Biblical Answers for Financial Woes

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Women, especially divorced or widowed women, are still near the bottom of the income level in our society, as well as many other societies. It is common knowledge that in most divorces it is the woman who suffers economically, not the man. There are, of course, exceptions, but they are just that: exceptions. This week, with Wall Street free-falling, I have been more conscious than ever of how fear creeps in and destroys my confidence in God’s provision.

As a divorced female, I have been meditating on how I can stay blessable by God. As a Christian, I know all of my blessings come from my Creator, even if they are passed through the hands of mortal people. I’ve been in 2 Kings 4 reading about the Widow’s Oil, and certain passages have been highlighted by God’s highlighter in my spirit. Here’s the story and what I gleaned from it.

1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” [This was a common practice then: you owed a debt, they could take your children as payment.]

2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” [I stopped and thought about what I have that could be used of God]
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil.” [How often is our position that we have “nothing”?]

3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. [Get ready for a BIG blessing, girl!]

4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” [No doubt in Elisha’s mind that each seed she sowed would grow into a harvest as God blessed her!]

5 She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. [Important: keep those vessels coming so you can keep pouring!]

6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. [The oil did not stop until there was no room to contain further blessing!]

7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.” [all emphasis is mine]

I thought of people I know who are struggling financially, and I remembered there is one time when we are told to “test” the Lord. In Malachai 3:9-11 God, speaking of the tithe, said:

9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me.

10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. [not just what we have left over, or what we “feel” we can give]Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. [So the blessing will not only be in what is received, but also in protection against what could be lost. Aha!] [All emphasis mine]

I wonder why we are so afraid to trust God like this?

1. Is it because we cannot see Him standing in front of us with our human eyes?

2. Is it because we have not been honorable in paying our debts, so we feel unworthy?

3. Is it because we’re so arrogant we believe we can work our way out of this financial mess all by ourselves?

4. Is it just plain ole’ selfishness over what we grasp?

5. Do we have a sense of entitlement over what we have earned?

6. Maybe we have seen professing Christian TV Evangelists abuse this scripture for their financial advantage?

7. Maybe we tried it once, for a month, and didn’t see an immediate result?

Whatever the reason, it is not a good enough reason when we’re at the bottom! Somehow, our perspective changes when we have no alternative left but to trust God and be obedient. I got no tee-shirt, but I’ve been there, done that! It’s amazing how our perspective changes when we have no one but God!

I pray 2009 will be a prosperous year for all my readers. I define prosperity not only in financial wealth, but in health (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) and enjoyment in whatever it is that God has given you. I leave you with this blessing from 3 John 1:2

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. (KJV) [emphasis mine]

©2009 April Lorier

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