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Our Father Provides (#OurFatherDevotional)


This year, we're sharing ways in which our God is truly Father to the fatherless in our special #OurFather devotional series. This month, Orphan Outreach board member Cindy Easley encourages us to consider the great and gracious love of the Father.





One day the widow of one of the Lord’s prophets said to Elisha, “You know that before my husband died, he was a follower of yours and a worshiper of the Lord. But he owed a man some money, and now that man is on his way to take my two sons as his slaves.”

“Maybe there’s something I can do to help,” Elisha said. “What do you have in your house?”

“Sir, I have nothing but a small bottle of olive oil.”

Elisha told her, “Ask your neighbors for their empty jars. And after you’ve borrowed as many as you can, 4 go home and shut the door behind you and your sons. Then begin filling the jars with oil and set each one aside as you fill it.” 5 The woman left.

Later, when she and her sons were back inside their house, the two sons brought her the jars, and she began filling them.

At last, she said to one of her sons, “Bring me another jar.”

“We don’t have any more,” he answered, and the oil stopped flowing from the small bottle.

After she told Elisha what had happened, he said, “Sell the oil and use part of the money to pay what you owe the man. You and your sons can live on what is left.” 2 Kings 4:1-7

 

Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited his people today.” And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside. Luke 7:11-17 NLT

In 2 Kings 4, a widow came to Elisha with a huge problem. She had a debt she could not pay, and now the creditors were threatening to take her two sons as slaves.
“Elisha asked her, ‘What can I do for you? What do you have in the house?’

She said, ‘Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.’”

Just a jar of oil. What good was that? Without grain the oil couldn’t supply food. Without a means of support the widow couldn’t provide for her children.

Elisha instructed the widow to go borrow empty containers from all of her neighbors. “Do not get just a few.” Then to go inside her house with her sons, shut the door, and pour oil into all of the containers.

“After she had shut the door behind her and her sons they kept bringing her containers and she kept pouring. When they were full she said to her son, ‘Bring me another container.’

But he replied, ‘There aren’t any more.’ Then the oil stopped.”

Ok…now the widow has A LOT of oil. Elisha told her to “sell the oil and pay your debt; you and your sons can live on the rest.”

 
God provides. From just a jar of oil, God provided a way for the widow to pay the debt, get the creditors away from her door, and support herself and her two sons. God multiplied her otherwise inadequate resources. God provided abundance. God provided all she needed.
In Luke 7, Jesus was traveling to the town of Nain with his disciples and a large crowd. As He neared the gate, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of a widow. “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said, ‘Don’t weep.’”

 
No husband. No son. The widow was alone. Sad? Yes, but more than that, it was devastating for her. In ancient times, a woman could not own property. She could not work. Without a husband or son this widow was an outcast. She had no one to provide for her.

 
But the widow encountered Jesus. He touched the open coffin and said, “Young man, I tell you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

 
God provides. The widow needed one thing: her son. Jesus saw her need, had compassion, and gave him back to her.

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God has compassion for the widow and orphan. God provided for what they had even though it seemed impossible and in spite of their meager resources. God provided abundantly. God provided exactly what they needed at exactly the right time.

 
God provides for you. God provides beyond what you are capable of doing. God takes your inadequacies and multiplies them for His purpose. God provides all you need. GOD PROVIDES.

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Think about all the ways God is using you right now to provide for His children. Think about all the ways God has provided for you and your family. Think about all the people God has used to provide. God provides and He uses people. Like you and me.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are the similarities in these two stories? What are the differences?
  2. What are your needs right now? Where do you feel inadequate? Do you see God as compassionate towards your needs and ready to provide for you?
  3. On your journey with Orphan Outreach, what needs have you seen among the orphans and vulnerable children you are serving? How will God provide for those needs? What is your part?


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