The Iron Axe-Head that Swam
2 Kings 6:5-7
But as one was felling a beam, the ax head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.…

"Our trials are often the shadows of coming mercies. God will appear at the ebb of the tide. He will turn the year at the shortest winter's day. When He has shown us our entire dependence upon Himself, He will stretch out His glorious arm, and work deliverance." The life of the true child of God is as constantly watched over, guided, protected, and blessed, as though the bright spirits who attend about His throne came visibly to minister to the heirs of salvation. The idea that the Almighty One, who made and governs all things, could not so change the usual course of nature as to cause the iron to swim, is simply absurd. In the working of a great printing-press, if any thing goes wrong with the paper, the feeder has only to touch a lever with his foot, and, while the ordinary movements of the press are undisturbed, the impression is not made upon the sheet. The skill and genius of man have brought the laws of nature under his control so far that distant countries are reached by the steamship and the telegraph. And even so, the God of nature bends these mighty forces to suit His own good pleasure, God gave power to Elisha to befriend the disconsolate young man, when he lamented the loss of the axe-head. And in every generation since, He has enabled other faithful ones to do Elisha's work, and make the iron to swim. The trifling and licentious Charles the Second locked up John Bunyan in Bedford jail, and kept him there with his Bible for twelve long years. There the despised tinker wrote the Pilgrim's Progress, and that iron is likely to swim for many ages yet to come. The lukewarm age in which we live is satisfied with ordinary prayers, ordinary faith, ordinary works — and, hence, it has to put up with ordinary blessings. The power of God to do wonderful things is none the less than in ancient days; and His hand only seems shortened, because the faith has died out in selfish, worldly hearts, that "All things are possible to him that believeth " (Mark 9:23).

(J. N. Norton.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.

WEB: But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water. Then he cried, and said, "Alas, my master! For it was borrowed."

The Borrowed Axe
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