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The widow’s oil


Have you ever seen a magic show where the magician keeps pouring water out

of a container into glasses?  We all know that the magician doesn’t really have

the power to keep pouring water and that it is just a trick but it looks good doesn’

t it.  Well there is a true story where a jar of oil really did keep pouring.  This

happened many thousands of years ago and this is what happened.


During the time of Elisha the prophet one of the sons of the prophets died. (By

the way a prophet is a person who, inspired by God tells the future as in Daniel

or Revelations these are two books of the Bible or they tell people what God

wants them to do or as a teacher, leader or preacher they preach God’s word).  

Well back to the story.  The prophet had died leaving his wife and sons in a lot

of debt and when Elisha arrived in her town she went to him and said. “My

husband is dead and you know how he respected and loved God.  Well the

person to whom we own a lot of money is coming to take my two sons away to be

his slaves.”


Elisha said to her, “What do you want me to do for you?”   Then he thought for a

minute and said “Tell me, what you have in the house?”


The widow said, “Well, I have nothing in the house except a jar of oil”


So Elisha said, “Go and borrow as many empty jars, jugs, pots and anything that

can hold liquid that you can.  Put them in your house and shut the door behind

you and your sons then start pouring the oil into the empty jars, jugs and pots.  

So she did just as the prophet had told her.


She took the first jar and started pouring the oil in it and filled it up to the top.  

Then she took the second jar and filled that up as well.  She kept asking her

sons for another jar and another jar and the jar of oil kept pouring.  In fact the

jar of oil filled all the jars, pots and jugs in the house, it never seemed to empty

and she kept setting aside the full ones.  After a while she called to one of her

sons “Bring me another jar.” and her son said “There isn’t another empty jar in

the house mother.” and it wasn’t until then that the oil in the jar stopped.


The widow then left the house and looked for Elisha and said. “Every jar, pot

and jug in my house that was my own and that I borrowed from my neighbours is

full of oil what shall I do now?”


Elisha said “Go and sell the oil and pay your debts and live on the money that is

left over.”  The widow did just that and was able to live quite comfortably on what

was left over.  


This story tells us that God really is interested in our material needs as well as

our spiritual needs.  It also tells us just how much he loves us.



This story was taken from the New King James Version of the Bible


©Vivienne Evers  2005