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Seeing is Believing, Or is It?
by Judy Webb
“Go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons.” (2 Kings 4:4)
The widow of a prophet was in big trouble and begging Elisha for help. After all, Elisha knew her husband and recognized him as a faithful believer. He knew he had a good reputation as a godly man, and he kept his integrity in a time of great apostasy. He died poor and in debt and his creditors were very severe.
This widow knew that Elisha was a prophet also, and turned to him for help. As often is the case in scripture stories, Elisha’s instructions to her didn’t make a lot of sense. One could easily have doubted and scoffed at his instructions, but not this woman. She was at the end of her rope, and it probably wasn’t easy for her to cry out for help like she did.
The amazing part of this story is that she listened and believed – didn’t question the wisdom of the instructions Elisha gave to her. Was there a time when you were in deep trouble and didn’t know where to turn? Scripture doesn’t tell us this, but I am confident she prayed and poured her heart out to God. Then God sent Elisha with the answer.
It is our faith that fails, not God’s promises. I imagine she prayed for a miracle, as it must have seemed a hopeless situation. “We make our blessings little, because our prayers are little.” (Charles Spurgeon) One commentary states she was instructed to “shut the door behind you and your sons," because the blessing God was about to bestow was intended to demonstrate privately, God’s mercies, not as a public sensation.
Later she could tell everyone of God’s goodness and faithfulness. But for today, this moment was intended for she and her sons. It was their time to praise and worship God as they filled every jar with oil – their saving oil. This must have had a tremendous impact on her boys. One they would not forget as they moved forward in life.
Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading today. If you find yourself in big trouble, like the widow, turn to God and beg for his intercession. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.