Lessons from a Poor Widow
31 Days of Women from Scripture
Trust God with All You Have
Day Ten: Lessons from a poor widow
2 Kings 4:1-7
There is $20 in the checking account. The dog is completely out of food and there are three diapers left in the diaper bag. Diapers are a necessity, but not buying dog food means feeding the dog scraps from your food which means no leftovers. The food must last until payday.
Have you been there?
God wants us to bring our burdens and needs to Him (Acts 17:27; Mt. 7:7).
How well do we actually do it? Do we trust Him with everything – even when we are down to our last anything?
We can be confident that God understands. He gave us an example of a woman in just such a situation.
In 2 Kings 4 we meet a woman who was married to the son of prophet. She was now a widow with two children. The creditors were coming to take her children away to be slaves in order to pay the debt that is owed.
This woman reached out to Elisha and told him of her plight. He asks what she has in the house of any value. Her reply is that she only has a jar of oil.
This is her last thing of value. Yet, it would also be something that is vital to keeping her little family fed.
Elisha tells her to borrow as many vessels as she possibly can from her neighbors. She proceeds to do as Elisha instructs.
Once all the vessels are obtained, Elisha says she is to lock herself and her sons in the house. She is to then begin pouring oil from the jar she owns into the jars she has borrowed.
She poured until every single one of those borrowed containers was full!
She went and told Elisha how much oil she now had. Elisha then tells her to go sell the oil, pay the debt, so “you and your sons can live on the rest” (2 Kings 4:7).
This woman did not have much, but she trusted the prophet with all of it. She didn’t hold back the oil out of fear that she would lose more than she could afford.
We would do well to learn from her example.
No matter how much we have, we need to trust God with it. He will see to our most important of needs (Deut. 10:18; Mt. 6:25).
We can have a tendency to fight to “take care of it ourselves” before we think about giving it to God. But this is putting faith in ourselves and not in God.
Doing things like working for our food – while they are things we do, we still only reap the benefits because God has provided them to begin with.
Remember the widow Jesus’ observes in the treasury in Mark 12:41-44? This widow put in two small copper coins, “which amount to a cent.” Jesus knew that she had given all that she had. This woman trusted the Lord to care for her. She didn’t hold back what she had to pay for tomorrow’s bread. She gave it to the Lord.
We are commanded to be cheerful givers in supporting the treasury of the church (2 Cor. 9:7). The very next verse promises that if we do that, God will see to it that we “always have all sufficiency in everything” (2 Cor. 9:8).
We may not know what form that sufficiency will take, but do we trust God to keep His promise?
So, when you are down to your last few dollars, the creditors are calling, or the power has been turned off where are you going to turn?
When you are down to the last thread of emotional strength you have left – who are you going to lean on?
Follow the lead of these women. Give to God first (1 Cor. 16:1-2). He will supply the rest (2 Cor. 9:10-14).
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” – Matthew 6:25-26
Whatever your worry, whatever your fear – take it to the Lord and ease your burden (Mt. 11:28-30). Trust God with all that you have.