Creditors - Who was always around, when they came for other children?
What were widows afraid of? That their husbands still owed or that someone would say he owed, even if he didn't. What were all who owed afraid of?
That the creditor would take away children as slaves to pay for debts!
One of the prophet's widows in Elisha's time knew the scenario well enough to be afraid when she saw the creditor coming from the distance.
She quickly reminded people in power, such as Elisha--about her husband's love of God. She must have said: "You can't just let my children be taken away. Help!"
Who would always be around, when they came for other children?
Elisha was NOT always around.
Any person can NOT always be around.
He was immediately helpful.
"How can I help you?"
"Direct Quote": 2 Kings 4:2
He was creative and practical.
Que pourrais-je faire pour toi? French
┐QuÚ puedo hacer por ti? Spanish
Was kann ich fŘr Dich tun? German
"Tell me, what do you have in the house?"
"Direct Quote": 2 Kings 4:2
He could have asked:
Dis-moi ce que tu possedes chez toi. French
Dime lo que tienes en tu casa. Spanish
Sag mir, was hast du noch im Haus? German
Tell me, what do your neighbours have in their houses.
But he assumed that they would have staple items at home.
"Go around and ask all your neighbours for empty jars."
"Direct Quote": 2 Kings 4:3
(Ask them for something that has relatively little value and is likely to be given, especially at a time of need. At the same time, ask them to keep the children safe and to look out for the creditor.)
Va chez tes voisins et emprunte-leur des rÚcipients vides. French
Ve, y pide a tus vecinos vasijas vacÝas. Spanish
Geh in der ganzen Nachbarschaft her um und leih dir Gefń▀e aus. German
The oil activity was a safe one and Elisha gave more safety advice for the time they were working.
"Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons."
"Direct Quote": 2 Kings 4:4
She felt safe, even when the man of God had to leave. He had told her where to find him.
Puis rentre chez toi avec tes enfants, et ferme bien la porte. French
Luego entra a la casa con tus hijos y cierra la puerta. Spanish
Dann geh mit deinen S÷hnen ins Haus und schlie▀ die TŘr ab. German
Because find him she did! She even left her two sons by themselves, in locked safe-keeping surrounded by the neighbourhood watch.
Elisha told her:
"Go....and pay your debt."
"Direct Quote": 2 Kings 4:7
I guess the ending was that they lived happily without fear of the creditor, because no other ending is mentioned.
Va...et rembourse ta dette. French
Anda...para pagar tus deudas. Spanish
Geh...und bezahle deine Schulden. German
The widow, Elisha, and the neighbours prevented that:
The fatherless child is snatched from the breast,
The infant of the poor is snatched for a debt.
Jobs Bog 24:9
Faderl°se rives ffra moders bryst,
Og hjŠlpel°ses spŠdb°rn tages som pant.
This was a prevention of "missing children" taken by crediors story.
But if there was no prevention, advocates and surveillance the children could have been missing!
What could the widow have done?
She could have been like the widow in Luke 18. She would have lobbied for justice for sure. In person and persistently.
She would have worn out key personnel by coming and keeping to come saying:
"Grant me justice against my adversary."
"Direct Quote": Luke 18:3
Refusing wouldn't cut it, because self-interest by the hounded justice giver would set in.
"Because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice."
"Direct Quote": Luke 18:5
"Jesus told his disciples (this)/a parable to show them that THEY SHOULD ALWAYS PRAY and NOT GIVE UP."
"Direct Quote": Luke 18:1
He also said:
"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who will cry out to him day and night?"
"Direct Quote": Luke 18:7
But he added, maybe so we can argue with God about saving people regardless of the number of just people as long as there are a few:
"However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
"Direct Quote": Luke 18:8
Lord, thank your for the astute "widows" who end up keeping their children free and not missing in slavery.
Thank you that you like clever argumentation that shows faith for You in us.
Show "ways out" of debt, so that no one needs to be limited by creditors, who are even willing to make people disappear as slaves.
Thank you that even unjust judges don't like to be worn out by important just issues.
Thank you that gift everyone treasures at home, that don't even recognize until...needed!
Thank you that You give us all that we really need in all situations.
We pray for all widows and their children, and their extended families to have mercies for body, mind and spirit.
Calm the fears of the widows and their children. Let them never feel alone...remind them that close neighbours are better than a brother far away!!
Lord protect communities from loansharks, "snakeheads" and other "enforcers".
Send prophets to them so they will stop their oppression. Send dreams to them to stop their oppression. Give them life-giving work that they suddenly want to do.
Help people to find ways and even self-defence, if justified, to come out of captivity.