7581 - Digging Ditches for the Lord

Listen

Today we will look at the importance of digging ditches.

I would like to share with you some insight into a passage of scripture from 2 Kings chapter 3. It is not a very well known passage, but I would like to share how this passage has been an encouragement to me in my recent work here at SONlight.

At the time of these events in 2 Kings 3, about 845 BC, the nation of Israel was split into a northern kingdom of Israel, and a southern kingdom of Judah. The northern kingdom was notorious for their ungodly and wicked kings, while the southern kingdom of Judah had at least many good kings amongst the bad.

Now, in the northern kingdom of Judah, Jehoram, the son of the wicked king and queen Ahab and Jezebel, had become king, and at that time the king of Moab decided that since Ahab had died, he didn’t really feel like continuing his tribute payments. So he stopped.

Jehoram was not really pleased with this rebellion from this subject nation so he went to the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, and requested him to go with him to fight against Moab.

Going to War Against Moab
So we have the king of Israel in the north and the king of Judah in the south, joining forces to go to war against Moab. Now, Jehoshaphat was already experienced in war, so Jehoram took his advice and they opted to attack Moab in a surprising way by coming through the desert of Edom. They must have figured that Moab would not see this surprise attack coming from the desert

So these two kings, and their armies, march through Edom towards Moab and verse 9 of 2 Kings 3 tells us that “They wandered around on the road for seven days and finally ran out of water for the men and animals they had with them.”

Now, in their life-threatening thirst and despair, Jehoshaphat, this godly king of Judah, decides that they should consult a prophet of God about their plight. They make inquiries and learn that Elisha the prophet is nearby, so these kings go down to meet him.

Prepare for a Flood in the Desert
Elisha is not impressed that the wicked king Jehoram is coming to him for advice, He recognizes that Jehoram is only turning to God’s prophet now, because Jehoram has no other choice.

But Elisha has great respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, and so he gives them the council of the Lord. He directs the kings and their armies to dig ditches in the desert valley. They are to fill the valley with ditches, or trenches, for the Lord is going to provide water, but Elijah informs them it will not be through wind or rain.

So these armies do this. In their thirst and utter exhaustion they set about digging ditches, but there is no immediate result. They are in the desert in the tormenting heat and full of thirst, and they are just digging.

However, after their long day of digging, they retire to bed and the next morning they wake up and find that water is flowing down from Edom, and has filled the land.

Now this could very likely have been what many people would call a flash flood. Water rained down somewhere else and flowed through the valley, but regardless of where the water came from, the fact remains that if ditches had not been dug, the water would not have stayed behind.

We can easily see that the amount of water that was left behind would have been in direct proportion to the size of the ditch, and in turn to the amount of tiring, hot, and sweaty work spent in digging. If someone labored hard to dig a deep pool, a lot of water would remain, but if someone quit early to go to bed, his shallow puddle would be all that was there.

Hard Work for the Lord
So for me at SONlight, I have seen that one particular facet of my calling here is a hard tedious task, this particular area is not my strong suit, and it stretches me in new ways.

But he as asked me to perform a difficult task, and it is up to me to put in a lot of hard laborious work to prepare for the coming blessings of the Lord. And while I don’t know where the blessing will come from, I do know that my obedience is necessary. So I have to keep working at digging ditches.

And in your life there will probably come a time when the Lord is calling you to sweat and labor without immediate provision, you may not experience the cooling rain of provision and blessing as you are working, but if you are obedient and do what he calls you to, we know that he will not leave us or forsake us, and it might be that you will wake up one morning with your ditches full of water.