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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Star Barn antique axe collection 11/20/18 (Click to enlarge)
Another tool collection from the Star Barn, antique axes and hatchets.
(Click to enlarge)

"A Lesson From A Borrowed Axe"

This week we are sharing a series of messages seeking to learn lessons from several of the tools mentioned in the Bible.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

Message summary: Are we conscientious of all that God has entrusted to us? Do we devote ourselves to living properly, sharing generously, and dedicated to God's service?

"But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, 'Alas, my master! For it was borrowed'" (2 Kings 6:5).

Do you ever borrow tools from a friend or allow others to borrow your tools? Since some tools are used only occasionally in some cases it's more sensible to either borrow or rent rather than buying them. Several months ago I had some post holes to dig and rented a powered post hole auger. It sure wouldn't have made sense to buy that machine!

When we rent or borrow tools (or anything for that matter) the Golden Rule requires we take care of it and return it in similar condition apart from inevitable wear and tear. If we break something we have a responsibility to repair or replace the borrowed item.

It is a matter of being conscientiousness, a quality that seems to be diminishing in our age. "Conscientiousness is the personality trait of being thorough, careful, or vigilant. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well. Conscientious people are efficient and organized as opposed to easy-going and disorderly. They exhibit a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; they display planned rather than spontaneous behavior; and they are generally organized and dependable." (Wikipedia)

There's a Bible story about this concerning a borrowed axe! The word axe appears 11 times in the Bible. Almost all instances of the axe had to do with either cutting down trees or shaping wood.

Today's Scripture verse provides an example of conscientiousness by an unnamed prophet. Elisha's school of prophets had gone down near the Jordan and were building a place to live. It was a cooperative effort with each cutting down a tree for the project (sort of like a barn-raising).

Axe headOne of them had an accident which most all of us who've worked with tools can easily imagine. As he was cutting down a tree the axe head came off! The unnamed prophet's reaction is informative and instructive. Initially he was surely relieved that it didn't fly off and hit himself or another worker!

But he looked on with angst as the axe head fell into the water and sunk. Very distressed he cried out to Elisha, "Alas, my master! For it was borrowed". Elisha, sensitive to the worker's dilemma, recovered the axe head by throwing in a stick in the spot where the axe head sunk which caused the axe head to float in the water (something iron doesn't do naturally!).

Today I want to consider the unnamed prophet's sense of personal conscientiousness, responsibility and stewardship expressed in the phrase, "Alas, my master! For it was borrowed." He was distressed that he had lost something belonging to another.

The prophet's distress over losing the head of the borrowed axe is commendable but let us consider today, in a greater and more extensive sense, that which God has entrusted into our care! Are we conscientious of all that God has entrusted to us? Do we devote ourselves to living properly, sharing generously, and dedicated to God's service?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, may we be found conscientious, trustworthy, and devoted in our relationship to you and to others. We pray you will help us to live conscientious lives. We want to learn, seek to understand and effectively communicate the teachings of Scripture so that we prove to be faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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