Reading through the Bible together

Friday, March 1, 2013

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In the process of chopping trees to build a new school by the Jordan River one of the young workers lost his ax head when it flew off the handle into the water. The young man cried out to Elisha and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed!” (v. 5). What am I going to do? I don’t have money to buy another one. So the prophet cut off a stick, and threw it into the water where the ax head had sunk, and suddenly the iron floated to the top and was retrieved.  Like Peter, if we keep our eyes on Jesus we can walk on water. 

It’s interesting that Elisha threw in a stick. That’s what Moses threw into the water to make the waters of Marah sweet. In both cases, a piece of wood symbolized the power of the cross. What else provides power to do the impossible—for iron to float and bitter waters to become sweet? It’s the power of the cross!

The second great story in this chapter shows the invincibility of Elisha, a servant of God, against a Syrian Army.  The King of Syria sends a large part of his army to the little town of Dothan with specific orders to capture the prophet of God. Instead, Elisha is protected by God’s heavenly army described as chariots and horses of fire and captures the Syrian army by asking God to strike their men with blindness, then leads the subdued soldiers to Samaria to the King of Israel. When they finally recover their sight the Syrians realize they are in the capital city of their enemies, totally surrounded. Believing that God’s people should overcome evil with good, Elisha tells the young king to feed his enemies and then send them home.  It was some years before the Syrians thought about attacking Israel again, but eventually they did and besieged Samaria during a famine.

Dear Lord, give us the faith to remember that You will send all of the armies of heaven to our aid rather than allow one trusting soul to be overcome by the enemy. Also may we remember “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;… and the Lord will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21–22).


Doug Batchelor

Senior Pastor

Sacramento Central Church