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Sunday, June 29, 2008

The borrowed axe head

2 Kings 6 begins thus: 1 Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” 3 Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” (ESV)

Two points in this sermon:
1) Axe heads, and hammer heads, can fly off the handle. I've seen it happen. They have to be firmly anchored, or the stress and strain of constantly being used to hit something will cause them to come loose. When they do come off, not only are they useless for pounding, or chopping, but the act of coming off is dangerous, especially if anyone is standing near the operation. It could easily injure or kill.

Important things, like our beliefs, and our love of family, need to be tied on firmly. The anchor strings need to be renewed constantly. If this isn't taken care of, we can lose them, and not only does that make them useless, but it can be dangerous to others who may be near us when it happens.

2) I suppose that, in this pre-industrial age culture, an axe head was a very valuable item. The Bible doesn't tell us if it was bronze, iron, or of some other material, but no matter. It was expensive. The young man didn't expect to just go to the owner and tell him that he'd go to Wal-Mart and buy him another.

The most important things I have -- my life, my family, my home, my salvation, even my interests -- are borrowed. I'm completely, or mostly, dependent on others for them, mostly God, but also friends, parents, family, co-workers, church, police, medical personnel, even politicians. I should never take these "possessions" for granted. If I lose them, I can't go to Wal-Mart and buy another. I may be held responsible for their loss, to a loving, but fair and just judge.

I found this passage through the ESV on-line daily Bible readings for the month of June.

Thanks for reading!

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