Empty Vessels

July 11, 2021

“Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few.” 2 Kings 4:3

2 Kings 4:1-7 shares a story about a widowed woman who is deeply in debt. So much so that they debtors are coming to take her sons and sell them into slavery. The woman cried out to Elisha, who asked her what she had to offer.  She only had a jar of oil, but it was enough for the woman to receive her miracle.

Elisha instructed the woman to gather empty vessels from her neighbors, and to bring back a lot.  She had done what she was instructed to do and proceeded to work with her sons as they watched a steady supply of oil pour from their own jar of oil that should have ran out many vessels prior.  A miracle took place at that time, seeing that the supply of oil only stopped when there were no more bottles to fill. When the woman told Elisha there were no more vessels to fill, he told her to go and sell what she had collected into all the vessels. Because of this miracle, the woman was able to pay her debts and additionally had enough for herself and her sons to live on.

There is a beautiful spiritual application in this story that applies to us today. In the Bible, the word “oil” is used at times to signify the Holy Spirit of God. We can look at the story of the woman and her single jar of oil in relation to how the Spirit of God works.  

The woman herself had oil, but she searched her neighborhood to find other empty vessels that she could pour into.  Amazingly, the oil she had to give was not depleted when she poured it into other vessels.  What she had was enough to impact and fill every vessel that was gathered. As long as there were empty vessels, there was enough oil to fill each and every one of them.

Isn’t that just like God? His Spirit was promised to his followers many years ago, with no concern of putting a number limit on how many people the Spirit had enough power to fill. Each person represents a vessel that needs filled with that Spirit, and the limit has still not been reached because our God has no limits in power.

The Holy Spirit is the “oil” that is necessary for the life of every believer and is also the experience that is available to all who need filled. When our own vessel is filled, we can have a life-changing impact on those around us. The Holy Spirit within us has given us new life, and we must have our eyes open for those around us who need this beautiful and valuable gift. When we are willing to reach out to others and offer them what the Lord has offered us, the supply of the precious gift will never run dry.

When the Lord offers His gifts, there is always enough for everyone! What a loving and generous God we serve!

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