The Floating Axe head

Sunday Reflection 2 Kings 2:1-7

24 May 2020

1 The company of the prophets said to Elisha, "Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us.
2 Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet."
And he said, "Go." 3 Then one of them said, "Won't you please come with your servants?"
"I will," Elisha replied. 4 And he went with them.
They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees.
5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axe head fell into the water.
"Oh no, my lord!" he cried out. "It was borrowed! 6 The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?"
When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float.
7 "Lift it out," he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

I love this simple story, it has so much to tell us.
The school of prophets was growing, the meeting place needed to expand and everyone had a part to play in what God was doing.
In building God's kingdom everyone has a responsibility to contribute; there are no exception; God has a plan for each one of us.
When they started work cutting down the trees, the axe head of one the men flew off into the water;.
What was his immediate reaction?
He went to the prophet for help. He knew he could rely on him for assistance.
The prophet was God's representative; he was the mouthpiece of God; he was always there to turn to.

Today we can go directly to Jesus, who is our master, and is our help in times of trouble.

The man of God said, 'Where did it fall?' That was quite a question. The response was, 'he showed him the place.'

We all fall from time to time; we all mess up.
The key is to recognise where we've gone wrong and to take it to Jesus.
If we cannot immediately identify the problem, if we just feel 'off kilter', we can take some time to be still and reflect,
it won't be long before the answer comes.
It is essential to identify the problem because if we want to regain our closeness to God than we have to start were we lost it.
Having identified the problem, the man of God then did something which seems strange, he cut off a stick and threw it in the river where the axe head had fallen.
Why a stick? What does a piece of wood have to do with it?

We need to remember that this story was included for benefit of those reading it.
This piece of wood reminds us of another piece of wood where something significant happened which was very relevant to us.
It reminds us of the Cross where Jesus was crucified for us, and that God wants us to realise that Jesus' sacrifice on that cross was enough to take care of all our problems,
and restore us no matter what spiritual mess we're in.
Jesus took our failure and nailed it to the cross; he rose from the dead victorious on the third day, and he offers that victory to us.

'And he made the iron float.'

What amazing thought.
Now I don't know about you but I have never seen any iron object float, let alone an axe head!
Clearly this was a miracle.
God worked a miracle when man did his part, looking to the master, taking responsibility and going to the place where the axe head had gone into the water.
We do our part; God does his part.
I love the King James version,

'.. and the iron did swim.'

Axe heads don't swim, it's against the laws of nature; but God made it swim.

God brings restoration and healing; when we admit the areas where we have lost our way God can and will restore us; we can swim once more.
Then it's over to us to receive what God is offering;
God can work miracles in our lives if only we will do our part.