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2 Kings 4:1-7

Talks for Growing Christians

The Widow's Oil Multiplied

2 Kings 4:1-7

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Lesson Number 5

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The needs of widows are known to God.
  2. The extent of God's blessing is dependant on faith and obedience.

Practical Application

  1. What do you have in your house?
  2. You must be emptied before you can be filled.

Questions

  1. Give evidence that the sons of the prophets were not celibate.
  2. Did the schools provide a pension plan for widows? Y/N
  3. Were there government agencies to care for widows? Y/N If not, how were the needs of the families met?
  4. Discuss the widow's need and how it was met.
  5. The extent of God's blessing is dependant on faith and obedience. What does this mean in terms of this passage? What does it mean to you today?

Answers

  1. Marriage was permitted. See 2 Kings 4:
  2. No. No. The Lord had promised to meet their needs. Read Deuteronomy 10:17-18 and Psalm 146:9.
  3. The creditor was at hand, coming to take her two sons to be his slaves. The widow had only a little oil in her home, but it was multiplied by a miracle at the hand of Elisha. She then sold the oil, for which there was a ready market, and the debt was paid.
  4. The creditor was at hand, coming to take her two sons to be his slaves. The widow had only a little oil in her home, but it was multiplied by a miracle at the hand of Elisha. She then sold the oil, for which there was a ready market, and the debt was paid.
  5. God blessed this widow because she obeyed in faith. She was to collect as many empty containers as possible. She obeyed in faith and was blessed with a miracle. The oil ceased when there were no more vessels. The spiritual lesson here was that God's supply was as great as the widow's faith. If there had been more containers, there would have been more oil. It has the same meaning today -- we will receive God's blessing in our lives as we are willing to obey God and walk by faith. We can limit His blessing by lack of faith and disobedience.

Discuss/Consider

  1. What is the extent of your faith? Do you believe that God can meet all of your needs?
  2. How empty is your vessel? Review your life, even for a day (longer, if you are really into this), and try to be objective -- list things you did that were self-centered. Review again, and list things that were God- centered. Again, how empty is your vessel? Let God fill it.

Challenge

  1. Moses had a rod, David had a sling, the widow had a jar of oil. What do you have that can be used by the Lord?

Key Verses

  • "Elisha said, 'What shall I do for you?" 2 Kings 4:2
  • "When the vessels were full, the oil ceased." 2 Kings 4:6

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