Digging Ditches

In 2 Kings 3, we read of three kings (Israel, Judah and Edom) setting off with their armies to fight against Moab. However, after marching round in circles in the desert for seven days, they had run out of water. Their mistake was that they had not asked the Lord for direction, and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, who was a godly king, had made an alliance with two kings who were not walking in God’s ways. They therefore ended up in a desert, not knowing the way to go, having run out of supplies and in danger from their enemy.

The same thing can happen to us if we set off on our own course without first having heard from the Lord, and if we enter into relationships with those who will draw us away from God. We can find ourselves in a wilderness, going round in circles, lacking provision, either physical or spiritual, with enemies threatening to overtake us.

However, when these kings came to their senses and sent for Elisha to enquire of the Lord for them, God was merciful. He gave them a strategy which was to be the answer to both of their pressing needs, providing water and defeating the enemy. They were instructed to dig ditches. These ditches were to contain the water that God would miraculously send. When the water came and filled the ditches, it reflected red in the early morning light, deceiving the Moabites into thinking it was blood and that the Israelites had killed each other. The Israelites were therefore able to ambush them and defeat them.

The lesson we can learn from this is that we need to seek the Lord for His strategy in all situations. He is the One who provides living water for us by His Spirit, and it is only in His power that we have victory over our enemies. However, He sometimes requires some action from us as well. We may need to ‘dig ditches’ to provide space for Him in our busy lives. This may mean putting aside our phone, television or computer; it may mean learning to stop and be still before Him; or it may mean getting rid of some of the unnecessary rubbish that could be clogging up the ditches. The outworking of this will probably be different for each of us, but if we are longing to receive a greater flow of the Holy Spirit, let’s dig some ditches!

Prayer: Lord, I am sorry that I have not been making enough time and space for You in my life. I want to ‘dig ditches’ to allow Your Spirit to fill me more. Please show me how to do this. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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"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; he will also hand Moab over to you."
2 Kings 3:15-18, NIV


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Today's Writer

Jilly Lyon Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.

Jilly Lyon Taylor

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