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Faith of empty cans


By Pr Isaiah White

2Kings 4:1-7 reports of a widow whose sons were at the verge of being enslaved permanently because of the family debt.

Due to these economic situations, the father of these boys had transacted his sons for a loan.

During that time, the entire nation was suffering harships and had to depend on Prophet Elisha.

Faith amidst apostasy
2Kings 3 and 8 present Elisha and his team as the only functioning ministry in the entire nation.

It was only Elisha and his team that seemed to hold their world together as the rest of the world was falling apart.

It is obvious the Bible does not shy away from mentioning that it was because of the apostasy of the nation that circumstances had to get that far.

The nation had turned away from God’s will. It is important we understand that whenever a nation abuses true worship and turns to idols, predicaments befall the public.

On the other hand, the Bible implies the success in the camp of Elisha was due to nothing materialistic, but their consistent faith in the true God.

Elisha was so faithful that the entire nation was blessed through his faith.

In a fallen nation like this, Elisha set a faith alternative. As Christians in this modern apostate world, this is what we are called to do.

Because of Elisha’s faith, he became a national resource and solution to individual and national problems.

When he died, he was mourned not just by ordinary people, but also leaders including King Jehoash.

Wrong grief
However, that national grief presents two fundamental lessons we need to unveil: the first one being the importance of being consistently faithful in a faithless generation.

We must actively be faithful even if it means walking alone and being the minority right.

Elisha and his camp achieved this and it was practically authenticated by how effective and efficient their camp was on individual and national problems.

Faith in action is exhibited in our lives when we remain consistent amidst challenging theories and facts.

Elisha accomplished this. It matters that while majority people might not agree with your faith, none of them will, in their sober state, dare to challenge its fruits.

While both leaders and followers did not practically hearken to Elisha’s preaching and none of them bowed to his God, many of them turned to him for solutions to their problems.

Secondly, for the nation (leaders and people) to mourn Elisha was a sign of misplaced faith.

While Elisha had his faith in God, the people placed their faith in Elisha.

Is it not obvious today that people trust in God’s ministers and not God Himself? To cry for the loss of Elisha was abominable enough. It was wrong grief.

The nation ought to have grieved their apostasy and not the death of this saint who had lived his purpose unlike them.

If these people had believed in God and not in God’s ministers, their faith would have been put to action.

Nahaman tried to compromise Elisha with gifts, but he rejected the offer. (Source/The Leiden Collection)

Borrow empty cans
When a woman came to Elisha seeking an economic solution, he said to her: “Go outside, borrow vessels of all your neighbours, empty vessels and not too few.

“Then go in, and shut the door upon yourself and your sons, and pour into all these vessels; and when one is full, set it aside” (2Kings 4:3-4).

While pain and desperation could have driven this woman to Elisha for help, only faith in action could solve her problems.

Many fugitives of pain and despair end up in Church and before men of God.

However, we must understand that the Church is a heavenly store of God’s blessings, and men of God are distributors of these blessings.

The solutions are in putting our faith into action. Elisha sent away this woman without any tangible solution.
He asked her go and rely on the only jar of oil she had.

She was supposed to put her faith in action by borrowing empty containers, fully convinced that these bigger containers were going to be filled with the oil in a small jar.

She demonstrated her faith when she did what she was told. This is faith in action.

While faith by work is when work authenticates your faith, faith in action is when your faith authenticates your work.

The woman in the story collected the empty jars because she believed. Always put your faith into action.

The writer is a pastor and life coach.
Contact: +256 775 822 833


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