A few days ago, while going over the Bible curriculum with my son, we came across the story of Elisha and The Widow’s Oil. While at his young age the focus study is a more basic format; I thoroughly enjoy the fact that his foundation and knowledge in our God and King is carried over into his studies…
…and as I sat at my kitchen table this morning, The Lord reminded me of this story and His Holy Spirit revealed a great mystery. One that is not only a dual prophecy but one of encouragement and one that is greatly needed in this last hour.
Before we get into the meat of this message, let us refresh our minds on the story of Elisha and the Widow’s Oil:
2 Kings 4:1-7 NKJV
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”
2 So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. 4 And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
5 So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. 6 Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.”
And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. 7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”
In this last hour, the line has been drawn in the sand and many have chosen their side, but the few who’ve chosen Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, have found themselves with empty houses having nothing but a jar of oil.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Imagine the heartbreak of the widow. The fear and distress of having to take on the world all alone raising two sons. Having nothing in their home but a jar of oil and to make matters worse knowing that her sons will be forced to be slaves by the creditor, who is in route to take them. [Unfortunately, this type of slavery (debt slaves) is quite common in the brick kilns in the middle east today. Praise God for those rescued through the donations and laborious work of faithful believers].
But…there is something that this widow has…although she is deemed poor by worldly standards, she has access to an abundance of riches and glory in Christ…
..herein lies the Great Mystery…
In verse 2 of 2 Kings 4, notice that the widow refers to herself as a maidservant when speaking to Elisha. Now Elisha who is known as a man of God, one who has authority in Christ to go forth according to The Word and Will of God, to do the Will or Instruction given by the Most High, does NOT disagree with her but in fact, gives her instruction. This instruction is not just a things-to-do list, which is the same as prayers of vain repetitions. This instruction requires tenacity, endurance, doing the good work of faith, just as Abraham was obedient and faithful when given the hard task of sacrificing Isaac but glory to God! The Lord had a solution from the very beginning to fulfill His Prophetic Word. [May His Gracious Love and Tender Mercies be multiplied among His people always].
Jar of Oil
The easiest of all the symbolic references – is that of the jar of oil. We can identify with oil as it is one of the most referenced symbols of The Holy Spirit.
The biblical symbols of the Holy Spirit are the Dove, Fire, Oil, Wind, and Water.
John 14:26 NKJV
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
DID YOU KNOW?
Shemen (Hebrew: שמן) is the most commonly used word for oil in the Hebrew scriptures, used around 170 times in a variety of contexts.
We can see that it is evident our God and King wanted to shine His Light on the connection between Him (His Holy Spirit) and us the children of God the Father who are the inheritance of the Yeshua Jesus, the Eternal High Priest and King of Israel.
In Exodus 30:22-33, in the passage entitled, ” The Holy Anointing Oil” God gave Moses instructions to make an oil that would be consecrated and used for the anointing of the tabernacle and the ark and all furnishings as well as the priests (Aaron and his sons).
This was a representation of one of the many things we can expect from The Holy Spirit, CONSECRATION, BEING MADE HOLY. Which is the evidence of His Spirit in us. For who can understand the commands and ways of God and be obedient in the Way of Truth without His Spirit?
1 John 4:12-16 NKJV
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
To fully understand this mystery we have to first understand the significance of the borrowed vessel as mentioned in verse 3.
take and use (something that belongs to someone else) with the intention of returning it.
take and use (money) from a person or bank under an agreement to pay it back later.
take (a word, idea, or method) from another source and use it in one’s own language or work.
Notice that with the word borrow there is a clear indication of “taking and using”. Of course, in these earthly terms, they are meant to be returned or paid back at a later time.
However, because we are children of God and NOT children of man we can rejoice for Christ paid our ransom, we are no longer slaves. He has paid the price for all our sins and so we can cast our cares and burdens upon Him. We can also “take” upon us His Yoke and learn from Him. We can “use” God’s Instruction and our King’s teachings to guide us through life even in the midst of the empty house having nothing and be guided spiritually to do the good work of faith “using” His resources of wisdom and knowledge. His strength in our weakness allows us to endure with Yeshua Jesus even to the very end of the age. His Word is free of charge and in Christ, we are free indeed. (1 Cor. 15:1-4/1 Peter 1:18-20/1 Timothy 2:6/ Isaiah 63/Matthew 11:28-30/James 2:14-26/Joshua 1/Isaiah 33:6/Matthew 28:20/John 8:31-36)
1. a ship or large boat.
2. a hollow container, especially one used to hold liquid, such as a bowl or cask.
