Friday, March 28, 2008

Digging in the Desert

Imagine, if you will, an army of soldiers in the desert. Behind them are miles upon miles of sand dunes and rocky terrain. They have been marching for seven days. They are on their way to the border of the neighbouring country to put down a rebellion. The last sip of water has been drunk.

There are no wells, no streams, no springs, no reservoirs, not even a stagnant pool – nothing but sand in all directions, and vultures circling high above their heads.

If your name was Joram and you were the King of Israel, right about now you would be cursing a few people. God would be at the top of the list. Things are not going to plan and some one is to blame.

If your name was Jehoshaphat and you were the King of Judah, you would probably have a more positive outlook and suggest finding a prophet to ask God what they should do next!

Enter Elisha stage left!

“…the hand of the LORD came upon Elisha and he said, "This is what the LORD says: 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. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the LORD.”

There was nothing that the eye could see, or would see, that water would be provided and yet God promised through Elisha that “this valley will be filled with water.” There was nothing that the eye could see or would see that water would be provided yet they dug a series of trenches to collect the water.

If you were there, with your spade, digging a trench, with nothing you could see to give you any encouragement that there would be water – how would you dig?

Would you scan the horizon looking for a cloud – even though you had been told there wouldn’t be one? With every thrust of the spade into the sand, would you be muttering under your breath? The trenches you are digging look pretty much like graves, don’t they?

Or would you be so convinced that God does exactly what He says that you fill your mind and heart and spirit with the picture of this trench you are digging overflowing with water? You can almost see the sun glinting off it! You can almost taste the water, sweet and cool on your tongue.

“The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water”

I know what kind of trench digger I would like to be!

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