Oil, Son, Pottage & Bread

2 Kgs 4:1-44

Today, we were thrown into the ministry of Elisha and some of the notable miracles God performed through him. This fourth chapter described four major miraculous events in Elisha’s ministry, from help with debt through Oil sale to serving a lot of people with twenty loaves of bread. We will consider these four miracles nest.

First was the widow of a prophet who was in debt, and in danger of losing her two sons to the debt collector. Elisha asked her what she had in the house – a pot of oil was the answer. So he asked her to go borrow as many vessels as possible from her neighbours, and she and her sons kept filling these vessels with oil until there was none left, it was after this that the oil stayed. Elisha told her to go sell the oil, pay off her debts, and live on the rest with her sons. What a provision!

The second miracle was a double fold one for a Shunammite woman who together with her husband have hosted Elisha and his servant on their travels, even providing them with their own room and study place. Elisha asked this woman what she wanted in return, and he declared that though she had been barren and her husband old, about the same season, according to the time of life, she would embrace a son.  According to Elisha’s word, the woman conceived and bore a son.

However, when the child was grown, one day he developed a headache and later died on his mother’s knees. So the Shunnamite saddled her house and went to see Elisha, declaring all the way – “It shall be well”. When she approached, Elisha was surprised and sent his servant to find out what was wrong, but the woman told him nothing, God also did not reveal to Elisha the woman’s trouble. After the woman told Elisha, he sent Gehazi his servant ahead with his staff to lay it on the boy, but nothing happened. Elisha himself then went in to the boy and shut the door, prayed to God, and then lay upon the boy, stretching his body on his. The boy’s body received warmth, and he later sneezed seven times, brought back to life and given to her mother, who was indeed very grateful.

Next was the miracle at Gilgal where the sons of the prophets were gathered to eat from a big pot of pottage. The pot was however mistakenly poisoned with a wild herb, so the prophets saw death in the pottage and could not eat it. Elisha was told of this, but he asked for a meal, which he cast into the pot and the asked that the pottage be poured out to the people. The pottage indeed became harmless.

Finally, a man from Baal-shalisha brought the man of God twenty loaves of barley as first-fruits, and he declared, “give unto the people that they may eat”! From the man’s response, the bread if fully stretched could only feed maximum of a hundred men. Though we were no told the number of people there, they all ate and there were left overs according to God’s word through Elisha.

Miracles suspend the natural as the supernatural overcomes physical limitations. Know that God could still perform his miracles in your life today, do not be limited by the natural.

Some verses to remember

vs 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.

vs 17:  And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.

vs 35: Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

vs 41:  But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.

vs 43-44: And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD.

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