Allas Master; It Was Borrowed

June 25, 2012

 Alas, Master; it was borrowed

      These were the words of one of the sons of the prophets when an axe head he had borrowed fell into the river.  It’s found in II Kings 6:5.  It’s interesting to think about the miracle God performed that day in making the axe head come to the surface of the water.  I want to call your attention the fact that the young man was greatly alarmed because the axe head was borrowed.  No doubt the axe was borrowed, but the head slipped off the handle and the handle was left in his hands.  I wonder if he would have been equally concerned if it had been his own axe head.


We ought to take it seriously when we have something borrowed.  It means that the lender trusted us to take care of it and return it to him.  It doesn’t matter whether it was clothes, a tool, or money; we should return it.  If we don’t, we have violated our sacred trust and left an ugly smudge on our reputation.


We need to be faithful in keeping our word.  When I was a boy one of our neighbors came and asked to borrow one of my father’s agricultural machines.  He said, “If I break it I’ll fix it.”  I have no doubt that he would have.  If we don’t keep our word we make ourselves a liar.  Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says ”When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed.  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”  We have the same obligation when we make a promise to one of our fellow men.


When we, as believers, borrow money and don’t return it, we bring disgrace upon ourselves and upon our Lord.  When you have money borrowed you are a debtor until you pay it back.  If you have promised to pay it back by a certain time, you don’t need to feel guilty until that time has elapsed.  If you can pay it back before that time, don’t hesitate to do it. If you can’t pay it back when you promised, you need to ask forgiveness.  If you can’t pay it all back, pay part of it with the promise of paying more or the rest of it as soon as possible.


God doesn’t look with favor on those who don’t keep their word.  He is called a fool in the verse we quoted from Ecclesiastes.  Psalm 37:21 says “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous showeth mercy and giveth.”  God’s people should be known for their faithfulness in keeping their word.  “Let us not grow weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).

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