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Faith & Power 2 By Rev J Loren Russell

2 Kings 4:6-7‬
“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. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Elisha and the widow is a story about faith and power; the faith of a widow and the power of God working through His prophet. It apparently had not been long since the widow’s husband died that she was threatened by her husband’s creditor that he would enslave her two sons to satisfy the debt. Her husband was a follower of the prophet Elisha and worshiper of the Lord. The widow had no ability to pay the debt, no visible means of support, and two sons whose only value was in exchange as slaves for the debt, an unthinkable alternative. She told her story to the prophet Elisha not knowing what to expect, but in faith.

She must have had an inkling that the prophet Elisha was endowed with power from God, after all, her husband had been one of his faithful followers. All she had was faith. So, she tells her story to the prophet. I can use my sanctified imagination to see the excitement in her face when he says to her, “Maybe there’s something I can do to help.”

The prophet does not evidence the power of God by creating something out of nothing but uses what’s available to address the need of the widow. He asks, “What do you have in your house?”

It wasn’t much, just a small jar with a little oil. Oil had a substantial monetary value in those days. Elisha tells the widow to borrow jars from her neighbors. He then fills each jar with oil from the first jar until he has no more jars to fill. He them tells her to sell the jars of oil, pay her debt and she and her sons could live off of what was left.

I can’t think of an equivalent today, but it could be like saying “I’ve got a piggy bank with a few dollars.” The prophet would respond, “Go and ask all your neighbors to borrow their empty piggy banks and bring them back to me.” Then he would use the first piggy bank to fill all the borrowed banks until they had no more banks to fill. Imagine the prophet saying, “Take the money from the piggy banks, pay your debts, then you and your sons can live off the rest.”

A lack of substance but an abundance of faith endued with power resulted in one small bottle of oil supplying all the resources required to satisfy the debt, remove the need to enslave her sons, and provide enough for their living. The widow is the example, but you can be the proof that faith and power still work.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of both LaGree Baptist Church and the Evangelical Church of God, all in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on YouTube and email us at

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Black Westchester - News With The Black Point Of View is an online news magazine for people of color for Westchester and the Tri- State area of New York at every economic level. Our mission is to promote the concept of “community” through media.

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