Elisha and the widow

The pair of miracles that God performs through the prophet Elisha in 2 Kings 4 demonstrates this: God cares and provides for those who stand faithful in the midst of everyone else turning to other gods.

These women are living under apostate Israel. Israel has left her first love. Israel has gone astray. Israel has made a choice to love other gods and forsake her God who formed her, chose her, called her his own, and delivered her time and time again. Israel left God.

But God did not leave Israel. Elisha’s ministry proves that God still loves, cares, protects, and is concerned for his children…even right down to the day to day details of the lives of these two women.

Thinking of the widow in verses 2-7. She lost her faithful husband. She was left to raise her two boys alone. She was left with unpaid debts. She was left in a culture that gave no value to women. Left in a culture that took advantage of her, that showed her (a widow who by God’s standards was to be cared for and taken care of by her people) no mercy.

She certainly lived a hard live. No doubt she was anxious and concerned. She probably saw no way out of the messy life that had been handed to her. She was overwhelmed with life and caring for two boys. Where did her income come from? How would she meet the demands of the creditors? How could she avoid her two sons from becoming enslaved to work off the debt that stared her in the face everyday?

Elisha was eager to help the widow. God is eager to help his children who are in need. She had something to offer, and God took that little bit of oil and provided food and fuel to not only feed this family, but to sell and provide the means to pay off her debts and still have funds left. God is eager to help his children in need.

During these last few months, as I have been coming to God with my grief and pain, this story, like everything else that I am reading from His Word, reminds me that I belong to God. He is not so much “my God”, as I am “his child”.

Thank you God for how you remind me over and over of your love and care for me. My internal words still lie to me that I have been orphaned. That these events have defeated me (as I suffer) and that I have failed to acquire your loving look and approval. Oh Lord, help me to fight these lies that stir up within me. Help me to combat the false words that I tell myself that I have to succeed in order for you to love me. Help me to realize that your stare at me is a stare of love, not of condescending displeasure in me. Help me to know and feel that your look on me is a warm, caring look of mercy and love. Help me to not forget that when you look at me, you are looking through the perfect righteousness of your Son. No condemnation. No judgment. Just love and pleasure in what you have done through Jesus to bring a hopeless lost child into your family forever.

Another deep concern is in my heart and as I read this story, I am reminded of my need to release others over to the Lord.

As we fled our home and the doors of our ministry closed, it left our dear friends in the crossfire. There are families who have overwhelming needs. They face these needs everyday. It breaks my heart to see them struggle, but what about the heart of God (how much more he knows their situation and cares for them?)?

Their needs are, like this widow who came to Elisha in her time of need, compounded by a corrupt system, a culture that is quick to throw them to the curb.

Who will provide for them? Who will help them now (that we are gone)?

These two questions are deep within me. I don’t know the answers. I don’t see, from my finite perspective, how they can survive.

God knows the needs of his children. God cares for those who are faithful to him….well, even those who are not faithful to him! God cares for his children, his chosen ones, he takes care of his own family.

These are the truths that my heart needs to hear. Apparently over and over.

Lord, help me to bring these concerns to you knowing that you hear the cries of your people. Help our dear friends, show them your care and goodness, even in the midst of rotten times and nasty people who ignore them. Make yourself known in how you care and in how you provide. You don’t need me (forgive me for thinking that you do), and you don’t need me to even come up with a plan for how you should provide (oh how much I think of myself Lord), but you know. You are their true kinsman redeemer, make that known to these dear ones!

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