Today’s Scripture: 2 Kings 6:1-3
One of the greatest challenges about reading Bible stories today is our tendency to interpret Bible customs through our own culture, rather than the culture in which they were written. In this week’s quest, for example, we may not fully grasp the significance of losing a borrowed tool because we can simply run to a nearby hardware store and buy a replacement. However, in Bible days, people didn’t have such a luxury.
There was a time in Israel when tools and weapons were very scarce. In fact, the Philistines didn’t even allow the Israelites to have blacksmiths for fear the Hebrews would make swords and spears (see 1 Sam. 13:19). As a result, this scarcity of tools greatly increased the value of weapons and implements, making the replacement cost of a borrowed item extremely expensive. No wonder Elisha’s young mentee panicked when he lost the borrowed ax head.
This week, let’s grab some valuable nuggets of wisdom from this young prophet’s situation. Then, on day seven, please indulge me while I share a very personal story about how I lost—and regained—my edge.
I’m sure we would all agree that society is becoming more “me” and less “us” focused. People are absorbed in a world of selfies framed on platforms of social media. Making eye contact while holding normal conversations is sadly becoming foreign to our younger generation. And the importance of hard work is minimized as everyone—deserving or not—receives a trophy so no one feels left out. We need to embrace teamwork because healthy teams support each other, work together, and then share the credit for a job well done.
Elisha’s school of the prophets was a “let’s work together” environment. In verses 1-2, notice how many plural pronouns the young prophet spoke: “The place where WE meet with you is too small for US. Let US go to the Jordan, where each of US can get a pole; and let US build a place there for US to live.” This young man wasn’t a loner. He saw a need and he called in the troops—including their leader.
If the church needs anything today, it’s less of “me” and more of “us”—including an open invitation for our Leader, Jesus Christ, to be a part of everything we do. Besides that, the world needs to witness a united church.
- Are you a loner or a team player? How does your church model unity?
- How quick are you to invite the Lord to have a part in what you do? What are you doing that doesn’t include Him? When will you invite His participation?