Saturday August 5th 2017
Memorise: Follow peace with all men, and holiness. Without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14
Read: 2nd Kings 4:1-7 (KJV)
4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
4:2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
4:3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
4:4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
4:5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
4:6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
4:7 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.
Bible in one year: 1st Kings 18-19, Ezekiel 20:27-38, Hymn: Sing hymn 9
Being the God who knows the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end, when the Lord gives us a commandment, it’s because He had already considered the beginning, the present and the end. This consideration applies to the Lord’s commandment in today’s memory verse, instructing us to follow peace with all men. This commandment is for our good, both now and in the hereafter. You need to practise good neighbourliness for the sake of the gospel and to bring glory to your Father in Heaven. The story of the widow in today’s Bible reading demonstrates the blessings that come through good neighbourliness. This widow cried to Elisha because her husband owed a debt he could not pay before he died, and her two sons were to be sold into slavery to settle the debt. The prophet asked her what she had that God could work with, and she mentioned a pot of oil. That was more than enough for the God who brought out something as great as the universe from nothing. So, Elisha asked the widow to go to her neighbours and borrow as many vessels as were available, after which she should lock herself up with her sons for the business of miracle oil-bottling. They did this and the oil began to flow until there were no more empty vessels left. The widow eventually became an oil merchant because the prophet directed her to sell the oil, pay the creditors and use the rest of the money to meet the needs of her family.
There are many lessons we can learn from this story. First, we must value what we have because it is what we have that God will use to meet our needs. Secondly, no matter how much we may have in our possession, it is always more than enough for God to perform His miracles in our lives with. This truth was also demonstrated when Jesus used five loaves and two fishes to feed more than five thousand people (Matthew 14:17-21). Thirdly, without the assistance of the widow’s neighbours, the effect of the miracle would have been limited. We would always need our neighbours and our neighbours would always need us. The absence of good neighbourliness would have denied this widow the use of her neighbours’ vessels. She would not have had the courage to go to her neighbours if she had been fighting them. Beloved, as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, let us add good neighbourliness to our Christian virtue. Matthew 5:16says,
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Good neighbourliness produces both spiritual and physical blessings. Therefore, in the Church of God and in our community, let us be agents of peace, unity and friendless. Through this, unbelievers will see our good works and be drawn to our Heavenly Father.
Determine in your heart to do good to at least one person a day, and pray for grace to do it.