2 Timothy 2: 20-21:
Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver bowls, but also those of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
The above Scripture was in my daily Bible reading several days ago, and how like God to lead me to a companion Scripture of the one used on a recent Sunday!
A couple of Sundays ago, Pastor Ray spoke on the miracle of the increase of the widow’s oil, found in 2 Kings 4: 1-6. The key to this miracle was that as long as there were pots (containers) available, the oil continued to flow. But, when no more pots were found, the flow stopped.
It is often said that stories in the Old Testament are foreshadowings of occurrences in the New Testament. The oil has long been a symbol for God’s anointing or His presence, and was a symbol of that in the Old Testament. When Aaron was anointed as the first priest, he was anointed with oil. The Bible says that the oil flowed from his head and beard to his feet, signifying that God’s anointing and presence was not only on his mind and his speech, but it was also on his walk.
The miracle of the widow’s oil allowed the woman to sell the oil in order to keep her sons from the slavery they would have certainly have been put into due to the death of their father. The Mosaic law at that time gave creditors the right to claim the person and children of that person who could not repay the debt as slaves until the year of Jubile, at which time they became free again. Jubile was a celebration held once every fifty years, so their servitude would have been lengthy.
Isaiah 10:27 tells us that the anointing breaks the yoke of bondage (slavery). And in the instance of the widow’s oil, it truly did.
The widow in the story in 2 Kings can also stand for the church itself. And the vessels are those willing to be filled with God’s spirit.
Now, let’s look at that Scripture from 2 Timothy. The “great house” in this passage represents the church as well. In this house there are vessels of gold and silver, wood and earth. They describe the different people found in God’s church.
Notice whose responsibility it is for purification, for sanctification, for living a holy life that is honorable to God. It is up to us. We have to be willing to empty out ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit and God’s anointing to fill us, just like those jars filled with oil. When we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, we become an instrument that God can use as He takes our talents and magnifies them for His use and His good works!
Who’s ready to be filled?