Elisha and the Widow’s Olive Oil (2 Kings 4:1 – 7)

Scripture Text:

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2 Kings 4:1 – 7

1. What’s more trouble: having credit cards or not having them? Should you cut yours up?

2. How is this story like Elijah with the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:7 – 16)? What do widows represent?

3. Why did this woman turn to Elisha?

  • she trusted him
  • she didn’t know where else to go
  • Elisha was known for his miracles
  • she felt like Elisha owed her husband a favor

4. How come Elisha asked her what she had in her house?

  • he was nosy
  • he needed something to work the miracle with
  • he was testing her to see if she was really in need
  • God uses whatever you have

5. What would you think if your neighbor asked you for your empty jars?

  • she must be into recycling
  • she must be really desperate
  • I wouldn’t give them to her  unless she told me why she wanted them
  • I would be glad to help her out
  • I would want a share of the profits

6. Why did the oil stop flowing?

  • because they ran out of jars
  • because their needs were met
  • to keep them from getting greedy
  • to keep them dependent on God
  • to keep them from making a mess

7. What are you feeling low on?

  • oil
  • cash
  • joy
  • patience
  • time
  • energy
  • peace
  • work
  • income
  • friends
  • faith
  • other: ______

8. God used the widow’s own limited resources. Which resource of yours will God likely use to provide for you?

  • my family
  • friends I have overlooked
  • my church or small group
  • inner strength I didn’t know I had
  • Scripture
  • my prayer time

9. Does your money help you trust the Lord more or less? Why?

10. How would you describe your spiritual life right now?

  • bone dry
  • running low
  • making it one day at a time
  • being replenished
  • full and overflowing

10. If you are a single person, what has been most difficult in surviving as a single person? How can this story encourage you in struggling to make it on your own?

11. What do you have in common with this woman?

  • I feel alone in making ends meet
  • Creditors are pursuing me
  • I feel like a ‘slave’ to my debts
  • My cupboards are almost bare
  • Maybe I should ask for some help
  • Maybe I should be sharing with those who have less than I do

12. How do you sense God calling you to trust Him more with your finances?

13. How can your family share more with the poor? Write a family budget to see what expenses can be cut or debts eliminated.

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Additional Comment:

Elisha’s colorful life include work as a farmer, a spy, a miracle worker, an adviser to the king, a leader of a school of prophets and as an anointer or revolutionaries. His bald head and wooden walking staff became his trademarks. He asked for double portion of Elijah’s spirit and the Bible pointedly records about twice as many miracles performed by Elisha. News of his miracles spread, making him a famous national figure for 50 years.

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