Summary: The young student prophet of Elisha lost his iron axe head in the Jordan River. He lost his cutting edge for the Lord, have you?
“Have You Lost Your Cutting Edge For The Lord?”
Second Kings 6:1-7
This event took place in the 8th century BC.
There are many people in this Bible story, but there are two main characters, an unnamed prophet student, and the prophet Elisha.
You remember that Elisha had been Elijah’s student, but when Elijah was taken away to heaven in a chariot and horses of fire, Elisha became God’s chosen successor to Elisha and God richly blessed Elisha’s ministry, giving him a double portion of His Holy Spirit.
Elisha’s prophetic ministry lasted 50 years and was characterized by many exciting miracles.
The text we read in Second Kings Chapter 6 begins by telling us of a problem that the young seminary students had.
The building where they were meeting in for the prophet Elisha to teach them God’s ways was too narrow, so the students asked permission of their trusted teacher Elisha to go to the area of the Jordan River where there were many trees so they could build a larger place to live.
The plan was for each student to cut one beam of wood each for the building expansion.
This was the first college dormitory that the Bible speaks of to my knowledge.
The prophet Elisha said, “That sounds like a great idea, go!”
That reminds me of a couple of cousins I had in Orangeburg, SC who owned a used car lot some years ago.
One day a nice couple came on their car lot to look at a nice Chevrolet.
My two cousins were busy in the office cooking some black-eyed peas, rice and pork chops.
After greeting the couple, and finding out they were interested in seeing the car on the car lot, my cousins told them, "Ya’ll go ahead and look at the car, we’ve already seen it!"
I suppose my cousins trusted the couple, but for the most part, they were more interested in cooking the meal than showing a car.
In our Bible text, you can see there was mutual trust; for Elisha thought the students were mature enough to engineer the building of a new place to live.
Not wanting to be without their trusted teacher, one of the young seminary students said to Elisha, “Won’t you please come with us?”
So Elisha and his young students headed to the Jordan River to build a new college campus, and when they arrived, they immediately began to work on cutting down trees.
Each student was doing his part, and when one of the young students was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head flew off the handle of the axe he had borrowed and fell into the Jordan River, sinking straight down to the bottom of the flowing water.
This young student lost his axe head, he lost his cutting edge, and he lost his effectiveness in doing his work.
Today is Labor Day weekend, a day set aside to honor the work we do during the year.
Think about that for a moment, this morning.
Each of you have been successful in your respective choices of work, and if you’ve done work for the Lord, you can be assured there is no greater work in the world than building up the kingdom of God; but have you ever lost your cutting edge in serving the Lord?
Have you ever lost your effectiveness in doing the Lord’s work?
Were you at one time in your life working with great strength and vigor, with the chips flying in all directions, knocking down tree after tree, building up the kingdom of God?
Folks, if we’ve lost our cutting edge for the Lord, we need to ask God to help us get it back.
There are a couple of things I believe this passage teaches us that just might help us get back our cutting edge for the Lord.
First, like the young seminary student in our text, we must admit that we have lost our cutting edge.
The first step the young student had to take was to admit that he no longer had his cutting edge, for it had slipped off his axe handle, flew into the Jordan River, and sank to the bottom of the flowing current.
He was busy doing important work for God, but suddenly he was no longer effective at it.
To admit that we have a problem is the first step, and often the most difficult step.
We can see many examples around us where admitting that one has a problem is the first step in the healing process.
For example, the first step in the program A.A. is to admit that you have a problem with alcohol.
The young student could have reacted in other ways instead of admitting that he had a problem.