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Monday, June 20, 2016

Digging Ditches (2 Kings 3:15b-17)

 "While the harpist was playing, 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 other animals will drink."

The LORD has an affinity for the miraculous. Seven days without water and no cloud in the sky and the LORD asks the people to dig ditches for the water that will come. This is not the first time the LORD requires His people do something seemingly illogical:
  • The LORD tells Noah to build a large ark and gather the animals for the coming worldwide flood.
  • The LORD tells Abraham to take Isaac, through whom are the covenant promises of God, upon the mount and sacrifice him.
  • The LORD has Moses to tell Israel to place blood on the doorposts in order to avoid a visit from the death angel.
  • The LORD has Moses command the children of Israel to take the first step into the Red Sea and it would part for their crossing.
  • The children of Israel are dying from snake bites and the LORD has Moses place a bronze snake on a pole and promises healing to those who will look at the bronze snake in faith.
  • At the LORD's command Joshua instructs Israel to march around Jericho once a day for six days and then seven times on the seventh day. At the end of the seventh round the people were to shout and the walls would fall down.
These are just a few of the LORD's seemingly illogical commands containing a promise. When these commands are obeyed, however, then the promises of God are fulfilled. These commands ALWAYS require faith on man's part and a miracle on God's part.

What are some ditches with promises attached that God has us dig today?
  • He promises those who hide His Word in their hearts that they will not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11)
  • He promises mercy to those who confess their sins (Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:9)
  • He promises that He will put away sin forever to those who trust in the substitutionary  death of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:12, 14)
  • He promises to meet the needs of those who give sacrificially (Matthew 6:33)
  • He promises peace to those who take their cares to Him in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7)
These are just a few of God's promises that require ditch digging (a faith activity on man's part). Nothing pleases the heart of God more than when someone dares to believe Him and steps out in faith. Just as the LORD provided water to refresh the armies of Israel, Judah, and Edom so He takes full responsibility to fulfill His promises to those who act in faith today.
The same water that the LORD sent to refresh Israel confused the Moabites. Why? It never rained. Isn't if often true that what the LORD uses to bless us confounds those who don't know Him.
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
2 Kings 2:1-25; 3:4-27
  • Describe Elijah's relationship with Elisha.
  • How does a mentoring relationship benefit both parties?
1 Kings 22:50; 2 Chronicles 21:1-3; 2 Kings 8:16-25; 1 Chronicles 21:4-20;
  • What is the King of Israel's view of God? View of his circumstances?
  • How does one's view of God effect his view of his circumstances?
  • Who does Jehohshaphat's son, Jehoram, marry and how does this marriage effect his leadership in Judah?
  • Why does the LORD not immediately destroy Jehoram for his wickedness?
  • How is Jehoram's life summarized?
2 Chronicles 22:1-6; 2 Kings 8:26
  • Read 2 Corinthians 6:14. What influence does Jehoram's marriage to Ahab's daughter on his descendants?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the LORD to show you where you've been negligent in digging ditches in your own life--where you are unprepared to receive all that He has for you.