The woman was trying to do her best, but with these conditions she knew that she wouldn’t last long. In fact this was going to be the last meal for both her and her little son. There was a famine in the land, food and drink were scarce. She only had enough oil to make one loaf of bread. Then she and her son would die, just like her husband had died.
While she was out gathering the sticks for the fire, a shadow fell over her. She looked up and saw that it was the prophet Elijah! What would a great man like him want with someone as poor as she? She was soon to find out…
Elijah asked if she would make a loaf and give him a cup of water, promising her if she did that the Lord would provide for her and her son. Then going into the house she poured her last flour on the table and emptied her jar of oil and made, what seemed to her, the last piece of bread, and she gave it to this man, no questions asked, and not one single complaint.
She didn’t whine or protest saying that her son needed it more. No she knew that she was in the presence of God’s prophet. The widow had faith that everything would work out. That the Lord would provide, just as Elijah had promised.
When she gave Elijah that loaf of bread she turned around and found out that there was more flour and more oil in the containers! It was a miracle from the Lord! Oh what happiness, now she could make something for her little boy and for herself! I am sure there was tears of joy streaming down her face. The Lord refilled her flour and oil for 3 years, for that was how long the famine in the land had lasted, the Lord rewarded her for having faith and for putting the needs of Elijah ahead of herself and her son.
The next woman was very poor she had two little boys to take care of and her husband was dead, and she owed a lot of money to someone else. She had already sold everything she owned just to try to pay some of the debt back, but no matter how much she sold she still didn’t have enough, and their food was scarce as well.
She decided to go see the prophet Elisha and ask him for help, maybe he would give her some money or tell her what she should do. Elisha asked her if she had anything of worth in the house, she replied that she had nothing much, just one jar of oil (my paraphrase). “Go” said Elisha “to your neighbors and ask them for containers then when you have as many as you can get, go into your house with you and your boys and shut the door, and then pour the oil in the containers, you will have enough.”
So going out she and her two sons asked for containers, and getting as many as they could carry they brought them home and shut the door, just like Elisha said. She and her boys laid them all over the table and floor, and then taking her one jar of oil, she started to pour it into the first container.
It filled it up, as it did the next and the next until all the containers they had were full! Talk about a miracle, not only would they have enough to pay back the debt they had enough money left over to have a good life once again! I would have loved to have witnessed that, I am sure it gave them goosebumps and they praised the Lord for His wonderful mercy for them.
Oil has been used for centuries. It is still a very important ingredient for many dishes such as bread. It was very valuable back in the Bible times, and could be sold for a nice chunk of money. But oil also represents the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Oil is what can keep a fire blazing hot, even if you were to pour water into the fire at the same time as you did the oil, the oil would keep it burning, or so I’ve been told.
We might only have a small jar of oil, like those two women had. But if we believe and pray we can turn that one jar of oil into so much more. We can then go to our neighbors and fill their containers with our one jar, and they would all be full. The first women’s oil lasted her for 3 years, until the famine in the land ended. The second one not only could pay her debt off but probably had enough over to get her life back in order and provide for her two sons.
These stories in the Bible also teach us that when we have the Lord in our lives, that He will provide for us. It isn’t a guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong in our lives, on the contrary Satan will try to find every means possible for us to be lead away. That is why we must keep our oil full. Like the 5 wise virgins in the parable Jesus told us in Matthew 25, please read that story for yourself and see what I mean. My point is that when hard times do come we rely on Jesus and go to Him for help, and ask for His will to be done. Whatever happens after that, you will have to just trust in Him and know that His thoughts are not our thoughts.
Oil was used in the Holy Place in the sanctuary of God, to light the candlestick. The Bible says that we must be baptized with two baptism, the first one is water and the second is with the Holy Spirit. The oil to light the flame and keep us going! Even if you start out with one jar of oil you can multiply that until it fills up every container!
It is a wonderful representation of what the Lord can do in our lives. When we accept Jesus in our hearts, it is up to us to keep Him there. We can become complacent in our lives, we must do our part, for when we do ours the Lord will do His. Jesus wants our light to burn continually so that we may shine bright and that light will fall on others and they in turn will see and want to have a light inside of them.
Keep your lamps all trimmed and burning, ready for the Lord’s returning! Lo He Comes! His hour is fast approaching, and now it is high time to awake out of sleep. Now is the time to get ready, for if we don’t do it now we may never get the chance to do it again. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. The Bible is what we need to help keep that oil burning. It is a deep well of information and we only know a little of the truths that it is teaching us. In heaven we will be taught other more wonderful truths from it. I can only imagine what that will be like!
I want that for myself, and yes I know that it is easier said than done. The problem is with us, we think that we can do everything on our own. We can’t do anything on our own, it is only through the grace and power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that we are even alive today. We must work hard at keeping the Devil at bay, watch and be ready for your adversary the Devil is like a lion seeking whom he may devour.
Let us therefore be diligent and not go one moment without prayer, be in season and out of season, in good and bad times. Have a conversation throughout the day with the Lord. Constant communication with Jesus is the only way in which we may keep the Devil away. Please pray for me as I do you so that we may be do that. I want the Holy Spirit to fill my jar with oil, don’t you? Let your light so shine before men, that all may see the Father which is in you.