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12(2Kings 06,01-07)The Floating Ax Head

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The house, which was home to the sons of the prophets, had become crowded. So with Elisha’s permission, they sought to build a bigger home and place of worship and study.

And they built it themselves. Sound familiar?

And some of them borrowed tools. Sound familiar?

And one of the borrowed tools broke. Sound familiar?

The man became panic stricken and turned to Elisha the prophet and pointed to location where the ax head fell into the water. Elisha cut down a stick and threw it into the place. The ax head came to the surface, and the young man retrieved it.

I.    The Miracles of Elijah and Elisha.

A.    Elijah’s miracles were on the scale of manipulating the natural elements.

B.    Elisha, his understudy, asked for a double portion of blessing.

C.    His miracles were more to aid individual people.

1.     He learns of a woman about to be sold into slavery for debt. She has nothing but a small container of olive oil. He has her borrow all the empty containers she can – fills them and is able to sell the oil and pay her debts, and there is rejoicing.

2.     He is met by a woman who tells him that her son has just died. He hurries to her home, prays for God’s help and the boy is restored.

3.     He calms the fears of his assistant by praying the God would let the assistant “see”.

D.    Seems natural that Elisha would once again come to the aid of an individual in need.

II.  The God of the Impossible.

A.    But you might say, “Iron doesn’t float.”

1.     Let me remind you we are not dealing with natural laws in this text. We are dealing with supernatural laws. Is anything too hard for God the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe?

2.     Hebrews says he upholds all things by the word of his power, iron included.

B.    New Testament Examples.

1.     Story of a woman who for 15 years could not straighten up. Jesus said, “Woman you are loosed from your infirmities.” – In her case the iron did swim.

2.     Another woman accused of gross sins was brought to Jesus, hounded by those who professed great virtue. He wrote something on the ground. When he stood up, the accusers were gone. “Does no man accuse you?” She said, “No Lord.” He said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” – for her the iron did swim.

3.     A week ago a tractor ran over the head of an 80-year-old lady of our church. I wondered that day if there would be a funeral to preach that next week. Instead, a week later she is recovering. I would say for Frances, the ax head did float.

C.    The Simple Honesty of the Borrower.

1.     There are many today who are in the same predicament of the man who lost his ax head. The man with the ax handle could have gone through the motions of chopping. Form 50 feet away, who would know?

2.     But he quickly realized his problem, and admitted it. His simple honesty led to a quick recovery and restoration of the ax head.

3.     On the Saturday of her accident, she told me in the ER at Baptist, “Brother Wiegel, I messed up.” She looked messed up for sure. But her comment resonates a simple honesty with which she viewed her predicament. I believe that allowed her to quickly move from blame and any anger to healing.

D.    Where did it fall?

1.     While Francis had a physical accident, I believe there is a spiritual principle here for us. How many have been chopping away, serving the Lord, and then find our effectiveness is no longer there? The “ax head” is missing.

2.     Do we keep going through the motions, hoping no one notices that we aren’t bearing any fruit?

3.     Or do we, when we discover our ax head is missing in our service to the Lord, have the simple honesty to say; “I messed up.”

4.     What if he had said, “I am not sure. I heard a splash but didn’t notice where it was.

5.     The worker knew when he lost the ax head. He was concerned.

6.     He could do no effective work without it. He had lost his power for service.

7.     He had something that had been entrusted to him.

8.     Our power for Christian service is borrowed power. We are accountable to God for the way in which we use that power.


If you have lost your power, you know where and why, and untilt he power is restored you cannot be effective for God. If you come to Him, saying “I messed up” and ask for His forgiveness, He will answer you and make you useful again.

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