Summary: (NOTE: This is not entirely my own sermon. Ive gleaned much from a book of sermons and have added my own thoughts.) Here is a brief description: Based on 2 Kings 6:1-7. A student of Elisha lost a borrowed axehead and was troubled by it. Every B
DONT GO FLYING OFF THE HANDLE!
And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.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. 3 And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. 4 So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. 5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. 6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. 7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.
From the New Living Translation: One day the group of prophets came to Elisha and told him, "As you can see, this place where we meet with you is too small.2 Lets go down to the Jordan River, where there are plenty of logs. There we can build a new place for us to meet." "All right," he told them, "go ahead." 3 "Please come with us," someone suggested. "I will," he said. 4 When they arrived at the Jordan, they began cutting down trees. 5 But as one of them was chopping, his ax head fell into the river. "Ah, my lord!" he cried. "It was a borrowed ax!" 6 "Where did it fall?" the man of God asked. When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water. Then the ax head rose to the surface and floated. 7 "Grab it," Elisha said to him. And the man reached out and grabbed it.
I. The prophet Elisha had received a double portion of anointing from his predecessor, Elijah.
1. Elisha was probably the most anointed man of God in the Old Testament.
a. Some of the most amazing miracles are recorded in the life of Elisha.
b. None of them were more interesting, or curious, than this story of the lost axe head.
c. Why did the Holy Spirit have this incident recorded in the Bible? And what does it have to do with us today?
2. Lets take a moment to look at the background of the story.
a. Elisha had formed a school of young prophets.
b. Elisha lived with and taught the students.
c. We dont know the particulars about the school except at one point it became too small. They needed more room for the increasing number of students.
3. Notice in verse one the students, or prophets, came to Elisha "And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait (or too small, so small it is distressing) for us"
a. Crowded classrooms are not only a problem of modern society.
b. The students came to Elisha and presented their case. School needed to be enlarged.
c. They ask Elisha for permission to expand and also ask him to go with them to the Jordan River where he can oversee the work. There were plenty of trees at the river to provide lumber. Elisha agreed to go with them.
d. The students decided they could do the work themselves. No need for professional carpenters.
1. How many times have we said the same thing and later wished we had hired someone more experienced? I have many times. It seems like I always have to do something twice. The first time to learn how not to do it.
e. When the students got to the Jordan River they started to work cutting down trees while Elisha supervised.
f. Cutting down trees in those days was a more of a chore than today. Chain saws hadnt been invented yet. Tree cutting was done with an axe and a lot of muscle.
1. Today axeheads are more securely fastened to a handle than in O.T. days. In those days the handle was split at the place where the axe head was put and tied down with leather. Then the leather was soaked with water. That would cause it to shrink and tighten up. The more it was used the looser the leather became. It was common for the axeheads to come loose and go flying off when the axe was used.
g. Flying axe heads presented such a danger that God gave Moses a special law to take care of a situation where an axe head may come off and kill another man. It would be an accident but God had the people specify certain cities for a man to go to in case he accidentally killed another man. The cities were called Cities of Refuge. If a relative of the dead man want to take revenge on the man who caused the accident the man could flee to one of those cities and be safe. (Numbers 19:4-7)