© NET Bible
Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you.
Elijah Visits a Widow in Sidonian Territory
Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As certainly as the Lord God of Israel lives (whom I serve), there will be no dew or rain in the years ahead unless I give the command.” The Lord told him: “Leave here and travel eastward. Hide out in the Kerith Valley near the Jordan. Drink from the stream; I have already told the ravens to bring you food there.” So he did as the Lord told him; he went and lived in the Kerith Valley near the Jordan. The ravens would bring him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he would drink from the stream.
After a while, the stream dried up because there had been no rain in the land. The Lord told him, “Get up, go to Zarephath in Sidonian territory, and live there. I have already told a widow who lives there to provide for you.” So he got up and went to Zarephath. When he went through the city gate, there was a widow gathering wood. He called out to her, “Please give me a cup of water, so I can take a drink.” As she went to get it, he called out to her, “Please bring me a piece of bread.” She said, “As certainly as the Lord your God lives, I have no food, except for a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. Right now I am gathering a couple of sticks for a fire. Then Iʼm going home to make one final meal for my son and myself. After we have eaten that, we will die of starvation.” Elijah said to her, “Donʼt be afraid. Go and do as you planned. But first make a small cake for me and bring it to me; then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ʻThe jar of flour will not be empty and the jug of oil will not run out until the day the Lord makes it rain on the surface of the ground.ʼ” She went and did as Elijah told her; there was always enough food for Elijah and for her and her family. The jar of flour was never empty and the jug of oil never ran out, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
Elisha Helps a Widow and Her Sons
Now a wife of one of the prophets appealed to Elisha for help, saying, “Your servant, my husband is dead. You know that your servant was a loyal follower of the Lord. Now the creditor is coming to take away my two boys to be his servants.” Elisha said to her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a small jar of olive oil.” He said, “Go and ask all your neighbors for empty containers. Get as many as you can. Go and close the door behind you and your sons. Pour the olive oil into all the containers; set aside each one when you have filled it.” So she left him and closed the door behind her and her sons. As they were bringing the containers to her, she was pouring the olive oil. When the containers were full, she said to one of her sons, “Bring me another container.” But he answered her, “There are no more.” Then the olive oil stopped flowing. She went and told the prophet. He said, “Go, sell the olive oil. Repay your creditor, and then you and your sons can live off the rest of the profit.”
“Since, I, the Lord, do not go back on my promises, you, sons of Jacob, have not perished. From the days of your ancestors you have ignored my commandments and have not kept them! Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord who rules over all. “But you say, ʻHow should we return?ʼ Can a person rob God? You indeed are robbing me, but you say, ʻHow are we robbing you?ʼ In tithes and contributions! You are bound for judgment because you are robbing me - this whole nation is guilty.
“Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter,” says the Lord who rules over all, “to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all. Then I will stop the plague from ruining your crops, and the vine will not lose its fruit before harvest,” says the Lord who rules over all. “All nations will call you happy, for you indeed will live in a delightful land,” says the Lord who rules over all.
For victory does not come from the east or west,
or from the wilderness.
For God is the judge!
He brings one down and exalts another.
Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching. For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker deserves his pay.”
“ʻAny tithe of the land, from the grain of the land or from the fruit of the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.
The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the Lord,
and the Lord will repay him for his good deed.
The Lord bestows favor and honor;
he withholds no good thing from those who have integrity.
For who concedes you any superiority? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as though you did not?
A personʼs gift makes room for him,
and leads him before important people.
Do not withhold good from those who need it,
when you have the ability to help.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go! Return tomorrow
and I will give it,” when you have it with you at the time.
Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches it. Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows, because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.
Honor the Lord from your wealth
and from the first fruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled completely,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
Send your grain overseas,
for after many days you will get a return.
Divide your merchandise among seven or even eight investments,
for you do not know what calamity may happen on earth.
Sow your seed in the morning,
and do not stop working until the evening;
for you do not know which activity will succeed -
whether this one or that one, or whether both will prosper equally.
Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.”
Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Eph 6:8 (KJV)
For the one who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there are no exceptions.
Many people entreat the favor of a generous person,
and everyone is the friend of the person who gives gifts.
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
By all these things, I have shown you that by working in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ʻIt is more blessed to give than to receive.ʼ”
Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the one who obeys the Lord,
who takes great delight in keeping his commands.
His descendants will be powerful on the earth;
the godly will be blessed.
His house contains wealth and riches;
his integrity endures.
I walk in the path of righteousness,
in the pathway of justice,
that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
and that I may fill their treasuries.
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds!
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth, he will never lose his reward.”
For I tell you the truth, whoever gives you a cup of water because you bear Christʼs name will never lose his reward.
He will reward each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness. There will be affliction and distress on everyone who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek,
but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek.
My point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work. Just as it is written, “He has scattered widely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness remains forever.” Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, because the service of this ministry is not only providing for the needs of the saints but is also overflowing with many thanks to God. Through the evidence of this service they will glorify God because of your obedience to your confession in the gospel of Christ and the generosity of your sharing with them and with everyone. And in their prayers on your behalf they long for you because of the extraordinary grace God has shown to you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Those who shed tears as they plant
will shout for joy when they reap the harvest.
The one who weeps as he walks along, carrying his bag of seed,
will certainly come in with a shout of joy, carrying his sheaves of grain.