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4 Lessons Learnt from the Widow’s Obedience

The account of the widow and the prophet Elisha in 2 kings 4: 1 -7 brings to light certain life lessons. In this account, we read of a woman whose opening remark and initial response to the questions asked were evident of dread, but even though her situation was dire, she was truthful to add to the latter part of her answer what actually remained, by saying, “except a little oil.”

This statement from the widowed woman led to a series of events that brings to light the following lessons, and I believe that anyone could benefit from them.

1.     Obedience to Godly Instruction 

The scriptures have shown us that disobedience has dire consequences. This can be seen from the fall of man in Genesis 3 as well as in other books of the Bible. But in most scriptures we’ve also been shown that there are benefits for those who obey Godly instructions and the former is a consequence of not obeying the instructions given. Now, I believe she was aware of this, for she was once the wife of a prophet. Seeing the benefit, you must not be a husband or wife to one to follow godly instruction.

2.     Take Action

When certain instructions come - of which they would, we may be tempted to give excuses that they are not within our area of expertise, but it may be that we are just afraid to leave our comfort zone. The widow in this account was a debtor and the instruction she received was that she should “ask all her neighbours for empty jars”. This must have been uncomfortable considering that she was a debtor, but one thing stands out in this account. She had to stretch and stretch some more and it was in this act - which was taken in obedience to the instructions given that enabled her secured the vessels she needed.

3.     Organization

“Pour the oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side” 1 Kings 4:4. It may sound obvious, but as simple as this instruction sounded, it tells a lot about the importance of being organized. As we stretch and follow instructions, it is easy to be overwhelmed and in the course of that open up unnecessary challenges that may soil what should have been a breakthrough. With proper organization there is accountability. 

4.     Give Your Testimony

“She went and told the man of God, and he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left’” (2 Kings 4: 7).

On occasions when this story is recounted, the widow’s action at this point is made fun of and in most cases this draws a few chuckles from the audience, but from a personal standpoint, I believe it was this action that established her testimony.

Though the situations differ, I believe we can agree that the story of the 10 lepers and that of the widow both had this in common; they had a challenge that needed to be addressed. In the story of the 10 lepers (Luke 17: 11 - 19), Jesus gave them instructions on what needed to be done and after they were healed only one returned – not that he was asked to, but it so happened that the one who returned to thank the Lord was blessed even further.

For the widow, she shared her testimony and received further instructions that cleared her debt. Always thank God for your testimony.

Do you have more lessons to share? Or more to say on the lessons shared? Then please share in the comment section below. And though this event was marked yesterday in some part of the world, I believe it’s still not out of place to acknowledge it. Happy Mother’s day to all mother’s and expecting mothers, and have a blessed week ahead everyone.

Photo credit:From Homemaker to working mom


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