The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

June 21, 2013

Verna Davis: No problem too small for God to handle

I love the little story about the little head of an ax. A borrowed ax, at that. It all came about because of a little problem among the prophets of Israel during the time of Elisha.

It seems that the place where the prophets gathered was becoming too little to accommodate the growing number of prophets. So the prophets got together and approached their leader, Elisha. They said to him, "Look, the place where we meet with you is too little. Let's go to the Jordan River so we can each cut a pole so we can build a place for us to live there."

Elisha agreed. So, they grabbed some tree-cutting supplies and took a little walk to the Jordan River.

As one of the prophets was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head flew from his ax and fell into the water. The heavy iron sunk the ax head clear to the bottom of the river. The prophet exclaimed, "Oh no, Elisha! It was borrowed."

Quietly, Elisha asked which part of the river had claimed the ax head, and then commenced to cut a stick. He threw the stick in the river and the heavy iron ax head floated to the top.

Calmly, Elisha told the man to lift it out of the water. The man reached into the water and retrieved the borrowed ax head. Problem solved. (I'm not making this up, folks. You can read the account of this sunken ax head in 2 Kings 6:1-7.)

This may not seem like such a problem to us, but to that group of Israelites, it was a big problem. Obviously this man couldn't afford his own ax head — that's why he had to borrow one. If he couldn't afford his own ax, replacing the borrowed ax was way more than he could afford.

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