The Widow’s Faith

© All We Can/Claire Welch

This reflection on 2 Kings 4:1-7 observes the tremendous faith shown by a vulnerable widow.

2 Kings 4:1-7

 1 Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but a creditor has come to take my two children as slaves.” 2 Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house, except a jar of oil.” 3 He said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbours, empty vessels and not just a few. 4 Then go in, and shut the door behind you and your children, and start pouring into all these vessels; when each is full, set it aside.”

5 So she left him and shut the door behind her and her children; they kept bringing vessels to her, and she kept pouring. 6 When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” But he said to her, “There are no more.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your children can live on the rest.”

New Revised Standard Version


The widow in this story is in serious trouble. She needs to pay off the debts of her husband, but she does not have the money to do so. What we see in the widow’s actions is a remarkable demonstration of faith. She acted in faith by going to Elisha, who was known by her as a man of God. She was right to suppose that a man of God would be concerned with the same things as God.

The Bible tells us that God is concerned with those who are vulnerable, especially the widows and the fatherless (Deuteronomy 10:18). She demonstrated more faith by gathering jars expecting God to fill them. She did not limit God’s work by gathering only a few, but kept on going until there were no jars left.

Do we know the things that concern God and reflect this in our faith?

The widow through this miracle experienced God’s personal act of love and care towards her. God did not just show his care for her by providing the right amount of oil to cover the debt, but he gave extra. This story suggests that while society might think it acceptable to fail to care for the widow and the fatherless, God does not.


Thank you for being concerned for the vulnerable
For turning your face to hear their cry,
For moving your arm to act on their behalf,
And strengthening your people to act in your love.
Help us to share your concern and to seek to show your love.