The opening twenty-three verses of 2 Kings 6 show us two miraculous moments. An axe head floats in verse 6, and a heavenly army appears in verse 17. The first miracle is seemingly small, while the second miracle is quite grandiose. We should reflect on the contrast between these two miraculous moments. In addition, we should consider the relationship between these two events.
The axe head and the army come in contrast with each other. While the potential loss of an axe head was costly in verse 5, the upcoming loss of a city in verse 15 would be far worse. While we might be tempted to skip over verses 1–7 and move right to the epic account of verses 8–23, the contrast between these back-to-back miracles is important and teaches us one important truth about our God: He is in control of all things small and great. As Paul put it in Romans 11:36, “For from him and through him and to him are all things.” The Lord who makes an axe head float is the same Lord who defeats a whole army.
The Lord Jesus Christ makes a similar point when teaching the disciples in Matthew 10. After preparing the disciples for immense persecutions in verses 16–25, Jesus then reminds the disciples how even the little things are in the Father’s hands. In verses 29–30, He says: “Not one [sparrow] will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” From axe heads to armies and hairs to harassment, nothing is outside our sovereign God’s control. The apparent contrast between these two miracles in 2 Kings 6 shows the Lord’s sovereign power over all things.
Furthermore, these two miracles also point us to the story of redemption. The first miracle points to a payment of debt, and the second miracle leads to an important victory for God’s people. Both themes—debt payment and victory—have redemptive meaning. When the axe head is miraculously returned, the potential debt from verse 5 is paid. Now, when debt payment takes place in Scripture, we are pointed to the cross. Our Savior paid our debt in full on Calvary. As Paul proclaimed in Colossians 2:14: “[He] cancel[ed] the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”
Then, after the angelic army is revealed in 2 Kings 6:17, the enemy is struck with blindness in verse 18 and easily captured. God wins the victory. Whenever we see heavenly victory in Scripture, we are brought to the cross and the empty grave as well. Christ declared victory on the cross when He proclaimed, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Then His empty tomb confirmed His victory even more. A representative from the armies of heaven came to roll back the stone (Matt. 28:2) and announce that “he has risen from the dead” (v. 7). So while the two miraculous moments in 2 Kings 6 may seem different, they both point to the work of Christ our Savior, who would come to pay our debt and win for us the victory over sin and death.