One day the group of prophets came to Elisha and told him, “As you can see, this place where we meet with you is too small. Let’s go down to the Jordan River, where there are plenty of logs. There we can build a new place for us to meet.” “All right,” he told them, “go ahead.”
“Please come with us,” someone suggested. “I will,” he said. So he went with them. When they arrived at the Jordan, they began cutting down trees. But as one of them was cutting a tree, his ax head fell into the river. “Oh, sir!” he cried. “It was a borrowed ax!”
“Where did it fall?” the man of God asked. When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water at that spot. Then the ax head floated to the surface. “Grab it,” Elisha said. And the man reached out and grabbed it.
(2 Kings 6:1-7)
The incident of the floating ax head is recorded to show God’s care and provision for those who trust him, even in the insignificant events of everyday life. Placed in the Bible between the healing of an Aramean general and the deliverance of Israel’s army, this miracle also shows Elisha’s personal contact with the students in the companies of the prophets.
Why was this ax head so important? Iron tools were very expensive and not readily available. And the fact that this tool was borrowed meant that the prophet was under a great obligation. Undoubtedly, he could not afford to replace the ax head. Because of God’s compassion, he wouldn’t have the worry or humiliation of having to admit to the loss.
Although he had the respect of kings, Elisha never forgot to care for the faithful. His ministry shows the value God places on the dignity of each of his people. In what ways do you help meet the needs of those around you?
Sometimes we take for granted the everyday miracles in our lives: sunrise; strength to work; beautiful trees providing cool shade. What are some of the ways that God provides for your daily needs? How has his provision helped you see your worth? Take time to express your thanks to him.