Monday, 05 July 2010
"So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, 'Alas, my master! It was borrowed.' 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. And he said, 'Take it up.' So he reached out his hand and took it."
2 Kings 6:4-7 (English Standard Version)
This is my interpretation, what do you think? I figured this out all by myself today.
The man of God in the story is Elisha, successor to Elijah (my hero). He was building a larger shelter for some people, and the people then proceeded to the River Jordan to cut logs near the River Jordan to build the new shelter. One person that swung to cut logs lost his axehead flying off the shaft and falling into the water. Axeheads were normally constructed out of iron or bronze. So naturally they would sink to the bottom of the River Jordan, never to be found again.
Now, l think I figured out what it could mean: the axehead sinks down to the bottom of the river because it is made of iron; the natural inclination was the axehead to fall since iron is heavier than water. I am born naturally sinful and dead in my sins; beyond any human intervention to save me from going to hell. I am the axehead.
Yet something as insignificant as an axehead, God would send his Son to save us from our sins. So that something miraculous would happen: that the axehead would float. For the axehead to float is totally unnatural and not according to the laws of nature. It seems totally stupendous that we can put on the blood of Jesus Christ who God sees instead of us. The axehead was floating not because of anything that the axehead had done but only through what God's messenger Elisha had said.
The miracle is this: sins made us sink down to the bottom when we were beyond hope, but God came and made us float above the water that flows over our lifeless bodies. That is what I think is interesting about the passage.
"Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!" Isaiah 10:15 (English Standard Version)
May great discernment be given to those who think they can manipulate the hearts of man for 'evangelism'. Only God can make these stubborn axeheads float.
Do you agree or disagree? What does this interpretation mean for our lives?