So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbours – empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. 2 Kings 4:2-6 (NKJV)
This is the story of Elisha and the widow’s oil. To the logical but unbelieving mind, it would appear foolish to gather a lot of empty vessels to hold oil when you did not know where the oil was coming from! What was she going to do with empty jars? She was already empty and yet she was told to go and gather some more emptiness. No matter how strange or unusual or illogical it may seem, when God says it, we must do it.
God is looking for empty vessels today. We are referred to as earthen vessels in the Bible.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NKJV)
When we empty ourselves of self-righteousness and pride and the cares of this world, God can fill us with the power of His Holy Spirit (symbolised by oil) and we can pour out our lives as a blessing to others.
Notice that the number of vessels to be brought was “not … just a few”. In other words, bring as many as you have faith that God will fill. The number of empty vessels brought into the house showed the woman’s faith, obedience and her submission to God. The size of her blessing was directly related to how obedient she had been in getting the jars. God’s ability to provide always exceeds our capacity to receive. The oil flowed until the vessels ran out. When the day was done, every vessel was filled to the full. There was no limit on the amount of oil. The only limit was on the amount of vessels. God’s provision knew no limits in the widow’s case and it knows no limits in our case! God is able to meet every need, move every mountain and solve every problem. God’s sufficiency is more than enough for every deficiency in our lives.
God is looking for empty vessels to fill. He is looking for people who have died to self and desire to be filled with His Spirit. He is looking for people who will take Him at His word and not limit Him.
May we be channels of blessing to those around us today.