Looking to God for Our Needs

Jim Mead

READ : 2 Kings 4:1-7

“Go sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your children can live on the rest.” (v. 7)

Not everyone can relate to the desperation felt by this poor widow, but almost everyone has felt at some point like they were down to their last chance: looking for a job, finding a cure, saving a relationship. It’s a lonely feeling, and we don’t always know where to turn. Our “jar of oil” may not seem like much, but this story highlights the resources we do have, not the ones we don’t.

Israelite law allowed a form of debt-slavery (Leviticus 25:39-40), but the tone of the story clearly favors the widow’s cause. While the poor usually turned to kings for help, this woman looked to God’s prophet. And Elisha began with the resources the woman had: a little oil, a few neighbors, and a lot of faith.

Whether it’s our own needs or those of others, economic justice is close to God’s heart. The church should be a fellowship where “there [is] not a needy person among them” (Acts 4:34). But living that ideal means being aware of others’ real needs. When we turn to each other, it’s an opportunity for God to work through our faith to meet such needs.


God our Father, provide for our needs and help us respond to the needs of others.