Sep 17 • 9M

The floating axe head

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A new episode every weekday from Monday to Friday. Tony Silveira from Montreal, Canada. Short Bible Studies every weekday.
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2 Kings 6:5-7 When they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his ax head fell into the water; he cried out, "Alas, master! It was borrowed." Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick, and threw it in there, and made the iron float. He said, "Pick it up." So he reached out his hand and took it.

This story of the ax is the last in a series of stories which describe the interaction between Elisha and “the company of prophets.

What is the significance of the floating axe head? Was it just to show that Elisha did great miracles by the power of God? Was it to demonstrate that God cares about His people being in debt? 

The debt

The servant of God losing the axe head in the river Jordan signifies the man owe a great debt, and are under the judgment of the law for it. This truth characterized by it falling into the river that separates the people of God from the promised land. The axe head lost causing debt, and the law requiring that debt must be paid.

Elisha is divinely inspired to cut a stick from a tree, that through the power of God it would bring up the axe head, removing the judgment by removing the debt. When the axe head is restored, the servant is now free from debt. It signifies that debt is no longer owed and God's servant is no longer under judgment of the law concerning it. 

The stick and the cross

When the prophet shows Elisha the place where the axe was lost, Elisha then went and cut a piece of wood or stick from a tree and he cast it into the water at the place the prophet confessed the axe head fell. That stick represents the work of Christ on the cross to remove the curse of the law, the debt that requires judgment. 

That Hebrew word in 2nd Kings 2:6 [ets] that is translated stick, is the exact same word that is translated "gallows" (Esther 5:14), representing the tree, a tool of hanging. Likewise it is the same word translated tree in 

Deuteronomy chapter 21:22 and if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:

The stick or tree (translated both) represents the power or work of Christ in the redemption of the debt. It was for this reason that Christ died on the tree.

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Debt Forgiveness

Matthew 18:26-27 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 

This is the compassion of God, and we should be just as compassionate to those who are indebted to us. The compassion Elisha had on his disciple for his dept is a portrait of the compassion God has upon us for ours. This story of the miracle of Elisha raising the lost axe-head that is recorded in 2nd Kings 6:1-7, is the sign (miracle = sign) of the debtor's recovery and restoration through Christ Jesus.

We see through this story that Elisha used the wood to remove this student's debt, and this redemption was made through the water of Jordan. This whole episode demonstrates to us the condescension of the Son of God in humbling himself that he might be nailed to a tree (become a curse for us) and come through the waters of death to provide solution for our debt.