Today, a friend asked me about this Scripture. He asked specifically how to apply these Scriptures to his life. Right away I read the Scriptures and didn’t have an answer. I then applied a technique that I preach….. “Focus and Meditation”. I find it important to let things “marinate” for awhile so that I can see things clearly, especially in the case of tough to understand passages and thoughts. I find that as I read Scripture, pause, read again, and even again, that the words and thoughts start to come into focus.
The second technique comes directly from Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8……”Ask, Seek, Knock”. Ask God for help in understanding. Seek the answer by looking at context and a cross section of others thoughts…..as we knock….the door is opened.
First, let’s look at the Scripture in question:
2 Kings 6:1-7 (TNIV)
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 axhead 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.
Of course, as we read this we focus right away on the “miracle” of the floating axe head. What does it mean? This is the key to the story, right? As I looked closer at this I saw something more….I saw the hearts of the characters in the story.
Okay…..back to the question. “What application does this Scripture have for me today”?
FIRST: They were humble men. They were prophets of the most high God, yet when their meeting space becomes to small…..they don’t send for great cedars and marble to build another bigger dwelling…..they go to the Jordan to build their own.
SECOND: They were industrious men. They were willing to go to great lengths to build a larger place. They go down to the Jordan and start cutting down trees. These were not idle men, they were not relying on the labor of others. (V2)
THIRD: They were respectful men. These men respected the wisdom of Elisha. Sometimes it is good to be suspicious of ourselves and to keep our motives in check. It is good to seek wisdom other that “our own”. These men sought the wisdom and company of their leader, Elisha to advise them and keep order among them. (V3)
FOURTH: They were honest men. When the borrowed axe head flew off in the water they didn’t just say, “Oh well, darn thing broke”, or “It wasn’t my fault!”. They were concerned about losing something they had been given charge over. (V5) After all, we must love our neighbour as ourselves and do as we would be want done to us.
FINALLY: The floating axehead….. I believe that miracles happen every day, I experience them. Okay, you may want to debate the definition of miracle, no problem…..but I believe that when something unexpected, or something near impossible, happens as direct result of our trust and faith in God…….especially as a result of our asking and then doing the right thing (acting with humility, respect, industriousness, love, and honesty. )…..God blesses that.
Someone needs a car so they can keep their job….a request goes out on Facebook and seven minutes later….we have one for this young mother of two. We go to the hospital to pray with the family of a girl who is in a coma. The Dr. tells me that she will be there for at least five days in ICU while they attempt to get this unexplained infection under control…the next day she is awake, out of ICU and talking fine. A couple of days later she is out of the hospital. The list goes on and on.
However, I don’t think the story is in the unexpected answer to prayer here……I think it’s in the heart’s of those who love God enough to trust, to love and to always seek to do what is right.