Thursday, June 20, 2013
Saving Children From Slavery
2Kings 4:1 ¶ Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared the LORD, but a creditor has come to take my two children as slaves.”
2Kings 4:2 Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house, except a jar of oil.”
2Kings 4:3 He said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not just a few.
2Kings 4:4 Then go in, and shut the door behind you and your children, and start pouring into all these vessels; when each is full, set it aside.”
2Kings 4:5 So she left him and shut the door behind her and her children; they kept bringing vessels to her, and she kept pouring.
2Kings 4:6 When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” But he said to her, “There are no more.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
2Kings 4:7 She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your children can live on the rest.”
This is the story of a woman, a good woman, whose husband had been one of God's servants, prophesying for the Lord. The prophet died and now she is so poor that she cannot pay her debts. Instead of paying off her debts the creditors plan to take her sons as slaves. Elisha, through the power of God, is able to work a miracle in her home. She believes Elisha and follows through on the task her assigns to her. When all is finished she is able to not only pay the debts, but live her life with her children.
Today I will have the privilege of sharing in a workshop about Gender Based Violence around the world. The story is (obviously) not a new one. The weak and the vulnerable often suffer at the hands of the powerful. Children, both boys and girls, around the world are being sold into slavery. The story above is repeated day after day -- today -- in this world. I just read this week about parents who sold their daughter for 2 kg of flour -- because the rest of the family was so hungry! Can we even imagine what that is like?
The problems continue through the ages, but so do the solutions. The solution was that a man of God stepped into the situation and knew that God could provide an answer. The solution also included the act of faith on the part of the woman. She was willing to actively participate in what God wanted to accomplish. She went out and on faith, borrowed jars and vessels from all the neighbors -- Not a few! She was believing for a BIG miracle. And a big miracle it was. God provided for the past debts but also enough to give her a new life with her children. They were saved from slavery, but not just to be poor, but to have provision for the remainder of their lives.
Elisha had prayed for a double portion of the spirit from Elijah. God answered his prayer and he was able to do "abundantly more than all he could ask or imagine." I don't think that God is finished with these kinds of miracles today. We have more resources available than we sometimes imagine. God is good and faithful and he is asking his children to become engaged in the issues of this world and to save more children from slavery. Some of us have enough oil to fill many vessels. We must save them from slavery, but also help set them on a path so that they can live. Do we know how to solve all of this? No -- but God does. We must jump in as his servants and be willing to pray and act in obedience. Then we allow God to do his miraculous work as we continue to save children from slavery.
Lord, please help me be used by you to save those in captivity. Amen.