In 2 Kings 3 the combined armies of Judah, Israel and Edom set out to attack the country of Moab. To try to take Moab by surprise the armies marched for seven days through the desert.
But there’s a problem with deserts: no water! And when you have three combined armies with all of their soldiers and horses and cattle, no small amount of water is needed. So on the verge of battle, this massive army is unable to fight because they are parched. To find a solution to this problem, the prophet Elisha is consulted, and he gives some very unusual counsel—
Make this valley full of ditches. For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink (verses 16-17).
Dig ditches in the desert? Yeah, right, sounds like a great strategy… NOT! But—
In the morning—it was at the hour of morning sacrifice—the water had arrived, water pouring in from the west, from Edom, a flash flood filling the valley with water (v. 20, The Message).
The story goes on to tell us that when the Moabites looked out into the desert the water looked to them like blood. They assumed that the armies had a disagreement between themselves during the night and their partnership dissolved into civil war. The Moabites rushed out to the battlefield—thinking they would now have an easy victory—only to walk right into the newly-invigorated and still-unified armies!
Many times the way God provides for us is contingent upon the level of our faith-filled obedience. Imagine this scenario: The army captains instruct their men, “Start digging ditches! Dig lots of them because we have lots of men and livestock to water.” The obedient soldiers jump to their work and begin digging. Out in the hot desert sun, digging through sifting sands, imagine how cynical the soldiers could have become.
“This is stupid! We’re in a desert, for crying out loud! There’s no water anywhere and not a cloud in the sky as far as the eye can see. I’m already parched and now I’m breaking my back digging ditches?!? I don’t think so! This is pointless: I quit!”
But catch this—God could only send as much water as they were willing to dig ditches. If they didn’t have the ditches ready when the water started flowing in, none of the men nor livestock could have contained the water to be able to quench their thirst. The floodwaters would have been useless to them!
Many times I think God is calling us to dig ditches so He can provide for us. What do you need to do to be ready for the flood of blessing He wants to send to you? What blessing would be wasted if you didn’t already have ditches ready? What ditches do you need to dig? Maybe you need to…
- Get certified
- Finish your degree
- Make that phone call
- Setup that meeting
- Paint that room
- Train those teachers
Some of those “ditches” may seem pointless now—as pointless as digging water ditches in the desert!—but when God pours out His blessing, won’t you be glad that your ditches are ready? What ditches do you need to start digging today?