As you read, the first meaning of the word vessel is a ship or large boat, by an earthly understanding, it means nothing more than what is read in black and white. However, by biblical standards, we can [through The Holy Spirit, who brings us into all rememberance], remember the story of Noah’s Ark. Through the Scriptures we learn how 8 people were saved, they found safety and were comforted in the “vessel” as they were kept from the wrath of God that poured out on the earth in the form of a flood. We can rejoice for God is a Righteous Judge and He is Compassionate and Merciful; His Everlasting Promises of His Rainbow, are a testament of His covenant and of His Glory and that He would never destroy the earth with a flood again. (Genesis 9:13-17)
The second meaning of vessel is a hollow container that holds liquid. Again, the earthly terminology is in a sense a plain description of the word. In biblical terms, we can attribute the depth of meaning to the very layers of the symbolism of vessels. For instance:
In John 2:1-12, Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, the verse says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
In 2 Timothy 2:20-21, the verses say, “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
So now we know, that a vessel according to scripture can be representative of a physical being like a man or maidservant as mentioned in 2 Kings 4 as well as the previous verses just mentioned. It can also (among other things) represent a container holding liquid which can signify abundance…resources(both physically and spiritually).
It is also a marker for miracles.
We’re almost ready to embrace the full scope of the Mystery of the Widow’s Oil.
Lastly, we have to understand the significance of shutting the door…
Shut the door!
Yep, many of us have heard this expression growing up.
How many times have we come into our homes like a whirlwind after running and ramping up a storm outside with friends only to run in full blast and forget to close the door behind us? And we’re so tired, excited, and hungry for a non-nutritious snack that we in our haste start off in our next phase of winding down only to be quickly snapped into reality from a loud voice in the distance, causing us to backtrack to immediately follow the instruction…”Shut the door!”
Oh yes, now in adulthood I for one and one of few can appreciate the value in shutting the door. [for many are called but few are chosen; The harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few]. (Matthew 22:14/Matthew 9:35-38)
May the eyes and ears of those of with an open willing heart, open the doors to their hearts, that our Savior may come in, allowing us to know the Secret Place where the Father dwells.
We find Him when we’re drawing near,
His is Word is light and very clear
Not His Hand but Seek His Face,
shut the door to the secret place.
Matthew 6:6 NKJV
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees.
The Secret Place is where the Spirit of the Lord rested upon the Ark in The Holy of Holies; His Spirit filled the Temple & covered the Tent of Meeting according to Exodus 40 & Ezekiel 43. His Spirit rested on the seventh day and on Mount Sinai. He was with Noah and his family even when the ARK rested on Mount Ararat. (by God’s Will I pray we will explore the miracle of God’s Mountain at a future time). God’s Spirit can also dwell in us as temples of God as it is written in 1 Corinthians chapters 3 & 6. We can read many passages in reference to this.
Here is one of those passages from Psalm 132, A Song of Ascents:
The Eternal Dwelling of God in Zion
Lord, remember David
And all his afflictions;
2 How he swore to the Lord,
And vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house,
Or go up to the comfort of my bed;
4 I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
5 Until I find a place for the Lord,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
We found it in the fields of the woods.
7 Let us go into His tabernacle;
Let us worship at His footstool.
8 Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
9 Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your saints shout for joy.
10 For Your servant David’s sake,
Do not turn away the face of Your Anointed.
11 The Lord has sworn in truth to David;
He will not turn from it:
“I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body.
12 If your sons will keep My covenant
And My testimony which I shall teach them,
Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore.”
For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place:
14 “This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15 I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation,
And her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
17 There I will make the horn of David grow;
I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed.
18 His enemies I will clothe with shame,
But upon Himself His crown shall flourish.”
So now, we have gone through some of the scriptures & references and can knit together the significance in the meaning and symbolic nature of prophetic events, that was established by God’s Word in the beginning through His Instruction (Law) and the Prophets, going forth in due season (in the ancient time) and now holds true and relevant for everything we face in our daily lives(end times).
Ecclessiates 1:9 NKJV
That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
Hebrews 13:8 NKJV
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
God does not change, He is Faithful and His Word just like His Spirit is Everlasting.
Let us see the perfection in God’s Grace.
Let us rejoice in His Mercy.
Let us reverence Him in love and for the amazing work of His Hands as we understand and see the Everlasting Promises of His Word through the Mystery of the Widow’s Oil.
This dual prophecy (present-day & eternal) shows a physical return on the widow’s (maidservant) faithfulness and obedience to God’s Instruction through His servant Elisha.
Even, with the jar of oil, God provided the increase more than her hands (or vessels) could hold. Just as God provided the two-fold miracle of quail and manna on the Sabbath day for the Israelites in Exodus 16. Just as He commanded the ravens to bring meat and bread to Elijah and supplied water for him to drink from the stream in 1 Kings 17. Just as God provided a river of flowing water when Moses struck the rock in Horeb in the wilderness Exodus 17.
