In 2 Kings 3 the kings of Israel, Judah and Edom form an alliance against the king of Moab. Verses nine and ten say, “…there was no water for the army, nor for the animals that followed them. And the king of Israel said, “Alas! For the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.”
To put it plainly, they had gotten into this mess without asking God if they should attempt it in the first place. In other words, they didn’t make any room for the Lord at the outset of their endeavor. This follows a common pattern in our own lives: We make decisions without truly seeking God and then proceed to blame Him when things aren’t working out.
Thankfully we serve a God of grace and mercy. Even when we initially ignore Him, He is still willing to get involved and intervene on our behalf. In this story, the King of Judah eventually inquires of the Lord by seeking out the counsel of the Prophet Elisha: …he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ For thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’ And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand (2 Kings 3:16-18, emphasis added).”
What a fascinating response from God!
Not only did the ditches get filled with water for the army and animals to drink from; but the sight of the water-filled landscape misled the enemy into rash thinking. The mass confusion ultimately resulted in a victory over Moab.
I believe the obedient response of diggin’ ditches made room for God to enter the situation.
Allow me to share 3 Spiritual Lessons From Diggin Ditches:
1. They had to prepare in the natural realm. Even though they needed a divine miracle, they began the hard work of diggin’ ditches. Many times, there’s something we have to do in the natural realm to unlock activity in the invisible realm.
It’s the practical effort in the physical dimension that demonstrates a genuine expectancy in the supernatural.
Maybe it’s a financial seed that needs to be sown before a harvest can be reaped. Maybe there’s a phone call you need to dial before God can arrange a divine appointment. Maybe there’s an act of service to perform before the door of a person’s heart will open.
Is there a practical step God is waiting for you to take that will make your faith in Him evident?
2. They had to break up fallow ground. Diggin’ ditches required that they first plow through the dry and hardened earth.
Hosea 10:12 says, “…break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Breaking up fallow ground speaks to repentance. It’s repentance that softens the soil of our souls to seek the Lord.
True repentance removes obstacles that are blocking our hearts from receiving more from Jesus.
3. They created space for the activity of God to occupy. If God had immediately released the water it would have entered the valley and then quickly departed in vain. Diggin’ ditches set up containers to receive and preserve what God was doing.
How can you create more space in your life for God to deposit into? Less TV? Less social media? How about more prayer? More time in the Word? A deeper commitment in ministry?
I believe God is biting at the chomp to have greater access to our circumstances, but first, we must make more room for Him!
CC Image • Andrew E. Larsen on Flickr