2 Kings 6:1 And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.
2ki 6:2 Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye.
2ki 6:3 And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go.
2ki 6:4 So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.
2ki 6:5 But as one was felling a beam, the ax head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.
2ki 6:6 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.
2ki 6:7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.
We find here what seems to be a school of young prophets that had apparently grown and needed a bigger place to dwell. They had asked Elisha to allow them to go and cut some logs to make a larger building. Elisha said OK and they asked him to come along and he does.
Now Elisha's ministry spanned 50 years. It lasted through the reign of 4 kings and there were many notable miracles:
The Shunamite woman's son raised from the dead
The widow's oil multiplied to pay her debt
Naaman's leprosy cured
He captured a whole troop of enemy soldiers by making them temporarily blind
Parted the Jordan River and walked across to name a few.
But to this list God saw fit to add the account of the recovery of this young prophets axe head.
I couldn't quite see the lesson in it.
I know it was a miracle for an axe head to float, but I couldn't see what God wanted me to understand from it. So I prayed, "God show me what you want me to know from this."
Axe heads will loosen up on a dry handle. The wood shrinks the drier it gets. We used to take an axe that was coming loose and leave it in water overnight and it would tighten back up.
Be careful when you are going through a dry place that you don't fly off the handle or lose your head.
I began to look at the text and realize that this was a good work they were doing. It was an approved work. It was a project to help young men to come and be taught about ministry and about God.
But one of the men, while he was involved in a good work, in the midst of that work, lost his axe head.
He lost his effectiveness. He lost his edge.
Have you ever felt like you had lost your effectiveness?
Suddenly you realize you are not witnessing, you're not working in the church, your joy isn't there.
It can happen suddenly or a little at a time until all at once it's gone. At one time you were chopping away in service for the Lord. At one time, with vigor and excitement, you were making the chips fly, knocking down tree after tree, building up the kingdom of God when suddenly (when an axehead flies off the handle it can be suddenly) a harsh word, an accusation, you were wrongfully judged, someone hurt you and you are left with just the handle.
Or maybe you just realize that somehow, someway, somewhere along the way you have lost it.
Samson lost the anointing a little at a time, but this young man was chopping away and suddenly he lost
his effectiveness. He lost the edge, but the prophet of God is going to help him regain it.
You see, God is into restoring lost things.
We could preach right here for a while: The God that restores lost things, but moving on.
You know the first thing this young man had to do was admit that he had lost something.
You might say, "Well, what else could he do?
There are other possible reactions.
He could have been glad he lost it and used that loss as a reason to quit. After all, he had worked hard, and there were others to finish the work.
He could have used his loss as an excuse to just let someone take his place.
Or he could have refused to admit that he had lost anything, because of pride, and just kept banging
away with the handle; going through the motions, making alot of noise, breaking a sweat, but accomplishing nothing.
But no, this man in our text admitted he had lost something and he cried out and sought help to regain it.
Did you notice that what he had lost was borrowed?
Iron axe heads were few and far between in those days. Someone loaned him the axe to do the work or he could not have done it. That made the loss even more painful.
Our talent, our ability, the anointing that we operate in, is not our own. It is on loan to us from God, and we have an obligation and a responsible to the owner. If you don't think so read Matthew 25:14-30.
God has given us talent and abilities so we can assist in the building of the Kingdom.
So if we have lost something in our walk with God or our service for the Lord, the first thing we need to do is admit our loss and seek His help to recover it.
It may be helpful to determine where we lost it. Elisha asked the man, "Where did it fall?"
Maybe you lost it when somebody hurt you.
Maybe you lost it when you were accused or in the midst of a hard trial.
But, I'll tell you a truth, most of us lose it because we are overtaken in the cares of everyday life.
Remember Martha in the Bible?
Her sister Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, but Martha was caught in all the care of serving.
Jesus lets us know we don't have to be like Martha. We can cast the care over on Him.
It's not that we quit serving, not that we don't take care of responsibilities, but that we give up the anxiety.
This text also shows us that although there were still others chopping trees, God took time to perform a miracle and to restore that one.
God is as concerned about an individual as He is a nation. And no problem is too big or too small.
He had time for the Shunamite woman whose son had died, and He had time for a man who lost a borrowed axe.
Have you lost something?
Are you still holding on to the handle but maybe you feel like the edge is gone?
There was a man in the Bible whose name was Samson. We talked about this man earlier.
He had lost something. He lost the anointing He had from God and the enemy overcame him, blinded him, and made him grind at the mill, going around in circles day after day.
Maybe you have felt like you are going around in circles.
Well, you don't have to stay that way. You don't have to stay like that.
Admit your loss. Call out for help, and when God brings that gift to the surface again, take it up with all your might.
You can have greater victories in your future than you had in the past.
THE AXE HEAD:
KEEP YOUR EDGE