In II Kings, 4th chapter, we read of a woman who came to the prophet Elisha in great distress. She had no money to pay her debt, and the creditor had come to take her two sons to be bondmen. Elisha said: "What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house?" The woman answered that she had nothing but a little pot of oil. Then Elisha told her to borrow all the vessels she could get from her neighbors, and "borrow not a few;" or, as the new version has it, "scant not." He said also, "When thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full." The woman obeyed; the vessels were filled. Then said Elisha, "Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest."

Here is one of the greatest lessons in all the great Book for those who are troubled about their livelihood. We all feel that we have our way to make or to maintain in the world. Most of us are wage-earners. We are all more or less under the dominance of fear — fear that competition is too keen for us, fear that we shall be numbered among the failures, fear that there is not room for all of us in the world of supply. Perhaps some of us have not taken even the first step away from fear; that is, we have not gone to God with our problem, as the woman went in her extremity. But to those who will go to God to-day with their fears and failures, God speaks plainly and clearly. "What hast thou in the house?" One answers, "Lord, I have pictures in my house that I have painted with the best that is in me, and no one will buy them; so I must starve." Another says, "Lord, I am a salesman. I have the gift of selling in my house, but no one will employ me; so I must starve." A third says, "Lord, I have a talent in my house, a very small talent, for it enables me to do no more than to black shoes; but competition is too keen for me, and I too must starve."

June 6, 1908

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