So He will strike the dry rock in your life for you!
Deuteronomy 28:1-8 NKJV
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. “The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
Notice that the widow went forth to the good work of faith and God gave an abundance out of the very little she had. Notice that the oil ceased only when she ran out of empty vessels.
We can see there is unlimited riches and glory in Christ. God can open the gates and doors in heaven to pour out a blessing of fruitfulness in your life.
Limitations occur when we stop cooperating with God.
When we stray out into the world or are entertained by our vain imaginations or give in to vain ambitions, we limit ourselves. God has always been ready to bless us and keep us in fact in the Psalms the scriptures tell of His blessings pursuing us all the days of our lives. In fact, the Hebrew word used in Psalm 23:6 is the word “radaph” meaning to pursue or chase [It can also mean persecute depending on how it is used in the text. In this case, the context in which it is used solely means a pursuing or chasing of the blessing.] Meaning His blessings will literally chase after us. However, His Glory will only dwell in holiness and will depart in the midst of abomination according to Ezekiel 10 & 11.
The widow didn’t question or second guess the command of shutting the door. She understood just like we should understand that when we meet with our Father in the secret place and pray in the name of His Beloved Son, we will be rewarded in the open. (Matthew 6:6)
The widow went out boldly with a meek and lowly spirit to her neighbors and borrowed vessels. Vessels hold commodities…resources…and to ask her neighbors, going door to door one would have to be humble and courageous (Joshua 1) as the reactions could vary.
Nevertheless, she gathered what she could and God met her right where she was. She knew the significance of the secret place and God rewarded her so much that her debts were paid, her sons were no longer destined to be slaves [as the creditor was coming] but became free. She gained so much that even her generations were blessed. We know the value of oil even today!
In this last hour, most of us will be tested with the fiery trial. Our purpose as the body of Christ is to be salt and light in the earth. Since we are indeed in the last hour we know that in knowing our identity in Christ Jesus we will suffer persecutions, and many afflictions as Paul also wrote about. However, in knowing who we are and Who has called us, while on the earth we may very well find ourselves in houses with nothing but a jar of oil.
To God be the glory for with men it is impossible but with GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! (Matthew 19:26)
Even though it is hard and seems nearly impossible to bear. Remember, we are little people with a BIG GOD. He can even do wonders with a mustard seed of faith. How much more will you see unfold right before your eyes if you believe and go forth in faith being very courageous?
How amazed do you think the widow was as she poured….and continued to pour…AND CONTINUED TO POUR OUT THE GOD-GIVEN BLESSING THAT HE PROVIDED?!
Did not Jesus feed thousands on two occasions with fish and bread as an example to us and did our God not say that even greater works than these we will do when the Helper comes??? His provision was made for the multitudes on TWO occasions to represent the Jew and Gentile believers in Christ.
His Promises are EVERLASTING
In The Holy Spirit…
The oil was poured out, the oil was a help to the widow. The oil provided comfort in the gain. Through the oil came the abundance of blessings.
..and WHO IS THE OIL?
None other than the King of Kings…Lord of lords.
The Angel of Fire in the midst of the burning bush at the beginning with Moses, the fire and wind the came upon the disciples in the middle of time, and the Helper who is with us today, resting in us as we are the temples of God in the end.
Yeshua HaMashiach…Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 3:16-17 NKJV
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love.
GOD IS LOVE
1 John 4:7-11 NKJV
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
We cannot afford to set our sights on the things of this world which will surely pass away. We have to maintain focus on the eternal kingdom and God’s eternal reward for even a rich man can be poor in the eyes of God and a poor man on the earth can have an abundance of riches and glory in Christ. We as followers of Christ do not look for silver and gold but look forward and toward the Living Scroll, Living Water, and Bread of Life Who Is The Door is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. May we have an abundance in the riches in which Christ gives in Spirit through repentance that we may be reconciled unto God The Father…TRUE RICHES AND GLORY.
Matthew 6:19-20 NKJV
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Mark 8:36 NKJV
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Luke 12:15 NKJV
And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV
While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Will you endure like the widow? Will you be faithful like the widow? Will you do the hard but good work of faith like widow? Do you trust in the promises of God and walk in obedience adhering to the commands of God with no exceptions or excuses like the widow? Do you fear and love the Lord enough to meet Him in the secret place just like the widow?
In all of this I pray you find comfort in the words of our Lord for not only does He correct but He chastens and His rod and staff are a support and comfort. He tells us how to overcome and He has promised to give us an abundance…not withholding that which is good.
Will you trust The Word…The Promise of The Lord?
Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
May we maintain a posture of humility that we may be teachable.
May the wise take heed…
Be holy for He is Holy.