The restoration of lost power – Part 1
The story of the axe head that floated on water is one of the Old Testament miracles that continue to rattle the rational minds of unbelievers, especially those who only believe in Science, for the miracle negates the law of gravity, which is a natural law. But for a miracle to be a miracle indeed, I believe it must break the law of nature, for miracles only follow supernatural laws, which are far above the laws of nature. The sons of the prophets i.e. prophets/pastors in training stimulated by the principle of growth and the desire for improvement requested Elisha’s permission to build a bigger place. In verse 2b, we find how the work of the Lord should be done in the Church “every man a beam,” either small or big.
In the house of God, every man must carry a beam, be it in the building project, evangelism, visitation, giving and other services. No one should be left out. When Elisha permitted the exercise, they requested for his presence as well. In the work of God, divine permission must not be confused with divine presence. We need divine presence to succeed. But divine presence is not also synonymous with absence of troubles. Nevertheless, it secures the victory.
When God’s presence goes with what He has permitted, problems that rear their heads would bow before the power of His Majesty. As they were cutting trees, the axe head fell not on the ground but in the water. What an embarrassment, for it was borrowed! The law of borrowing in Israel, according to Exo. 22: 14, stipulates that borrowed articles should be used with care and in due time returned uninjured to the owner. When the man showed Elisha where it fell, he cut a stick, threw it there and alas, the axe head floated. What a demonstration of divine power over nature! Preachers have viewed this story from many angles (i.e. The need to work together, the need for the presence of God, the fact that all we have on earth are borrowed and so on.) But as I reflect on the passage, the Lord wants me to bring to your attention a new dimension to the story i.e. The Restoration of Lost Power.
I shall simply bring the message under two sub-topics, namely: The axe head that fell, the tragedy of lost power and the axe head that floated, the restoration of lost power.
(A) The Tragedy of Lost Power – (vs. 4-5)
I believe that the story is a parable for us all. It speaks of the fact that as God’s children, we work with borrowed power and this power can be lost. The axe head stands for power to execute the project. Without the axe head, there can be no falling of trees. So, when the axe head fell, it was a loss of power. What is power? Encarta Dictionary simply defines it “as the capacity, the ability or the strength to do something, control or influence over other people and their actions.”
Shepherdhill Baptist Church (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.