Oil in the Cupboard-Merry Monday by Parris Bailey
“Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. 2And 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. 3Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. 4And 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.” 2 KINGS 4:1-7
Sometimes life happens. Unexpectedly we find ourselves jobless, or fighting a terrible disease, or suffering the loss of a loved one. This women in 2 Kings found herself without her husband, and now the creditors were coming to take away her two sons. Her life as she knew it, was changed at the sudden death of her husband and she found herself at the edge of the precipice.
What I like about this story is that she had had that oil in the cupboard all along. There it sat, ever so still and unnoticed, til now. In fact, when her husband was around there was never really ever a reason to go in that cupboard and pull out the oil, He always had taken care of everything. He paid the bills, saw to the repairs at the house and even had taken care of his two sons. They were quite a team, him and her, that is until he died. She found herself spinning out of control. She didn’t see this one coming and was unprepared. How could God do this to her, when her husband had been so faithful? But there sat the oil unnoticed and shut up in the cupboard.
“Tell me, what do you have in the house”? Elisha asked her. Her answer says it all, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house……..but a jar of oil.” That’s how she wrapped up her life. She had nothing left in her to give, nothing left to sell, nothing left to hope for. Even mentioning the jar of oil that was in the cupboard was a second thought, hardly worth mentioning at all, really.
I like to compare this story with the feeding of the 5,000 when Jesus said to Phillip; “You give them something to eat.” The widow and Phillip both had one thing in common, both were looking at what they didn’t have instead of what they had all along.
Phillip and the widow both had seen miracles that Jesus and Eilsha did in their ministry. She never saw the jar of oil for what it was. Phillip had never seen Jesus for what he was.
A.B. Simpson says- “So many have the Holy Ghost confined in a little pot of oil and hidden away on the shelf of a cabinet. God wants us to go out into all the needs of life, and pour that divine fullness into every vessel that comes to us, until our whole life shall be a living embodiment and illustration of the all-sufficiency of Christ.”
It was time for the both of them to pour, and to keep pouring, to take the precious anointing and use it, not just for ourselves, but for the multitudes. “Go borrow vessels for the oil that is multiplied shall not stop as long as there are vessels to receive!”
Like the widow’s pot of oil that flowed out into every vessel, so the presence of God touches everything that comes into our life, and we find that all things work together for good to us if we love God and fulfill His purpose. She opened her cupboard and used the oil to not only meet her needs but she learned the most important lesson of all. God was her source, not her husband, her children nor even Elisha.
Have you looked into your cupboard lately? The jar of oil, the boy’s lunch is just what the Holy Spirit uses to overflow into our lives and others.
What’s in your house?