Is It Time to Start Digging?

By R. E. Clark

Ditch DiggingFill the Valley with Ditches

One of the more obscure miracles that Elisha performed was the miracle of the ditches. Technically, of course, as in all miracles, he did not do anything. It was all by the hand of God.

And he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ For thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’ And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.“~2 Kings 3:16-18

The setting was an alliance of the three kings of Judah, Israel, and Edom. They had made a pact to fight against the king of Moab. The only king of the three who was attentive to the things of God was Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah. This coalition army found themselves in a dry valley with thirst about to destroy both the men and the animals.

Jehoshaphat then inquired, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of the Lord by him?” So one of the servants of the king of Israel answered and said, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.”~2 Kings 3:11

After seeking a word from the Lord, Elisha commanded that ditches be dug in the dry valley in preparation for the miracle that God would give. Early the next morning water poured in from the east and the ditches were all filled to overflowing. What can be learned from this miracle?

First, sometimes God requires us to make preparation for receiving a miracle. Second, making preparation may not be easy. They had to dig ditches in a bone-dry valley. Third, God may ask you to do some thing that you consider beneath your ability. Elite fighting men were asked to become common ditch diggers.

Finally, as in many other miracles, the miracle was limited to the depth of the preparation. The water filled every ditch that had been dug. God is not limited by us, but there are times that He will go no further than we are willing to go.

What small thing is God asking of you in preparation for your miracle? Does it seem too hard? Have you thought it beneath your status to do as He has asked? Have you stopped digging too soon?

Listen! Is that the sound of rushing water? Pick up your shovel and dig your ditch. Joy comes in the morning along with the victory!

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R. E. Clark

R. E. Clark

R. E. Clark currently serves as an associational missionary in Arkansas. He earned his D.Min. from the Southern Baptist Center in Jacksonville, Florida. He served as a pastor in four churches before beginning his service as the associational missionary to the 73 churches, missions, and ministry points of the Northwest Baptist Association in Bentonville. He is the author of the devotional book, Glasses In the Grass.

His devotions come from life experiences which include 30 plus years in ministry. Before his call to ministry he was a business owner. His devotional life deepened in 2008 after the death of his wife Kay from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He has been blessed in his second marriage to Trudy. Trudy’s first husband, a police officer, was killed in the line of duty. Together they have 8 children, 16 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They reside in Centerton, Arkansas.