12 Floating axe head

UNIT #: 
III
Lesson Theme: 
God cares about the faithful.
Aim: 

God is  graceful enough to meet even our little needs.

Bible Passage: 

2 Kings 6:1-7

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Miracle of the Ax Head

Now the company of prophets said to Elisha, “As you see, the place where we live under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, and let us collect logs there, one for each of us, and build a place there for us to live.” He answered, “Do so.” Then one of them said, “Please come with your servants.” And he answered, “I will.” So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his ax head fell into the water; he cried out, “Alas, master! It was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick, and threw it in there, and made the iron float. He said, “Pick it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Books of the Kings (1 and 2) record the history of Israel and the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel(Northern Kingdom) under the reign of David in his latter years to the end of the kingdom of Judah and the fall of Jerusalem.  After David, the people of Israel slowly began to worship other god's with Solomon sowing the seeds in this process.  God of Israel warned the Kings and the people their mistake, but they did not listen and slowly went deeper and deeper into idol worship and away from the God who brought them to the promised land and gave it to them. God warned them through the Prophets He chose.  Elijah was the greatest of those Prophets.

Elisha was the successor to the great prophet Elijah.  Elisha did more miracles than any other prophet in the Bible.  All these miracles were signs God acting through Elisha to the people of Israel that He is the real God who called them and mad them His people.  These miracles were also God's way of showing His power, His compassion and love to reach out and touch the people involved and through them the people of Israel.  In the miracles Elisha performed we see God's caring and loving nature and also His power over the elements of His creation.

Late in the ministry of Elijah, Elijah gave a big blow to the Baal worshippers of Judah at Mount Carmel when he challenged the prophets of Baal and killed all 450 prophets of Baal and then ended the three and half years of famine with abundance of rain.  Still the King or the people did not fully turn back to the God of Israel.  At this point of time God asks Elijah to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat as his successor.  Before Elijah was taken to heaven Elisha asked for double portion of the spirit of Elijah and God granted it to him.  Elisha started his ministry with this empowerment from God and the miracles he did in his ministry were signs to the people of Israel about the power of God, his compassion and love for them.

Main Ideas: 

Elisha was the successor to the great prophet Elijah. Late in the ministry of Elijah, Elijah gave a big blow to the Baal worshippers of Judah at Mount Carmel when he challenged the prophets of Baal and showed to the people of Israel that the God of Israel was the real God and not Baal or any of the idols they worshipped. Elijah then killed all 450 prophets of Baal and then prayed for rain and ended the three and half years of famine with abundance of rain.  Still the King or the people did not fully turn back to the God of Israel.  At this point of time God asked Elijah to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat as his successor.  Before Elijah was taken to heaven Elisha asked for double portion of the spirit of Elijah and God granted it to him.  Elisha started his ministry with this empowerment from God.

God acted through Elisha and he performed so many miracles, people came to realize that he was a man of God and the number of his disciples increased and their meeting place became too small for them.  The disciples suggested to Elisha that they go to the Jordan and cut trees and build a bigger meeting place for them there.  Elisha agreed to this and the disciples invited him to accompany them.  They went to the Jordan and began to cut down the trees.  As one of them was cutting down a tree his ax head fell into the water.  He went to Elisha and cried out that his ax head fell into the water and that it was borrowed. To the disciple who borrowed the ax head, it was a great loss and he could not even think of going to the owner of the ax head and tell that he lost the ax head. 

In those days iron implements were very scarce and those who had them, put a great value on them and took utmost care in keeping and using it.  Now a days, iron implements or any kind of tools are readily available and are cheap to purchase or even rent.  

  This is the reason why he went to Elisha and cried out that he lost the ax head and that it was borrowed.  The disciple was that upset.  Elisha immediately knew the disciples predicament from his voice and asked where did it fall? and was shown where the ax head fell.  Elisha cut a stick and threw where the ax head fell and made the iron ax head float and asked the disciple to pick up the ax head and the disciple obeyed and picked up the floating ax head.

This simple miracle, in which God acted through the prophet Elisha , tells us that God, our Heavenly Father,  cares about us and all our problems whether small or big, which affects us are a concern for Him too and He will act on it. This is the reason why Peter in his Epistle to the Hebrew Christians wrote "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).

 

 

Activities: 

Open up your Bible and go to 2 Kings, read the miracles Elisha did from Chapter 2 through Chapter 13 and find out the miracle you like the most.  Tell it in the class and why you liked it.  Read the surprising story about what happened after Elisha's death in Chapter 13: 20-21.

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

1. Who was Elijah?

a. Elisha's father b. Greatest of the Old Testament prophets c. Trouble maker d. Who foretold Jesus's second coming. (Answer - Greatest of the Old Testament prophets)

2. Elisha was the son of .......

a. Ahab b. Elijah c. Elkanah d. Shaphat  (Answer - Shaphat)

3. What did Elisha ask for from Elijah before God took Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind?

a. Double portion of Elijah's spirit b. A magic wand c. Power to do miracles d. Power to interpret dreams. (Answer - Double portion of Elijah's spirit)

4. Why did Elisha and the disciples go to the Jordan?

a. To swim b. To cut wood and build a bigger meeting place c. To hunt and catch fish d. To trek on foot for exercise. (Answer - To cut wood and build a bigger meeting place)

5. Why was the disciple so upset when he lost the ax head into the river Jordan?

a. It was made of gold b. He feared his father's scolding c. Iron tools were scarce and he borrowed it d. Elisha will scold him. (Answer - Iron tools were scarce and he borrowed it)

6. What does this lesson teach us?

a. God cares even for our little problems b. Elisha's magic stick c. Be careful when you cut wood d. Don't use ax to cut wood. (Answer - God cares even for our little problems)

 

Values for Life: 

When you are happy praise the Lord.

When you are sad think about the smiling face of Jesus who loves you.

When you have problems, bring it to God through Jesus Christ in prayer.

Life Response/My Decision: 

Prayer to God is my answer to my needs and problems, Why? Because God cares about me. 

Memory Verse: 

1 Peter 5: 7

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

 

 

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord thank you for bringing us all together to learn about you and the prophets who served you.  Help us to understand your love for us and how you care about our needs.  Help us to apply this in our daily life and depend only on you when we are faced with a need or a problem and raise that to you in our prayers.  Start in us a desire to be in touch with you every day through our prayers and live a life pleasing to you.

In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.

status: 
scope and sequence