Some of you may be too young to remember pulling into a gas station and having attendants coming to the car asking what they could do for you. I remember my Dad used to say, “Fill ‘er up.”
I was reminded of those experiences when I read today’s text from 2 Kings. A beautiful miracle was recorded that had to do with emptiness and filling. A poor widow was low on oil and didn’t have the means to purchase any. She was “running on empty.” Elisha instructed her to borrow empty vessels - a lot of them - from her neighbors. When she closed herself in the house, she began to pour the oil into the empty vessels. She kept pouring and pouring and pouring until all the jars were filled. It was a miracle that continued as long as an empty vessel was available.
Spurgeon wrote about this passage: “My Lord Jesus does not want your help. Abstain, resolve, repent, advance—do what you will. But do not join these poor things to His great salvation. Give up once and for all depending upon what you have done, even when you have done all—as an unprofitable servant quit all claims of wage and appeal to mercy only. Dismiss the proud notion of containing anything in yourself which comes of your fallen nature and yet can be acceptable with God. … Empty buckets are most fit for the well of grace—these shall be filled while the full ones stand idle at the well’s mouth.”
“Empty buckets are most fit for the well of grace.” I like that! God is drawn to our emptiness. Go to God with your emptiness and just say, “Fill me.” Your emptiness doesn’t disqualify you from God’s blessing; it attracts it.
Dottie Rambo said it so well in a song from 1959:
Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up Lord;
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole
© 1959 renewed 1988, Word Music
And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” 2 Kings 4.2–4