1 The sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Please notice that the place where we live under your supervision is too small for us.
too small. First-hand observation. There was a growing need for space as more men wanted to be taught by Elisha. The need drove the expansion. The expansion did not create the need.
2 Please let us go to the Jordan where we can each get a log and can build ourselves a place to live there.” “Go,” he said.
build ourselves. Willing to work. With the opportunity came their commitment to work.
3 Then one said, “Please come with your servants.” “I’ll come,” he answered.
“Please come with your servants.” Desired God’s man to be with them, The request wasn’t, be with us spiritually but, join us.
4 So he went with them, and when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.
5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron [ax head] fell into the water, and he cried out: “Oh, my master, it was borrowed!“
the iron [ax head] fell into the water… it was borrowed! Here are two problems: 1. The ax head was lost and 2. It was borrowed. In ancient times, iron was costly and the sons of the prophets could not afford an ax. To accomplish the goal, this man borrowed the iron implement.
6 Then the man of God asked, “Where did it fall?“ When he showed him the place, the man of God cut a stick, threw it there, and made the iron float.
“Where did it fall?” … he showed him the place. Elijah focused on getting the facts. The exact location (deviation point) where the problem originated. For God to forgive our sin, we must acknowledge precisely where, when and how the sin occurred. After the acknowledgment and our remorsefulness, God shows His mercy and grace and miraculously forgives us.
made the iron float. A miracle happened, God, through Elisha, made the impossible, possible. When the ax head swam to the top, God showed His power and mercy. The ax head was borrowed, and the worker had no way to replace it. He was poor, desperate, and needed a miracle.
7 Then he said, “Pick it up.” So he reached out and took it.
Pick it up … reached out and took it. A man is required to do what he is capable of doing. The ax head swam to the surface of the Jordan River but, it did not fly onto the ax handle. Assumption. The worker restored the ax head to the ax and returned to continue his work.
The focus of this event is not the ax head but, the location it had been lost. Elisha knew, to recover the ax head, they would need to return to where the worker lost it. After retrieving the ax head, the worker affixed it to the ax handle and again used it for its designed purpose.
After losing their cutting edge, many Christians continue to flay at the “sin trees” in their lives with only the ax handle. Before we can reposition the sharp ax head onto the handle, we must return to the exact spot (deviation point) where we sinned by acknowledging the specific sin, ask God for forgiveness, reach out and accept His pardon, and return to work.