What a great example Hezekiah was of how to respond when the odds seem stacked against us. Chapter 19, verses 14-19:
14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said. “O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone.
As I’ve mentioned before, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He still rises up on behalf of His people. But too often instead of going first to the Lord in prayer, we exhaust all our own solutions and go to Him as a last resort! Continue reading →
This week’s question: “Where did it fall?” (2 Kings 6.6).
The story as the author sets it up:
This question came from the lips of the prophet Elisha at a critical moment. His school of the prophets had outgrown its facility, so in a great team effort, the students began to construct a new building alongside the Jordan River. As they were cutting down trees for lumber, one of the young men swung his ax with such force that the ax head flew off the handle and sank to the bottom of the river. Everyone then focused on recovering the lost ax head. In the midst of the confusion, Elisha appeared and asked a simple question: “Where did it fall?” The student “showed him the place” (2 Kings 6: 6). Elisha then took a small tree and threw it in at the spot where the ax head had sunk. And Scripture says, Elisha “made the iron float” (v. 6). The ax head floated to the surface, the young man picked it up, and the work continued.
Hawkins goes on to explain the the ax head is the cutting edge of the tool and symbolic of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The young man had lost “the cutting edge” in the midst of his busyness for God.
How many of us lose the cutting edge in our lives because we get too busy doing things for God and not enough time with God. We get somewhat proficient at witnessing or teaching a Bible study or whatever we do to serve God. We no longer have to depend on God like we once did. We quit studying as faithfully and start relying on what we know. We quit praying like we once did. And we lose our cutting edge.
Hawkins points out that we can also lose our cutting edge because we become bitter, or prideful, or get caught up in the things of the world.
The answer to the problem, according to the author, is first to admit we have lost it and not try to chop down trees with the ax handle. Notice the young man said “It belongs to another.” We, too, must realize our cutting edge, our strength, belongs to another. It comes from God.
Elisha asked, “Where did it fall?” That was an important question. The place to start looking for something is where you last had it. So we, too, must go back to where we lost it. Go back to the daily devotional habits we ceased doing. Go back to the basics of our faith and our walk with God.
Then Elisha threw a small tree into the water and “made the iron float.” That small tree represented another tree, the one on which Jesus was crucified.
The author goes on:
After Elisha threw the stick into the water, the young man had something to do. Elisha said, “ ‘Pick it up for yourself.’ So [the young man] reached out his hand and took it” (2 Kings 6: 7). Again, it is not enough to simply acknowledge that we have lost the cutting edge, to admit that the power belongs to another, to go back to the place where we last had that power, and to receive the supernatural power of God if we ourselves don’t— in an act of faith— reach out and take it back. The outcome of the whole story hinged on whether this young man would reach out and take the ax head. The outcome of your story hinges on whether you will reach out and take the Source of your strength and power. The young man did. Will you?
Next week’s question is: “Where did it fall?” (2 Kings 6.6).
You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.
The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?”
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Week three: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Week four: “Who am I?”
Week five: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21.5).
Week six: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6.13).
Week seven: “Is there still anyone … That I may show him kindness?” (2 Samuel 9.1).
Week eight: “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?” (2 Samuel 12.9).
Week nine: “Ask! What shall I give you?” (1 Kings 3.5).
Week ten: “How long will you falter between two opinions?” (1 Kings 18.21).
Week eleven: “What are you doing here?” (1 Kings 19.9).
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I love 17.8, “Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.” God in His patience and long-suffering with the children of Israel and because of their continued rebellion and questioning of His chosen leadership had said He would cause the rod of the man He had chosen to bud. He not only caused it to bud, but to produce blossoms and ripe almonds! He doesn’t just do the minimum; He is able and willing to do so much more.
Ephesians 3.20-21 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”
Few of us have trouble believing that God is powerful and able to do miraculous things, but I wonder how many of us really believe He will do great things in our lives.
Do you believe—really believe—that He wants to do great things in your life? your marriage? your children and grandchildren? your finances? Continue reading →