2 Kings 6:6
ESV - 6 Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float.
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It seems to me that the miracle figured to strengthen trust in Elisha as God's Chosen prophet. If you refer to 2 Kings 2, we see that the sons of the prophets were unsure of Elisha' s appointment as Elijah' s successor. I believe that there is also another meaning for us today. 2 Kings 6:6 says "And the man of God said, 'Where fell it?' And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim." Now we all know that iron does not float! 2 Kings 6:7 "Therefore said he, 'Take it up to you,' And he put out his hand, and took it." The stick that was cut down is representative of our Christ. By accepting Jesus with faith, any and all things are possible as God wills! AMEN.
The stick represents the scepter of rulership of God. (Christ will rule with a rod of iron). The axe head represents technology that men depend on in daily life. When technology fails (as it will, since it is associated with man) we can be left in a much worse state than if we didn't possess it. The meaning of the story is that God can miraculously remedy any failure with man's technology since he rules over the earth and everything in it. No technology is too advanced to be beyond the power of God.
When I look out into the expanse and see the sun moon and stars hanging there with nothing to hold them up, it tells me that the One who put them there and sustains them, is the One the psalmist wrote about when he said 'He stretched out heaven like a tent curtain.' Psalms 104 tells us of the greatness of God. For God to cause an axe head to float is like having Babe Ruth hit a home run off of Pee Wee Herman. We'd yawn and wonder what the exhibition was all about. What would it prove? 2 Kings 6 tells the story of the prophet Elisha and the students at his "seminary" going out to cut down trees at the Jordan River to use to build more living space for themselves. One of the young men had his axe head fall into the water. No worries, he tells Elisha, Elisha makes the axe head float, and the young man retrieves it. What's this all about? Compared to some other miracles of scripture this is not worth mentioning. Jesus healing a man born blind (Jn 9:1-12), walking on water (Matt 14), feeding the multitude (Matt 15, Mk 8), a miraculous catch of fish (Lk 5), a coin in the fish mouth (Matt 17), and in my opinion the most amazing, raising Lazarus from being dead (Jn 11). But, these were all done by Jesus in service to people with a serious need. What is it about this axe head? It's just an axe head. Get another axe head for the handle, put it on the handle and keep it moving. Why are we told about an axe head? 2 Kings 5 has already told us of the grace of God's annointing on Elisha when Naaman, captain of the Syrian army, is healed of leprosy by the word of Elisha. We're already convinced of his ministry and the power of God available to him. "Alas, my master, for it was borrowed."(vs 5). This, I believe, is the part of the story to ponder. This young man isn't building a home for himself, this is ministry. This is no private matter. These young men are referred to in verse 1 as "the sons of the prophets." They are servants of God and God's responsibility. To lose an axe head that belongs to someone else sounds innocent enough until this is considered: "The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow." (Deut 28:12) This promise is contingent on keeping the commandments being retold to them here. And if they disobeyed, "the alien among you shall rise above you.... he shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him." (vs 43, 44). Borrowing and lending was a serious matter for Israel. God keeps close watch over the culture and habits of His children. In this narrative, I believe we're being alerted to how God viewed their getting help from anyone other than Him. And, since this young man was serving God in earnest, God is showing His faithfulness to those in His service. The method of recovery, tossing the handle in the river, is undoubtedly a teaching point also. We all know the handle didn't make the axe head float. The handle is of no use without the axe head, however. It's like having a form of godliness but no power. Power was restored, and the young men were taught that they could depend on the Almighty in a time of need when they were in service to Him. This promise is still true today.
These men were working together to build a new house for their ministry. I believe the fact that the tool this one young prophet was using was borrowed from someone else is significant because it speaks of using another's tools to build your own ministry. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must acknowledge those who have given you the tools to do your work, or the Lord will stop you from being able to do your part until you acknowledge the one(s) who have given you the ability to do the work. Elisha raised the axe head only after the young prophet admitted that he had borrowed the axe. We must never fail to acknowledge those who have trained us and given us the tools to be successful ministers in the kingdom. The axe head may also represent the Word of God. If so, then this young man was using a tool (faith) that had not yet become his own. By God's mercy, Elisha stretched forth the stick representing Christ and allowed the man to continue working until faith was birthed in his own heart to do the work of the ministry.
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