by J. Gerald Harris

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Revival By a River (4 of 5)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
II Kings 6:1-7

Elisha was a seminary professor. He taught in the school of the prophets. He was an outstanding man of God, and under his teaching ministry the school grew and they needed to expand the facilities. Everyone, the students included, pitched in to help in the construction process.

One young man, not having an axe of his own, borrowed one. While in the process of chopping down a tree to get lumber for the building, the axe head flew off into the water. He stopped chopping, went to Elisha, the man of God, and cried, "As I was chopping wood, the axe head fell off into the river, and it was borrowed."

Elisha asked, "Where did it fall?"

The student showed him the place in the water where the axe head fell. Elisha cast a stick into the water, and the Bible says, "The iron did swim." The young preacher reached out his hand, and he took it. Have you ever seen a floating axe head? Well, this was a literal event. It actually happened.

The biblical typology in this text is too transparent to ignore. Who can look at the church, the fellowship of believers in the book of Acts, and not be forced to admit that the church today has lost something. It is all too evident to argue. To a large extent, we're going around beating on trees with bare axe handles, and I think we're becoming increasingly suspicious that this is not getting the job done.

We call for strategy conferences on how to make our axe handles more effective, or how to improve our swing. We take a census of the trees, motivate the wood choppers, declare that this is the day for cutting timber, and with polished axe handles and persuasive personnel, we march toward the forest.

And although the noise of the workmen is great, the sound of falling trees is missing. There is movement without might; energy expended without effectiveness; much doing, but little dynamic. There is little to show after all is done but bruised hands, tired bodi ...

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