THE MYSTERIOUS FLOATING AXE HEAD
These are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things,
Even the deep things of God.
(Corinthians 2:10 NIV)
God wants us to know the vast truths in His Word. And it is the Holy Spirit who reveals those marvelous mysteries that lie beneath the surface of His Word (I Corinthians 2:10). God's truths repeat throughout Scripture, making it necessary to refer to other scriptures for those deep revelations.
The account of the floating axe head in 2 Kings 6:1-7 had always puzzled me, because we all know that iron cannot float, yet it did float. As He led me on a step-by-step jorney, revelation began to emerge. For better understanding, I segmented scriptures 1-7 to create a picture of what prophetically took place that day at the Jordan River.
1. "Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, 'See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log and let us make a place for us to dwell there'" (vs. 1-2).
Elisha was the spiritual leader over young men who were faithfully devoted to God and His Word. They saw the necessity of each man participating in the building of a structure that would accommodate their growing numbers. This was a foretelling of the need for each person in the body of Christ to be a part of building God's Church and assembling together. "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
2. And [Elisha] answered, "GO." Then one of them said, "Be pleased to go with your servants." And he answered, "I will go." So [Elisha] went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees (vs. 3-4).
Elisha has been called the precursor to Jesus, because both their lives and names mirrored each other, including the signs, wonders, and miracles they performed. Elisha means "God is salvation." Jesus means "Yahweh will save."
Trees represent people (Psalm 92:12) The trees had been cut down in order to build something lasting. We are often brought low that He may build us up to become a lasting testament to His goodness and truth (Psalm 116:6).
3. "They came to the Jordan..." (vs. 4)
This was a foretelling of people coming to the River Jordan to repent and be baptized by John the Baptist. This would also be the same river in which John would baptize Jesus Christ.
4. "But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water" (vs. 5).
AXE represents Jesus, who is the incarnate Word (John 1:1). "And now also the axe (Word) is laid unto the root of the trees (man); therefore, if every tree (man) does not produce good fruit, it is cut down and cast into the fire" (Matthew 3:10; Isaiah 44:3-4). Are we carelessly mishandling the Word?
HEAD represents authority, God, and Christ. He put all things in subjection under His feet and gave (Jesus) as head over all things to the Church (Ephesians 1:22). For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet (the hope) of salvation upon His head...(Isaiah 59:17). Thus the axe head falling into the water represent Jesus, the incarnate Word, who carries all authority and hope for manking, being baptized in the River Jordan and receiving the Holy Spirit to begin His ministry.
5. ...and he cried out. "Alas, my master! It was borrowed" (vs. 5).
We cannot borrow God's authority from anyone. All authority is given through Christ. Repentance and baptism give us full access to the things of God.
6. Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick (branch) and threw it into the water... (vs. 6).
BRANCH represents people: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me, you can do nothing (John 15:5). According to Acts 2:38, those who repent and are baptized become the Lord's branches. As His branches, we become engrafted into His vine as living testimonies to God's goodness and truth.
WATER represents the Spirit of God. "With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3 ESV). Jesus spoke of the "streams of living water" that flow from within those who believe in Him and receive the Holy Spirit (John 4:13-26).
7. "...and made the iron float" (vs 6).
IRON represents human strength and confience in one's own power (Daniel 2:37-40). "Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12 ESV). We can do nothing in and of our own strength. It was the Spirit of God who raised the iron axe head. It was the same power that raised Jesus frm the dead. And it is that same power through baptism that the "natural man with his sinful nature" is buried and then arises out of the water resurrected, "born again," and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Jude 19).
8. "And he said, 'Take it up.' So, he reached out his hand and took it" (vs. 7).
Have we taken up our cross by dying to self and surrendering all to Christ? Do we fully embrace, believe, and follow God's Word?
AXE HANDLE - we are the vehicle by which the axe (God's Word) is used to push back the darkness, revealing Satan's lies and distortions. What good is the axe head without the handle to wield it. How can God's Word be known unless we share the Gospel? (Psalm 96:2-4; 2 Timothy 1:7-8).
In summary, this event at the River Jordan, was a foretelling of the call for repentance and baptism. It was also a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would, after His baptism, begin His ministry and teach His disciples how to build His Church and spread the Gospel's Good News to the masses, making many more disciples of men, women, and children.
A SIDE NOTE: Jesus set a clear example to be followed. At age 30, He went to the River Jordan to be baptized by John, who tried to stop Him. But Jesus said, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us [all people] to fulfill all righteousness."
I strongly encourage those who have made a decision for Christ, but have not been baptized, to prayerfully consider obeying God's command. Peter said, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38 NIV). (Infants are not able to acknowledge Christ or repent.)
PRAYER: FATHER, I don't really understand everything about baptism, but I do want to obey You in all things. Lead me to those who can further my understanding of baptism that I may follow in obedience what You require of me as a Christian and as Your child. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.