Thursday, January 7, 2010

God Helps those who Help Themselves

So the Obscure Biblical Character for this past week is... Elisha!
2 Kings 4:1-7
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

So the woman came to Elisha asking for help. Elisha, being a prophet, knew that she could help herself. She had something to sell to keep her sons. So Elisha told her to bottle the oil into smaller vessels, and then told her to sell them and live on the rest.

But did God help her? He advised her (through Elisha), and probably helped her sell them. It's kind of like the footprints story: there were two sets of footsteps on the beach, and then there were one. The person looks back and asks God where He was during that time when there was one, and God's response is, "That was when I carried you.". God was an invisible force in this story, but He was there.

So how does this apply to us? When we ask God for help, be prepared to help yourself with what God provided you already. He provided it for a purpose, after all.

So this week's Obscure Biblical Character is:
-an Old Testament prophet
-son of Hilkiah
-God told him about His Plans for His people

He really isn't that Obscure; he has his own book. The poll will be his name.

Which reminds me. Voting on the poll is supposed to be fun. It's also supposed to give me an idea of how many are reading this. Right now, apparently, nobody is, which is incredibly discouraging. I'm going to be praying over the next week to see if I need to take off the poll again. The same thing with the comments: if nobody answers them, I assume I don't need to do them.

So please vote this week, if not comment every so often on the posts.

In His Service,


rocktalk951 said...

a. Are the polls and comments doing their job and engaging you?

b. Who do you think the Obscure Biblical Character is?

c. (The real question for today) Do you think God helps those that help themselves, or does He just put His hand in a situation Himself and automatically change it when we ask?

rabidantidentite said...

Hey don't we think that the jar of oil was a limited amount until the woman asked for help and GOD provided for all the oil she would need to take care of herself and family? You know, kinda like when the thousands were fed with just a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread.

rocktalk951 said...


I actually hadn't heard that, but it does make quite a bit of sense. Either way, the woman used resources that God had already given her. But it would make sense if He threw in a miracle in there.