Dig A Ditch

In the Bible, Chapter 3 of 2 Kings tells the story of the kings of Israel, Judah and Edom who join forces to fight a war against Moab.

Apparently things don’t go as easily as the kings had planned because they soon run out of water for their troops and their cattle.

They ask Elisha for help and Elisha tells them to “make this valley full of ditches.”

The kings believe in God and decide to do what they were told.

The next morning their ditches were filled with more than enough water for all the men and cattle. And shortly thereafter, the “Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites.”

I love this story from the Bible and not just because it contains the word “smote.” I find this story to be a great example of faith and putting in the work in order to see results.

The kings of Israel, Judah and Edom had to be confused when Elisha told them to dig ditches. They asked for water and were told to start digging. Confusing right?

They probably expected Elisha just to say, “oh yeah, God says just hang tight, relax and you will get all the water you want. Also, God noticed that you lost a few cows, how about some extra cattle while he’s fixing the whole water problem?”

But God didn’t say that.

He basically said, “I don’t have any problem helping and sending water, but you have to chip in. You dig the ditch and I’ll send the water.”

God will send the water to us too, but we have to be willing to dig the ditch.

Where have we encountered something similar in our lives? Where do we expect God to send water (or money, or love, or a new job) just because we ask?

I am sure that God has no problem helping, but are we doing anything to help as well?

If you want to see some water in your life, you have to be willing to dig a ditch.

And remember, God didn’t say dig the Grand Canyon. That would have been too overwhelming for the kings. He only said dig a ditch. He kept it small.

I think this is a great example that we can’t be afraid to start small in our lives. Too often we think we have to make a drastic change for things to be different. And because we are afraid of drastic change we freeze up and decide to do nothing.

Just because we have big dreams doesn’t mean that we can’t start small.

The kings had big dreams of defeating Moab. But they realized that by listening to God and starting with one small ditch at a time they would be rewarded with results.

Next time we want to see change in our careers, relationships or finances we have to remember to start digging.


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