Wednesday, 13 October 2021

The Favour of God

 Scripture: 2 Kings 4 v 1 - 7: "Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.

 2  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.
 3  Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. 
 4  And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
 5  So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
 6  And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
 7  Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest."

Whenever we encounter miracles, those events that have zero logical explanation, the presence, power, faithfulness, magnitude and favour of our Heavenly Father is revealed.  The prophet Elisha never disappoints with his double mantle of the anointing that was upon Elijah.

Here he comes upon the widow of one of the school of prophets who ministered with him.  She has no income, debts are mounting, and her only assets are her two sons who are going to be taken away to be sold as slaves.

When Elisha finds she only has one flask of oil left he says go and collect as many empty containers as you can from your neighbours and when there were plenty of them he shut the door.  The widow poured oil into one vessel then another until all the others were filled.  She could sell some to pay debts and live well on the rest.

In the Gospels we read the miracle of the loaves and fishes when Jesus multiplied 5 loaves and 2 small fish from which 5000 hungry men plus women and children, maybe 10000 people, were fed.  Afterwards the scraps alone filled 12 large baskets.  Not long afterwards Jesus did this again, feeding 4000 men with 7 baskets of scraps left over.

The feature of all these miracles is that the people needing them had nothing.  The widow had nothing to pay her debt, the crowds had nothing to eat.  In each case there was a tiny amount of something God could bless and increase.  A little oil in a flask, a small boy's lunch.  

Jesus said when we pray we must make our needs known to God the Father.  Not our greeds, our needs.  Very many years ago our family went through serious financial difficulties.  We had very little food.  I had one asset, a car.  We decided to sell it and solve at least some of our problems.

While I prayed for guidance God spoke and said very clearly that I should give the car away, and to whom it should go.  I was shocked.  I said the Lord, my husband will never agree, so I can only do this if he gets this message, plus the same name You gave me.  My husband came home that night and said we must give the car to this person. It was the same name.  Our God is faithful!

We were now empty and had nothing although we did not know how important that was.  Suddenly people who had no idea of our dire state started giving us parcels of food, with cash in envelopes in them too.  A large box of fresh meat was dropped on our doorstep.  A sliced loaf of bread stayed fresh and never ran out for about two weeks.  My husband found a job.  Miracle after miracle until we were back on our feet.  God is real.  His Word is real.  

Blessed be the poor for they shall see the kingdom of God had a whole new understanding.  And those who are struggling today and holding onto one cherished asset they hope will save them from poverty may need to pray fervently for the Lord's mind on this asset.

Luke 6 v 35 - 38: "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
 36  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
 37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
 38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

The plight of hundreds of thousands of people has been been on steroids since the pandemic killed, and still kills, so many, closes businesses, or changes breadwinners into beggars.  Call on the name of the Lord and make your need known.  Give where you can, time, love, care, and our Father will create sufficient out of very little.

We can never outgive God.  He is able to multiply the little we give into plentiful return on our investment into His Kingdom.  When we give with a cheerful heart, He sees and rewards the giver.  We do not need to claim this and claim that, but rather just make our needs known and trust Him to meet them.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father to those You have used to bless my life for all the years I have known You, I say thank You for your love and obedience.  Father bless them abundantly in return and keep their vessels full and overflowing.  Let us learn that the ways to find favour with You are not man's way but Your way.  In Jesus' name. Amen.