I have told you before about the bible app from Bible.com. Another thing I love about this app is the selection of studies available to you. Studies like Day By Day With Billy Graham that is a 366 day study of scripture with commentary from Bro. Graham. Or the one I am doing right now called Elisha: a Tale of Ridiculous Faith.
Day 4’s installment was out of 2 Kings chapter 3. Three of Israel’s kings got a little impetuous and put themselves in a bind. They deployed their armies in the spur of the moment (verse 7), went the long way around because it was, tactically, the best route (verse 8), but found themselves militarily over-extended (verses 9 and 10). Their logistical train was not capable of keeping them provisioned…they found themselves out of water primarily. They went to the prophet Elisha for guidance (verse 11 and 12).
Now Elisha, at first, seemed to me, was like, “lemme get this straight…you ran yourselves out of water and supplies. There is a large army over yonder that doesn’t like you right now and may very well eat your lunch. And now, you come and camp out near my little community. If those guys over yonder come in and squash you, our community might get caught in the crossfire…thanks alot.” (verse 13)
Jehoshaphat and his pals were kinda like, “yeah, we messed up. Once we knew we messed up, we knew we need to get God’s help, and you was the nearest prophet me knew. Come on, help a brother out…please, please, please, pleeeeeease?” (because they knew that, if they didn’t get God’s help, their goose was cooked)
Then Elisha told them that he was helping them only because Jehoshaphat was one of the ones asking. He knew that God had used Jehoshaphat before with good results (verse 14).
But things started kinda sounding crazy. Elisha said to bring in the band and let’s get some music in here (verse 15). Music must help old Elisha get into the prophesying zone because, when the music started, the Lord came upon him.
It gets better though. Elisha says, “the Lord says y’all gots to dig some ditches.” (verse 16)
I figure Jehoshaphat and his buddies were like, “wait, what?! We all about to die of dehydration and you want us to start diggin’ ditches?!”
Elisha says, “that’s what He told me. But he did tell me that y’all weren’t gonna get rained on and there ain’t gonna be no storms, He’s just gonna bring the water. Me? I’d let ya get rained on but He said he wasn’t and He calls the shots so…” (verse 17)
A few things stood out to me through this little incident. The first one being that we get ourselves in most all the binds we find ourselves in. These three guys flew off the handle and decided they were gonna go on the attack before praying about it. Going to war is kind of a big deal and they jumped into it without prayer evidently.
Secondly, when we get ourselves into a bind, we expect help to get out. In this case, Elisha did help them but let them sweat just a little bit first…lol. If the folks we go to for help wanna give us a hard time about it, we really can’t say much. We just gotta take it because we brought it on ourselves.
Next, I noticed that the solution that was given to them didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Sometimes the answers don’t but we have to believe that God knows what He is doing.
Then, the fact that they were armies from three tribes says that there were quite a few men…and support staff…and horses…meant that they needed alot of water. If there were no ditches or stock tanks there, the water would not collect anywhere. It would just make alot of mud. If God is gonna bring what He says He’s gonna bring, we better have preparations made to receive it. In other words, there is gonna be work involved on our part.
And lastly, does this mean that we can limit what God will bring to us by not digging a big enough ditch? What if we dig a ditch, then God fills the ditch? Would we wish we had dug a bigger ditch?