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Passages Ministries

The Ministries of John "BJ" Hall

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Since January 18, 2015

Lessons On An Axhead

By Evangelist John BJ Hall

A few years ago, as Southern Baptists were in some lively debates about the accuracy of the Bible, several typical passages have been mentioned, which a few believe are not historical.  The first eleven chapters of Genesis were being called myth. The deliverance at the Red Sea was called "embellished." Even the Resurrection of Jesus was "spiritualized" or called a "legend."

One of the Old Testament miracles that was being subjected to ridicule is the one found in 2 Kings 6:1-7, where the chronicler tells us about an ax head. Elisha the prophet had recently taken the mantle of Elijah, after the latter had gone into heaven, ending his ministry. One of the first mighty things Elisha is recorded as doing is in this passage in 2 Kings 6:

    The company of the prophets said to Elisha, "Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us.  Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to live." And he 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.  As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. "Oh, my lord," he cried out, "it was borrowed!"  The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float.  "Lift it out," he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

In my opinion, those who would explain away scriptures like this are simply afraid of their being.

Now think of the setting is this. Elisha was the teacher in a school called the school of the prophets. The students felt that the school was too small and they needed more room to study. So one of them approached Elisha and asked him if they could build a larger school.

In order to build the school, they needed tools and materials. So they gathered their resources, some of which was borrowed. One student wasn’t watching closely enough and the head of his ax became loose and fell into the water, sinking to the bottom.

The lesson here is that we should be proper stewards of that which is in our hands. Everything we possess is loaned to us by God. If you think you are the owner, you are fooling yourself.

Elijah acted in faith. He cut a stick and threw it in the water. This is a reminder that the rod of the Lord is often used to Glorify His Holy Name. He merely acted on the instructions of the Lord. If we act in accordance with what God tells us to do, great things will happen.

Sadly we often stand back when God speaks and worry about what we are going to do next. We ask ourselves, “What can I do about it?” When the question should be, “What can God do about it?” and “Can I be an instrument in His hands.”

Borrowed Tools

Borrowed tools for one young prophet
‘Most ended his career.
For he lost that tool while working,
And came to Elisha in fear.

Borrowed tools won’t stop a Christian
From doing the Lord’s will
If he’ll only come confessing sin,
On bended knee be still.

Borrowed tools can be a blessing,
Or they can be a curse.
It all depends on how you use them,
For better or for worse.

Borrowed tools will be a blessing
When we use them with care
But when we take them for granted
Our only hope is prayer

Borrowed tools won’t be a hindrance,
In the work, you do each day.
If you just take care and use them
In their intended way.


© Copyright 1995 by Passages Ministries. All rights reserved.
For permission to use this poem, contact Passages Ministries.


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