Summary: The account of Elisha, the student prophet and the floating axhead is one that would make intellectuals just shake their heads at someone who would believe such a thing. How big is your God? The God of the Bible is awesome even in small miracles!

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2 Kings 6:1-7 (Please open your Bibles to this passage which we will read in a couple of minutes)

Where does Elisha fall in the unfolding of the history of the nation of Israel?


The great flood - Noah

Abraham - Isaac - Jacob




The Judges


The Unified Kingdom - Saul, David, Solomon

The Divided Kingdom



The rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem

400 years of silence

John the Baptist


(Read the main Scripture at this point)

Elisha was a major prophet in the time of the divided kingdom and he was used to not only prophecy to the kings of both kingdoms but was also used to attempts to “teach, rebuke, correct and train in righteousness” the kings.

2 Kings 6:1 NIV

“The company of the prophets said to Elisha, ‘Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us.’”

Elisha was a prophet.

At the time of Elisha there were no Pharisees or Sadducees; there were Priests, Levites and Prophets.

Levites served the Lord by tending to the tabernacle and later the temple and synagogues

Priests interceded for the people by offering the required sacrifices

Prophets brought messages of instruction and correction from God and sometimes interceded for people

There were faithful prophets who were called by the Lord and obeyed

There were prophets who the Lord called to be prophets who refused

and there were those who claimed to be prophets who were not called by the LORD.

Some faithful prophets were:

Samuel who oversaw the transition from the time of the Judges to the time of the Kings of Israel. (Illustration: God said to Samuel - they are not rejecting you but Me.)

Elijah who prophesied during the time of King Ahab.

Jeremiah was a reluctant prophet - (persecuted by Pashhur the Priest)

Jeremiah 20:9 NIV

“But if I [Jeremiah] say, ‘I will not mention [the LORD’s] word or speak anymore in His name,’ His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”

King David was a man who was not a prophet per se but the Lord would move him to prophecy occasionally as he wrote many of the Psalms.

Nathan confronted King David in his great sin but never wrote Scripture

But today we’re talking about Elisha and it appears that not only was he the chief prophet in Israel and Judah but he ran a school of prophets.

There were unfaithful prophets like Jonah

2 Kings 6:1 NIV

“The company of the prophets said to Elisha, ‘Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us.’”

This would be like a Bible College for pastors today. It even might be like our District Ministerial Studies which was taught by pastors on the District.

Today there are pastors who are called to be pastors by the Lord and pastors who are not called to be pastors by the Lord.

There are people who are called by the Lord to be pastors who have refused to heed the call and others who even look on the pastorate as some sort of social work; these pastors may not even be believers just as false prophets of the OT were unfaithful to the GOD of Israel.

Lynne Blackburn is a good example of someone who has followed the leading of the Lord whole heartedly.

We did not ask her here to just tell us her life story as amazing as that is.

We asked her here because she has lived a life of total abandon to the leading of the Lord and this is a great testimony.

Since the day the Lord spoke to her about abandoning her American life and following her to some very harsh places Lynne has done her best to follow the leading of the Lord no matter what the costs. She says, in private, that it sounds like an adventure but in reality it is very hard work.

It is humbling to hear such a testimony when reflecting on my own life.

Anyway, the school of prophets that Elisha was leading was too small and they needed to build a bigger one.

So, what did they decide?

2 Kings 6:2-4 NIV

“ Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.” And [Elisha] said, “Go.”

“Then one of them said, ‘Won’t you please come with your servants?’

‘I will,’ Elisha replied. And he went with them. They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees.”

OK. So, that’s interesting but what’s really interesting happens next.

2 Kings 6:5 NIV

“As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. ‘Oh no, my lord!’ he cried out. ‘It was borrowed!’”

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