As we begin 2016 we can share the story of Nehemiah teaching the scriptures to the people at the Water Gate of Jerusalem. When we celebrate the beginning of the Season of Epiphany, we start with Wise Men Worship Jesus, the story of the wise men from the east. Then the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated with the story of John the Baptist witnessing to Jesus as Messiah, in Soul-ed Out for Jesus. In the USA, we can commemorate the advancement of civil rights on the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Samaritan Neighbor. Continuing in Epiphany, we celebrate the first public miracle recorded that Jesus performed in turning water into wine with the Miracle in Cana. The next week is Transfiguration Sunday, with the story of Jesus transforming in the presence of three disciples with Power Ranger. Alternately, in the USA we can get an interesting twist on Super Bowl Sunday with The Super Bowl. As we enter the Season of Lent, the protection of God’s children is explained in Angels Watching Over Me. Then we learn of how God transformed Abram into Abraham, the father of multitudes, in Journey to Faith.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22,23
Text: 2 Kings 4:1-7
Prop: a jar or bowl
Summary: The story of Elisha and the widow shows how God provides for our needs abundantly.
Today let’s talk about the Super Bowl. Do you know what I mean? I’m not talking about the football game to be played in February. I’m talking about a story in the Bible about a bowl of oil. Oil was used as fuel to burn in lamps. It was very valuable.There was a woman whose husband had served God under the great prophet Elisha. When he died, the poor widow owed someone money, but she did not have the money to pay him. Her two sons were going to be taken as slaves to work until the debt was paid. She was desperate. She went to the prophet Elisha and begged for him to help her.
And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. – 2 Kings 4:2
Elisha told her what to do. This is what happened. She went home and borrowed jars from all her neighbors, as many as she could find. Then she and her sons went inside and closed the doors to the house. She took her bowl of oil, and she began pouring. She poured from that little bowl until the first jar was full. He brought jar after jar, until they filled every jar they had borrowed. She told her son to bring her another jar, but there were not any more left. Then the oil stopped flowing.
She was so excited with all the oil that God had provided that she ran to tell the good news to Elisha. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest. (2 Kings 4:7) She trusted God to help her. God took the little bit that she had with her faith and made more. Now she had enough to sell so she could pay all the money she owed and still have plenty to live on with her sons. She obeyed God and showed her faith when she did what the prophet Elisha told her to do. God blessed her with a mighty miracle for her faith.
This little bowl of oil was truly a “super bowl.” God provided all she needed. The oil is like the Holy Spirit. When a person believes in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to fill us. The Holy Spirit provides all we need in life. It is like a bowl of oil that overflows, giving us all we need to let our light shine for God.
©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.