Heyo. Welcome back. I’m going to just jump right into where I left off from the first part of this series. If you haven’t had a chance to read part 1, go ahead and then join me back here, yes?
I left off talking about how I found all these articles that cautioned me against tithing when I was still trying to get out of debt. I almost listened to them because, well, they made sense.
But even as I was reading them, I just got the feeling that what they were saying was not right. I got the feeling that while it was true that I did not have to tithe to be blessed, that it was not the right thing for me to do.
But I still wasn’t convinced. I wasn’t convinced that I should tithe instead of using that money to help me get out of debt quicker.
So I consulted the Grand Poobah of all resources: The bible.
I prayed on it and asked God to show me what verses I needed to read. I flipped to the topical index, thumbed down to the tithes section, read a couple of the verses that it directed me to read and still felt rather, meh, about it.
You see, these verses weren’t telling me what I wanted to here. I wanted something that would tell me to first pay off my debt and then tithe. The verses that I found were telling me to tithe (Malachi 3:10; Numbers 18:28; Deuteronomy 14:22). I knew that I was supposed to tithe. I was looking for verses that told me when I should tithe.
So I had the idea to go back to the topical index and look for verses under the ‘debt’ topic. Surely this was what was going to tell me that I needed to pay my debt first, right?
The Lord led me to the story of the prophet Elisha helping the poor woman figure out how to pay her debt in 2 Kings 4. If you aren’t familiar with the story (I wasn’t either before reading it) let me do a quick summary. It’s a short chapter but filled with exactly what I needed to hear.
In verse 1, we have a fretful widow that came to Elisha and told him that her late husband has died and left the household with a lot of debt. She told him that creditors were threatening her and if she was not able to pay off the debt, they were going to take her sons into slavery.
Side note: back in their time, although against what God’s law, creditors often allowed people to pay off their debts by selling themselves or their children into slavery.
After hearing the woman’s situation, Elisha said, “Well, how can I help you? What do you have in your house?” (verse 2). Ideally, the woman would have something that she could perhaps sell off and use the profit to pay her debt.
The woman replied that she only had a flask of olive oil.
Side note 2: Just a flask of olive oil? Its not looking too good for the woman and her kids right?
But Elisha said, “Okay. Well go and gather as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go back home and fill as many of those jars as you can with the olive oil that you have.”
Side note 3: Wow. So Elisha wants this woman to use that lil bit of olive oil that she has to fill allllll these empty jars? Honestly, if Elisha had said that to me, I would have been looking at him, asking “HOW SWAY?!”
I suspect many of us would. But let’s look and see what the woman does.
Verse 5 says that her and her sons do as they were told. Her sons kept bring her olive oil and those jars kept filling with oil from the flask. She filled jar after jar with olive oil all the way to the brim. Every jar on hand was filled to almost overflowing with the olive oil.
Side note 4: EVERY JAR?! Olive oil filled every jar from that itty-bitty flask. Whoa.
It was only until her sons had no more jars to scavenge that the olive oil stopped flowing.
She went back to Elisha and told him that she filled every jar she could find with olive oil. He then told her to sell the olive oil to pay off her debts and her and her sons can live with whatever profit is leftover.
Remember, I was searching for something that told me not to tithe while I had debt. That is how I know this is a message from God that answered my question. Yes, He still wants me to tithe even while trying to get out of debt.
The woman in 2 Kings 4 had debt. Yet, the Lord (through Elisha) told her to give. It doesn’t make sense. Not to our human brains, right?
Here is this woman with this little bit of oil being told to gather as many jars as she can because the Lord wanted her to fill them with that teeny bit of oil she had left. How was those couple of gulps of olive oil going to fill all the jars? Why did she have to give away her last bit of olive oil? Wasn’t there some other way that allowed her to pay back her debts AND keep her olive oil?
IT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.
But the woman was obedient and faithful. She did as she was told and because of it, she received more than enough olive oil to get her out debt and live off of.
This is how God operates. He asks you to do things that don’t necessarily make sense. But that is when you have to trust Him. That is when you have to throw your hands up and say, “Lord, I don’t know how this is going to work, but I am going to do it because You told me to. And I won’t stop until You tell me to.”
Are you noticing a theme here? I am. Obedience and faithfulness.
Next week, I am going to wrap this baby up with a pretty bow- It will be Christmas after all right? Maybe I’ll throw in some inspiring verses to meditate on in your stocking too.
Until next time, may He overwhelm you with His blessings, today.
Image by Jennifer Pallian via Unsplash
Kanye “How Sway?!” Gif via GIPHY
Graphic and content by Cefion