This week, leading up to Mother’s Day, we are looking at Seven Magnificent Mothers from scripture who exhibited characteristics to be admired, imitated, and praised.
Magnificent Mother #4: The Widow Who Struck Oil
Our fourth “Magnificent Mother” is a woman who is not even named in Scripture, so I will simply refer to her as “The Widow Who Struck Oil”. This woman’s story is found in the fourth chapter of Second Kings. She was the wife of one of the prophets that hung around with Elisha. Her husband died, and creditors were threatening to take her two sons into slavery if she didn’t pay her debts. All she had in her entire house was one little flask of olive oil.
The widow woman comes to Elisha and begs him to help her, and he gives her some strange instructions: he tells her to go from door to door in her neighborhood and borrow all of the empty jars she could get a hold of, then pour the oil from her flask into the empty jars. Now, you’ve got to be thinking that the little dab of oil in the flask is not going to fill many empty jars, but sure enough, this little widow lady strikes oil and fills every empty jar in the neighborhood to the brim. She has enough money not only to pay her creditors, but also enough money for her and her sons to live on for some time to come.
So what is so special about this “magnificent mother”, the Widow Who Struck Oil? First of all, when she got into a troublesome situation, what did she do? She sought out Godly counsel in the form of God’s prophet, Elisha. The very first verse of the very first Psalm says, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.” The widow sought out Godly advice.
We should be wary of counsel that does not come from a Christ-centered perspective. Time after time Jesus illustrated that the philosophy and reasoning of the world was not in line with that of the Kingdom of Heaven. And if we want the kind of advice that will lead us through our various crises, we need to seek Godly counsel. “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.”
Secondly, there were any number of excuses that the widow could’ve given for why she shouldn’t do what Elisha told her to do. “It’s embarrassing to go door to door to the neighbors asking for jars,” “It’s hard work,” “It’s time-consuming when I could be doing something that actually makes sense,” “It’s a waste of energy.” But this widow didn’t question, didn’t argue – she immediately went to the task that Elisha laid out for her, and God honored her faith and her obedience. Oh, that we would step out in such faith and obedience when God gives us instructions.
~ Matt Kinnell,
NHIM Board Chair