2 Kings 6:1-23

The Floating Ax Head

The sons of the prophets came to Elisha requesting permission to build new facilities because they had outgrown their current home. They had a plan for construction, so Elisha agreed to their proposal. One of the prophets invited Elisha to join them, and he agreed. The prophets must have been excited as they began their project. The excitement was interrupted when one of the men lost his axehead when it fell into the murky waters of the Jordan River. He was distraught because to was borrowed and cried out to his master. Elisha asked the man where it fell into the water, and he showed him the place. Elisha cut off a branch, and he threw it into the water. When he did, the ax head floated to the surface. Elisha ordered the student to take it up, and he demonstrated his faith by reaching out and taking it.

Chariots Of Fire

The King of Syria began fighting against Israel, but as he laid out his military strategy and decided on his tactical positions, Elisha revealed them to the King of Israel. The information Elisha provided allowed the King of Israel and the army to avoid being ambushed or caught off guard by the Syrian army. Nothing seemed to work, and the Syrian plans continued to fail. The Syrian King was frustrated, and he sought to find the traitor among his ranks. One of the servants told the King of Syria that Elisha was a prophet and he knew everything the King said. The Syrian King believed the servant and sent spies to find his location. A careful search revealed that Elisha was located in Dothan. The King dispatched a large army complete with chariots and horses who came by night and surrounded the city. Elisha’s new servant arose early in the morning only to discover that the city surrounded. The servant raced to Elisha in a panic and asked what they should do in light of these circumstances. Elisha tried to calm his servant and announced that they had a greater army than the Syrians. Elisha prayed that the servant’s eyes might be opened for him to see what was really around them. The prayer was answered, and when the eyes of the servant were opened, he saw that the mountain was filled with horses and chariots of fire all around them. As the Syrian army approached, Elisha prayed that God would strike them with blindness. This was not just physical blindness; it was complete confusion.  As a result of that prayer, Elisha convinced the army to follow him so that he could lead them to the man they were seeking. Elisha led them straight into Samaria where he prayed to the Lord again that he would open their eyes. When the soldiers' eyes were opened and the confusion left, they realized they had marched right into the middle of the enemy. The King of Israel was ready to attack the enemy immediately, and he asked Elisha for permission to strike them down. Elisha told the King to show hospitality to this enemy and then send then back to their master. The King of Israel followed Elisha's instructions, and a great feast was held with the enemy. They returned to their master, and the hostility ceased. 

Things To Consider:

  • How is growth a challenge for leadership and resources?
  • What does compassion reveal about the heart?
  • How should we serve those in distress?
  • Why should we view military events in light of God's sovereignty?
  • Why do we struggle with what we cannot see?
  • How does God protect his children?
  • How can we show hospitality to our enemies?
  • Why is kindness such a powerful force?