The Pots of Oil

Sacred Stories for Children
TEXT: 2 Kings 4:1-7  

ELISHA was one of God's helpers. He had been a special friend of Elijah's. Elijah had told many people about God, and now Elisha was doing the same thing. He told people that God loved them. Many people had heard about Elisha.

One day a woman came to Elisha and asked him to help her. She told him that her husband had died and now she her two sons lived alone. She owed a man some money but she had none to pay him. Now that man wanted to take her two sons away from her. He wanted to make them his servants! She asked Elisha, "What shall I do?"

Elisha asked her, "What do you have in your house?"

"I don't have anything in my house except a pot of oil," she said.

"Go and borrow pots and jars from all your neighbors," Elisha said. "Don't borrow just a few. Borrow all they can give you. Then go into your house with your sons and close the door. Take your one pot of oil and start filling each of the pots and jars that you borrowed."

That sounded like a strange answer to her problem, but the woman and her sons obeyed Elisha right away. She sent her sons to all of their neighbors' houses. At each house, the sons asked if they could borrow all of their empty pots and jars. When the sons were through collecting them from the neighbors, they returned home.

The woman and her sons went into their house and shut the door. Then she took her pot of oil from the shelf and started to fill one of the borrowed jars. And something wonderful happened! No matter how much oil she poured out, there was still more oil left in her own small pot. As each of the borrowed pots and jars was filled her sons would set it aside. Then she would pour oil into another, and another, and then another. Finally, when she asked for one more pot to fill, her sons told her that there were no more. All the pots and jars were full. She knew this was a miracle.

The woman then went to find Elisha. She was so excited as she told him what had happened. She wanted to know what she should do next.

Elisha told her to go and sell all the oil. When she had done this she would have enough money to pay the man everything that she owed him. Any money that was left over would be for her and her sons to use. They could buy whatever things they needed.

Elisha was a good helper for God. And the woman was wise to obey Elisha.