Borrow Not a Few

Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

II Kings 4:3

This verse deals with the story of Elisha and the miracle of the widow’s oil.  This widow woman was in debt and was faced with her creditors possibly taking her two sons to be bondmen to pay off her debt.  She was poor and the only thing of any value she had in her house was a pot of oil.  That is where this verse comes in.

Elisha told her to go out and borrow as many vessels as she could.  He specifically said “borrow not a few”.  After this was done, he had her pour out her oil in those vessels.  As long as she still had vessels, she kept pouring.  When she was done, she had plenty of oil to use and to sell to pay off her debt.  To me, this verse is a great picture of faith.

She could have gone out and borrowed just a couple of vessels.  She could have doubted Elisha and not borrowed as many as she did.  There is no indication in the scripture of how many she borrowed, nor is there any indication that she could have borrowed more than she did. There is every indication that she believed Elisha and that she did exactly as he said. But we have to wonder.  Had she known the miracle that was about to take place, would she have borrowed even more vessels? 

So often in our lives, we don’t have enough faith to “borrow not a few”.  The Lord has given us so many wonderful promises in His Word, but how often do we live weak Christian lives with little or no faith in Him and His Word?  We can make an application to any area of our own lives that need it,  but I will close with one question:  If we had been in that widow’s shoes, how many vessels would we have borrowed?  How much faith do we have?

2 responses to this post.

  1. I wish I could say that I would’ve borrowed many too, but I don’t know that. ! I could see myself afraid to ask anyone for their empty vessels! argh! ha! But this is a great reminder about having faith to do what He asks us, even if we don’t understand it, don’t see how it’s going to work out. I do have many areas in my life to apply this to, too!!!! So God bless you, Ben, as you allow Him to speak to us through you. deb


    • I could also definitely see myself afraid to ask people for their empty vessels. I don’t like to “bother” people, so I probably would have had very few. I know that faith is one area of my life that needs definite work!


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