Elisha stood watching as the prophet Elijah was taken up to heaven. It was an amazing sight as fiery horses ran across the sky pulling a chariot so bright it could have been on fire. Elijah rode in the fiery chariot.
The wind howled in Elisha’s ears. He shaded his eyes with his hands, the light was bright and sand blew in a whirl wind around him. Then suddenly it was very quiet. Elisha lowered his hands and looked up but Elijah was gone. The sky was empty and the wind still. Elisha looked around him, he was alone. He bent down and picked up Elijah’s cloak. Then he turned to face the Jordan River and struck the waters with the cloak.
“Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?!” He called out. As Elisha struck the water with Elijah’s cloak the water rose up into a wall of waves and Elisha crossed over a strip of dry land. When he reached the other side, the waves came down with a crash.
Elisha’s wish had come true; God had given him the same spirit of a prophet as Elijah once had. Elisha the prophet was ready to go wherever God called him. He traveled up and down the land. Everywhere he preached to the people he tried to make them stop worshiping false gods. He gave advice to kings and poor people and told everyone he met about God’s love. The Holy Spirit was with Elisha and he worked miracles in God’s name.
One such miracle helped save a mother and her two boys from being sold as slaves. This woman was the widow of a prophet for God. When the evil Queen Jezebel was still in power many men of God had been killed. This woman was the wife of one such dead prophet. She had two little children to take care of, but no money and in those days it was very hard for a widow to make any money. This woman had no one to help her.
“Please sir!” she cried out to Elisha.”My husband is dead. You know he obeyed and trusted in God. But I owe so much money and I have nothing to pay with. The man I owe money to says he will come and take my children away if I don’t pay him soon. My children and I will become slaves! Please help me!”
Elisha said. “How can I help?”
Then he thought for a moment. “Tell me, what do you have in your house, is there anything you can sell to make some money?”
The woman shook her head sadly; her hair fell in her face. She hugged her two boys. “I have nothing but a jar of oil.”
Elisha said. “Go and ask your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for a few. Bring every jar you can find and then bring them back to your house. Take your sons with you and shut the door. Pour out the oil of your one jar into all the jars you have collected, then set them to one side.”
She did as Elisha told her. She went around to all her neighbors and collected as many jars as she could. Then she closed the door and started pouring oil. She poured and poured and poured. First one jar was filled, then another and another and another. The little jar of oil from which she poured seemed bottomless. How could it contain so much oil?
Finally, she said to her son. “Bring me another jar but he answered, “That was the last one.”
The woman looked at the many, many jars of oil filling her house and shook her head in wonder. When she went to tell Elisha what had happened, he said. “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, then you and your sons can live off the rest of the money.”