Posted by: arieliondotcom | May 20, 2013

Out of Sight (2 Kings 6:1-7)

Out of Sight
(2 Kings 6-7)

2 Kings 6-7 are a series of examples about Spiritual sight. We can think of the old saying “Out of sight, out of mind.” But in these cases we learn that we are never out of GOD’s sight, nor out of His Mind. But it is very easy for us to forget about and neglect Him.

Story A: 2 Kings 6:1-7

In the first story, Elisha is with the other prophets and their followers. The followers complain that there’s no room for all of them to live together where they are. They recommend moving camp to the Jordan where “many hands (will) make light work”, as the saying goes. They will help each other build homes and they’ll quickly have a comfortable camp. Elisha agrees to let them go and they say they want him to join them. Elisha has never been alone before. He left his family farm to join Elijah, then he’d had an assistant when he continued Elijah’s ministry until Gehazi sinned and became a leper. So now he agrees to go with the prophets and disciples to their new camp.

As they are cutting trees and building shelters one of their ax heads falls into the river. The man cries out to Elisha because he had borrowed the ax. This might seem silly to us but this is a matter of survival for these people. The ax is a means of cutting wood for shelter, for warmth and for food. It is a necessity for life. And the word for “borrowed” has the sense he has begged the giver to loan it to him because he is too poor to have one of his own or certainly to get one, if he can find one, as a replacement. Loss of that ax is endangering his friend’s life and his own.

When the man shows Elisha where the ax head had disappeared in the water, Elisha breaks off a branch, tosses it in the river at that spot, and the iron ax head floats to the surface. As it floats, Elisha tells the man that the man must grab the ax head from the water himself.

The language emphasizes that only the ax head fell in, so there is no handle to float or drag it to the surface. Also, Scripture emphasizes it is a very heavy piece of iron. Again, it could not have floated on its own.

So what’s the point? “Neither a borrower nor a lender be?”

No. The ax head was lost out of sight. It was gone forever until a piece of wood, a branch, goes where it’s needed. And the intervention of that branch raised the ax head. This is an actual, historic event. But it also has symbolic significance.

How can a piece of wood raise a lost piece of iron? The same way wood is used to raise us from the dead.

JESUS says He is the Vine and we are the branches. Just as He uses the cross to raise us from the dead, Elisha uses a branch from the living tree or vine to save the ax head. The branch represents a Believer who sacrifices everything to rescue the lost. But JESUS is also referred to as the Branch as well as the Root of David. The lost can be recovered no other way. The branch goes where the lost is and seeks them out at the point of the need. The old ways (the old handle) won’t work. Only the new can save. And there is action required. The one in need must reach out and act in order to experience the blessing.

We may be busy about life and suddenly a circumstance occurs where we realize we are lost. Like that ax head we are lost in sin, out of sight where only GOD can rescue us. Through His death and sacrifice, JESUS reaches us through Believers He sends to us. They meet us at the point of our need and share the Gospel with us. Like the olive branch in the mouth of the dove that returned to Noah in the ark as the waters of the flood began to recede that message is a sign of new Life. But we must take hold of it when it is offered. And how much more precious do you think that saved life was in the eyes of the one who received it?

We are never out of GOD’s sight or out of His Mind. When He acts to bring us back to Himself, including through Believers, we must take the opportunity, whether to accept Salvation and new life, forgiveness, counsel, or assistance.

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