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2 Kings 4:1-7, Elisha and the Widow’s Oil

Thursday, November 9

Even More Extravagant Generosity

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Elisha's predecessor, Elijah, also had an encounter with a widow. The woman and her son were nearing death due to a drought. Elijah had her bake her cakes with the little oil and flour she had left. Because she obeyed, the jar of oil never ran dry, and the flour never ran out until the drought ended.

Now, Elisha also encounters a widow who is in danger of losing both her children due to her husband's death. Elisha told her to fill vessels with her remaining oil until either the oil ran out or the vessels did. All the empty vessels in the town ran out before her oil did.

This is a classic story of God's abundance only getting stronger. Where Elijah's widow had only a single jar of oil, Elisha's widow filled every empty vessel in the town. For Elisha to be involved in such a similar situation as Elijah seeks to cement for the people of the day, and for us, that God is still fully present with God's prophets -- so much so, that God's abundance is even more extravagant than ever.

Today you might encounter God who is abundantly generous with you. Maybe it's unexpectedly finding enough (or more than enough) resources for something you need. Maybe it's the healing of an illness. Maybe it's finding an impossibly perfect relationship. You might be tempted to think God cannot possibly do any more for you than God has already done. But wait... tomorrow God might surprise you with even more extravagant generosity! We cannot even imagine the limits to what God can, and often does, do.

Narrative Lectionary Text: 2 Kings 4:1-7

Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but a creditor has come to take my two children as slaves.” Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house, except a jar of oil.” He said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not just a few. Then go in, and shut the door behind you and your children, and start pouring into all these vessels; when each is full, set it aside.” So she left him and shut the door behind her and her children; they kept bringing vessels to her, and she kept pouring. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” But he said to her, “There are no more.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your children can live on the rest.”

Later Event: November 10
2 Kings 5:1-19, Elisha Heals Naaman