Lost and Found

Written by Frank Jamerson.

After Elisha took the place of Elijah, there was a series of six miracles performed, as recorded in 2 Kings 4-6. One of them was the ax head that floated (2 Kgs. 6:1-7).

The sons of the prophets were building a larger dwelling place, “but as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water, and he cried out and said, Alas, master! For it was borrowed” (v. 5). Not only was he distressed that he had lost something that was borrowed, but the good work that he was doing stopped.

Elisha asked, “where did it fall?” When the man showed him, “he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float. Therefore he said, Pick it up for yourself. So he reached out his hand and took it” (vs. 6,7). The result was not only joy on the part of the one who had  lost the ax but also the good work that he had been doing could resume.

What lessons can we learn from this miracle? First, when people “lose their heads” through unbelief, or indifference, a certain amount of work ceases. Paul warned that some would reject faith and a good conscience and make shipwreck of the faith (1 Tim. 1:19). Others would “depart from the faith” and teach doctrinal error (1 Tim. 4:1). When this happens, the good work that has been in progress is interrupted and evil results. Second, when the ax head was restored, it was as useful as before it was lost. Paul had refused to take John Mark with him on his second journey, because he had “lost his head” on the first journey, but when he wrote his last epistle, Paul said “get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Tim. 4:11).

The man who lost the ax head knew where it was, but was unable to retrieve it without help. The person who loses his faith knows where to look and knows that there is help available if he desires to restore what was lost. Those who renew their faithfulness are as profitable afterwards as they were before the tragedy.

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