She sells the oil and the payoff is enough to take care of her debt, securing her sons’ freedom and giving her enough left over for her and her sons to live off the rest. God definitely intervened with a miracle of multiplication in this story as He turned her one jar of oil into enough to fill numerous empty vessels.

This great story from the Old Testament is one of many that teach us to trust our God to provide. It teaches us to believe He will meet our need. God’s provision for this widow rose far above and beyond her immediate need to pay a debt to prevent her sons from being made slaves.

If God can use just a jar of oil to pay off the widow’s debt and also provide remaining funds for her family, then we should be encouraged that He is capable of multiplying what we have or providing what we need in ways we have not thought possible.

The next time you pull out your bottle of olive oil from your kitchen pantry, remember what God did for this widow woman and her two sons, and believe He is still in the business of meeting our needs above and beyond all we can comprehend and in ways we could not have imagined.


Ephesians 3:20-21  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.