Grandpa had come over to visit and when he had settled himself in Daddy’s big easy chair, Alice, Edward, and Sammy gathered around him.
“Tell us a story,” begged seven-year-old Edward.
Grandpa leaned back and thought awhile. Then he said, “Well, children, I will tell you one of the tales of truth found in the Bible. It is called:
Two Boys and a Pot of Oil
(Reference: 2 Kings 4:1-7.)
In the days when kings ruled the land of Israel, there lived a poor woman and her two sons, whom I will call Asa and Benjamin. They were quite sad because their daddy had died and their mother had no money left. All they had was one pot of oil.
One day a man came to their house who wanted his money back, for their mother had borrowed it to buy some things they needed. “If you don’t,” he growled harshly, “I will take these two boys to be my slaves.”
Now Asa and Benjamin were quite afraid, but their mother was a brave woman and said to them, “I shall go find that prophet of God, named Elisha. I heard that once he made the water good when it was making everyone sick. Surely, he will help us.” So they watched their dear mother hurry away to find the prophet.
After awhile Mother returned. “Listen, my sons,” she said to them, “Elisha told us to go to all the neighbors and borrow all the pots, jars, and jugs we could.”
So the boys hurried over to the neighbors and knocked on the door. “May we please borrow your pots and jugs?” they asked. Soon Asa and Benjamin’s arms were full and they hurried back home. All afternoon the boys worked hard carrying jars and jugs, pots and pans to their mother. They got tired, but they knew they mustn’t stop until they brought home every one. At last there was no more left to bring.
“What will we do now?” Benjamin looked at the little house filled with pots, jars, and jugs. Mother picked up their own little pot of oil and began to pour it into one of the borrowed jugs. As the boys watched they were surprised to see that each jug was filled.
At last Mother looked around and said, “Asa, get me another jug.” But there was not another jug left. All had been filled! Now their own little pot of oil was all used up. God had made it last and last and last until they had filled the last jug.
Now Asa and Benjamin and their mother were happy. They sold some of the oil and paid back the man. They sold the rest of the oil and bought many things they needed. God had taken care of them, and He can take care of you. All you need to do is ask Him and obey when He tells you what to do.
“Was that man really going to make them his slaves?” asked wide-eyed Sammy.
“Yes, sometimes people were made slaves if they didn’t pay their debts,” said Grandpa. “The slaves had to do whatever their master said.”
“I wouldn’t be his slave,” Edward said boldly. “I’d just—I’d—I’d do something!”
“But do you think they did the right thing?” Grandpa asked them.
“They asked God to help them,” Alice answered. “Wasn’t that the right thing to do?”
Grandpa smiled, “Yes, God wants us to go to Him whenever we need help.”