05/13/12 You Have Enough for God!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 Under: Sermon
Text: 2 Kings 4:1-7 (NKJV)

1 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.”

“Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters; and you without money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost! Isaiah 55:1 (HCSB)

Intro: Mothers and their Many Responsibilities.

It’s funny how you look at a mother from a grandfather’s perspective. A mother and all her many responsibilities, who can number them all? Yet mothers are equipped by God for this task. Motherhood was the first command of God to Eve. I am sure Sarah would have loved to have tried raising a child at a younger age. How would you like to send your son down the river in a basket? Or watch your son hang on a cross? The mother in our text today is the kind of mother that is a large percentage of our society; she is a widow, a single mother. Now you have the added responsibility of widowhood.

Application: whatever you have is enough for God!

1. This Mother Knew where to go in the Time of Need: (v. 1)

“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."

This widow turned to Elisha for help in her hour of need. She appealed to him on the basis that her husband had been faithful to the Lord (the servant feared the Lord). Try to imagine living in a time in history when parents could lose their boys to slavery. Slaves can be substitutes for payment of debt and this was not uncommon in the Ancient Near East.

Elisha was eager to help the widow. Elisha was the apprentice and successor of Elijah. A man of God wanting to help, personally I don’t think things have changed there; there are still men of God, pastors who love their congregation and want to help.

This woman was a preacher’s widow, Wife of one of the sons of the prophets. This man of God must have been a man of faith he had served under Elisha, must have been fearless, but as the story is often told he was broke this couple didn’t have much money. He didn’t have any money. To his benefit he was a hard worker but died young. Sounds like a familiar story doesn’t it? The problem: Death and debts, the two great burdens of life. Try to picture a creditor coming to your door to foreclose on the boys to be bondmen!

Here is the best part of this woman and her current dilemma: The widow went quickly to seek the wisdom and help of God. Blessed is the mother who knows where to go when her family is in need. THE MOTHER KNEW WHERE TO GO!

The stories of Elisha give us insight into this critical period of Old Testament history, and help us to see God as One who remains involved in the lives of ordinary people even when the nation has strayed far from His ways.

2. This Mother found the Answer to her Need was Right at Home: (vv. 2–4)

“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."

This woman’s little bit of oil was olive oil used for food and fuel and for anointing. Elisha told her to collect empty jars; they would be filled with oil God would provide. The widow’s faith can be “measured” by the number of jars she collected in response to the prophet’s instructions. Shutting the door provided privacy for the task of pouring the oil. Not everyone was to see the miracle take place; only the widow and her sons, the direct beneficiaries of God’s grace, should see it. But later she probably told all her friends about God’s miraculous provision.

God provided oil enough to fill all the jars the woman had collected, all she felt she needed. She returned to Elisha with a report of the miracle and he told her to sell the oil and pay her debts. There was enough money left over for her to live on after all her financial obligations had been met.

This story demonstrates God’s care for His faithful ones who lived in apostate Israel
at this time. Widows were always vulnerable and the widow of a prophet would have been even needier. Yet God miraculously cared for this faithful, dependent believer.

Elisha considering her problem: “What shall I tell thee?” Now imagine a preacher asking you what do you have in the house? A good question for all mothers today.

- A husband who loves you
- Food enough for today?
- Money for this week’s groceries?

This mother had none of these things. This woman’s response was a little negative: “Your maidservant has nothing” Let’s apply this to a lot of our mothers in our world today; Mothers and others with this attitude are miserable, “Others get new things, I am deprived. Poor me!”

Interestingly enough there was a Startling Discovery: There was a “jar of oil” A Positive Move this was anointing oil. This was the turning point for this woman. How long has it been since you counted your blessings? Rediscovering the house, the family, the furniture, love the answer for lifting your burden may be right at home.

3. This Mother Found that the Possibilities are Unlimited When you Allow God to Use what you have: (vv. 4–7)

“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."

Now the rest of the story! Heeding the message of Elisha in faith, mom gets her sons involved in an act of faith. She sends them out borrowing, thinking big! “do not gather just a few” and expect an answer.

The story gets good now. The closed doors, the thrilling moment God took what she had and multiplied it. God filled all the borrowed vessels. Isn’t it amazing what God will do with what you have?

Since the widow’s need was private, the provision was to be private also. Further, the absence of Elisha demonstrated that the miracle happened only by God’s power. God’s power multiplied “little” into “much,” filling all the vessels to meet the widow’s need!

- A boy’s lunch
- Moses’ rod
- David’s sling

Conclusion

Whatever you have is Enough for God to Use, Tell me, what do you have in the house?

In : Sermon 


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