Achish, a peasant farmer is a prophet and a follower of Elisha and like all of them in his time, when in dire need, took a loan and dead before he could repay it. The creditor before giving a loan ascertained the capability of the family to repay it and knew for sure that he won't loose his money, because Achish has two teenage boys. In those times there was this cruel custom that if a man owes money and dies before he clears off his debt, the creditor has every right to take his children as bondmen. So when Achish died, the creditor who was market savvy moved in quickly after locating a buyer for the late Achish's children knowing fully well that the widow cannot repay back the money. The worried widow made every effort to borrow money from her near and dear ones and out of desperation rushed to Elisha for help.
Elisha knowing that to perform a miracle he had to have a base asked her as to what it was, that she has in the house and she answered that she has a small pot of oil. Now to perform a miracle one had to have faith so Elisha asked her to collect as many empty vessels and not to restrict it to only a few. So she went to her relatives, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and collected as many empty vessels as possible. As instructed by Elisha she kept all the empty vessels inside the house and after closing her door, started pouring oil into it. As most of the vessels have narrow necks to facilitate easy handling, the widow took upon herself to pour the precious oil into each of those personally with the help of her two children in bringing the empty ones and stacking the filled ones. So engrossed was she in filling that when she asked her son to bring in another vessel, he said they had none.
The widow when confronted with the problem turned to God for help. Believing that God is the answer for her problem, she did all what was told to her implicitly.
She did not know how she can fill all the empty vessels with her pot of oil.
But that did not deter her from collecting as many empty vessels as possible from all sources, maybe even getting ridiculed by many.
She had the audacity to close the door on the face of many who would have followed her, because they would have been curious to know of what she is upto.
She personally filled each and every empty vessel, because she knew the value of the oil.
So immersed was she in filling each and every vessel that she stopped only when her child told her that there were no empty ones.
And the oil stopped flowing only when all the vessels were filled.
Elisha did not tell her of what she had to do after filling all the empty vessels, because he wanted to know whether she would do exactly as instructed. Only after she came rushing back to him and told him that all the empty vessels are filled with oil, that he asked her to sell it, and repay the debt and live with the rest of the money.
The number of empty vessels gathered was an indication of their faith, because if she had
collected only a few it would have been sufficient only to clear off her debts and their
would not have been any left for them to live comfortably. God's stipulation was as large as her faith and readiness to obey. The widow did not limit God's blessings by a lack of faith and obedience, as God did more then what she asked.
Victor Jasti lives in India and is passionate about writing short stories based on the Bible and real incidents. He also writes Christian fiction and poetry. Five of his poems were published in Temporal Currents compiled by an American author, Ms. Christine Tricarico.
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