Summary: What this young unnamed prophet in II Kings did to get back his cutting edge -- illustrates for us, 3 principles that will help us get back our cutting edge of servcie to the Lord.
"IT’S WHERE YOU LEFT IT"
TEXT: II KINGS 6:1-7
This event took place in the 8th century BC, during the times of the Kings, when Israel was split into 2 kingdoms -- Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
The 2 central characters in this text are an unnamed prophetic student and the prophet Elisha (not to be confused with Elijah).
Now remember Elisha had been Elijah’s attendant and student. But when Elijah was taking away (in chariots and horses of fire being called up to heaven in a whirlwind) as the 2 of them were walking along the road, Since that time Elisha had been God’s chief prophet and the true successor to Elijah.
And before Elijah went up to heaven Elisha made a request of his teacher -- and that request was to have a double portion of God’s spirit. And Elijah responded to the request by saying to Elisha that, "YOU HAVE ASKED A DIFFICULT THING -- YET, IF YOU SEE ME WHEN I AM TAKEN UP FROM YOU, IT WILL BE YOURS -- OTHERWISE NOT.."
And Elisha did see his teacher taken up to heaven and he did receive a double portion of the Lord’s Spirit -- And Elisha’s ministry, a ministry that would last 50 years and span the reign of 4 Northern Kings -- was one characterized by many miracles.
Elisha parted the Jordan River and walked across on dry land, He purified a large water supply (in a town that was dying because of bad water), He multiplied oil of a poor widow (providing for her needs), He raised from the dead the son of a Shunamite women, He fed a hundred men with just a little food and EVEN had leftovers, He cured Naaman’s leprosy and He captured a troop of enemy soldiers by causing them to be temporarily blinded, just to name a few of his many miracles.
Now compared to his great miracles, the miracle that he performed in our text today (making an iron axe head float) may at first appear insignificant and unimportant. But as we will see, as we study together, it is indeed significant and has important lessons for us today, we will see that this incident illustrates several important biblical truths.
LET’S LOOK AT OUR TEXT:
The text begins by telling us of a problem that the school of prophets had... Apparently they had grown so much that their building would no longer meet their needs. So they asked permission of their teacher (Elisha) to go down to the Jordan river where trees were readily available in order to build a new building for their school.
Elisha said, "SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA -- YOU CAN GO.."
But not wanting to be without their teacher one of the students asked Elisha, "WON’T YOU PLEASE COME WITH YOUR SERVANTS..."
And so Elisha and his students headed down to the Jordan river to build a building for the school of the prophets... And when they arrived they immediately began to work on cutting down trees... Each student doing his part. It was a good work wasn’t it? -- A building project to train young men about God.
One man while working away chopping at a big ole tree developed a problem, it seems that the iron axe head came flying off his axe handle, and flew into the Jordan river sinking down to the bottom...
This men lost his axe head, he lost his cutting edge -- he lost his effectiveness in doing the work he had set out to do.
Have you ever lost your cutting edge in serving the Lord, Have you ever lost your effectiveness in doing His work.
Were you at one time swinging with great vigor your axe of service for God. Chopping away with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.... I mean, when you were really going there were chips flying here and there, and just about everywhere... knocking down tree, after tree, after tree -- building up,the Kingdom of God.
But somehow, somewhere along the way -- you lost your cutting edge, you lost your effectiveness in serving the Lord.
Today is labor day weekend -- a day set aside to honor work... And let me say this up front that there is no greater work in all the world than building up the Kingdom of God. And therefore we need to be as effective at this, as we possibly can.... And if we have lost our cutting edge we need to get it back.
What this young unnamed prophet in II Kings did to get back his cutting edge -- illustrates for us, 3 principles that will help us get back our cutting edge.
WE LIKE THE YOUNG PROPHET, MUST ADMIT THAT WE HAVE LOST OUR CUTTING EDGE...