We’re a Few Jars Short

2 Kings 4:1-7

Elisha, formerly the servant of the prophet Elijah, had become a well known prophet in Israel after Elijah was taken up by the Lord in a chariot of fire. A widow of another prophet approached him and asked for help. She had almost nothing left and her sons were about to be enslaved to pay her debt. Elisha instructed her to gather as many empty jars as she could find and poor the small amount of oil from her own jar into the empty ones. As she poured, each empty jar was filled. She was able to sell the oil, pay her debt and have money to live on.

Notice that Elisha instructs her to gather more than a just a few and she obeys (vs 3-6). This was an act of faith. God could not fill vessels that she did not have. The extent of her obedience would determine how much she was blessed. God filled every jar she gathered but not one drop more. I wonder how much we miss because we don’t come expecting God to do it. God asks a rhetorical question of Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 18:14) and asks the same thing of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 32:27) several generations later, “Is there anything too hard for Me?”. The obvious answer is “No.” Jesus says if we ask in faith, we will receive it (Matt. 7:7-8, 21:22; Mark 11:24). Not only did this widow ask for help, but she walked in obedience, prepared for God to answer.

Sad to say, this is not how we approach abolishing abortion and it needs to change. “Pray to end abortion” is a mantra of even the ecumenical pro-life movement and prayer is needed indeed. But are we actually behaving as if God will do it? When we support the regulation of abortion, bills that restrict the when, where and how it can happen, we’re only bringing just a few jars to be filled.  We are not acting as if we believe God can do it! That is not faith. That is not obedience. Partial obedience is disobedience. Killing an unborn child is always wrong, no matter how it’s done. If you’re going to pray for rain, bring an umbrella. If you’re going to pray for abolition, ask the legislature to bring a bill of abolition and accept no compromise. Pray that people’s hearts are changed and then go out and go speak to those people. So pray to the God of heaven, in the name of Jesus, that abortion will be abolished and then act like you expect Him to do it.

Psalm 37:4-6

Delight yourself also in the LORD and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD. Trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.  He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light and your justice as the noonday.