But as one of them was chopping, his ax head fell into the river. “Ah, my lord!” he cried. “It was a borrowed ax!”
—2 Kings 6:5
The story of the lost ax head is so descriptive of the human condition. First, the ax head was not with its rightful master. In the same way, we once belonged to God, but Satan stole us in the Garden of Eden and made us his slaves.
Second, the ax head was in the wrong place. It should have been out doing its work, but instead it was on the bottom of the Jordan in an alien environment. When we were in sin, we were completely submerged in the wrong environment—dead to God and alienated from His life.
Finally, the ax head could not save itself. The ax head had no power to change its situation; thus, it was destined to remain stuck in the mud. Only when “Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water” (2 Kings 6:6) did the ax head supernaturally begin to rise from the bottom in a physical “resurrection.” What a picture of Jesus’ death and resurrection!
No amount of personal desire or willpower can lift us from the muddy quagmire of sin if we are stuck fast in it. Only Jesus can deliver us. We then belong to God, never to return to the bottom again!