Elisha – Ridiculous ProvisionSeptember 15, 2019
This is a story about .
- In the midst of difficulties, it is easy to lose .
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” 2 Kings 4:1
- In the midst of difficulties, God asks us to Him.
Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” 3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” 5 She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
2 Kings 4:2-6
- In the midst of difficulties, God knows our .
She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
1 Kings 4:7
Jesus exhorts us not to worry – Matthew 6:25-32
- In the midst of difficulties, God is the we really need.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
A Note on the Prophet ‘Elisha’
- A ninth-century B.C. prophet in the northern kingdom of Israel.
- He succeeded his mentor Elijah and ministered with a company of prophets (cf. 2 Kgs. 4:1).
- His name meant “my God is salvation.” He also was called “a prophet” (2 Kgs. 3:11-12; 5:3; 6:12) and a “man of God” (2 Kgs. 4:9, 16, 22).
- Except for references to Elisha’s call (1 Kgs. 19:16-21) and his death (2 Kgs. 13:14-21), he is mentioned in the OT only in 2 Kings 2-9, a section referred to as the Elisha miracle cycle (he is mentioned once in the New Testament – Luke 4:27).
- Elisha’s miracles were not dramatic but more directed to the needs of people, done for the purpose of aiding and giving relief to persons in difficult situations; they take place in the midst of problems such as “death, hunger, illness, and war.”
- Elisha’s miracles were more numerous than his predecessor Elijah – Elisha performed at least thirteen miracles whereas Elijah performed eight.
- Elisha carried out the kind of ministry affirmed by Moses in Deuteronomy – Israelite kings were judged according to their sins against God’s law; in other words, Elisha declared God’s intentions that kings and people needed to respond with faith in the prophet’s word in order to enjoy mercy and avoid judgment.
- In addition to the similar meaning of Elisha’s name with ‘Jesus’ (“Yahweh saves”), the miracle ministry of Jesus is more like that of Elisha than Elijah’s. Three parallels exist:
Cleanses Naaman’s leprosy (2 Kgs. 5)
Feeds a large multitude with twenty barley loaves and fresh ears of grain (2 Kgs. 4:42-44)
Raises from the dead son of a woman from Shunem (2 Kgs. 4:8-37)
Cleansing of lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
Feeds 5000 with five barley loaves and two fish (Matt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:5-13)
Raises from the dead son of widow of Nain, a town not far from Shunem (Luke 7:11-17)