Saturday, December 24, 2016

Digging Ditches

Digging Ditches

Cast:  Two men.
Set:  Any.  Story advances in dialogue only.

Hey you remember how you made me memorize Proverbs 3:5-6.
I didn’t actually make you memorize it.
You know what I mean.  You pestered me until I did it.
Pestered, huh?
In a good way.
OK.  What about it?
It only works up to a point.
Yes, really.  At some point, you gotta do what you gotta do to survive.  You gotta do what you know.
I see.  There’s a lotta gottas there.
You know this love your neighbor stuff only goes so far.  Sometimes you just have to punch the bully in the nose.
Sometimes, the budget is too tight to tithe.
Sometimes you can tell that what the Spirit is leading you to do just isn’t going to work out.
I see and I understand but I surely do not agree.
Maybe things always go great for you.
They don’t but that’s when we have to trust God even more.  Up for a story?
It’s coming anyway, isn’t it?
Back in the day…
Oh, this is an Old Testament story.
Yes, three kings one each from Israel, Edom, and Judah set out to make war against Moab.  Because of previous victories by Israel over Moab, Moab had to pay tribute to Israel of in form of one hundred thousand lambs.
That’s a lotta lamb.
And the wool from a hundred thousand rams.
That’s a lotta wool.
But when there was a change of kings in Israel, the king of Moab decided not to pay.  The king of Israel got his fellow kings from Judah and Edom to round up their armies and march on Moab.
That sounds like it took a lotta moxie.  Look out Moab.
That’s what the three kings thought, but they had not planned their logistics very well.  They marched their armies seven days across the desert until there was no water left for man nor beast.  Of course when you got in a pickle like that back in the day, you asked God why he let you get yourself in such a bind.
And did God answer them?
Actually, among them was a prophet named Elisha.  Elisha listened for God to tell him what they were to do.  God told Elisha to tell these three kings to dig ditches everywhere that they could in the valley where they were camped.
They must have thought he was crazy.  These men march across the desert, are dying of thirst, and now they are told to dig ditches.  If that wouldn’t do them in, I don’t know what would.
God told Elisha that they would not see a drop of rain fall but that he would fill the ditches.
I bet that went over well.  Did they burn Elisha at the stake?
No, everyone did what the prophet told them to do.
But it didn’t make sense.
Oh but it did.  The rain fell far, far away and something of a flash flood swept through the land, but instead of being there one minute and gone the next, it filled all of the ditches with water.
Wow.  Didn’t see that coming.
Neither did anyone else, but they trusted what God had said thorough the prophet.  There was plenty of water for people, animals, cooking, and cleaning but it had a little bit of a muddy look to it, so when the Moabites looked down from the mountain upon the encampment of the three armies, it looked like blood was everywhere.
Wow.  That must have been a sight.
The Moabite commander thought that the three armies had turned on each other and killed each other so the soldiers broke ranks and ran down the hill to plunder the possessions of these defunct armies.
But they were not dead, were they?
Nope, and they were ready to fight.  Disorganized Moab fell quickly and was routed.
Wow.  God delivered on water and victory.
Now if these three kings had relied on their own understanding…
No way would they order their men to dig ditches.
And no way, would they have captured enough water to survive, much less gained victory.
So, maybe, it seems that I am throwing in the towel too soon on this trusting God and not my own understanding approach to my life?
That’s my thought.
Backed by a good biblical example.  You and Elisha have convinced me to stay the course with this trust in the Lord with all your heart business a while longer.
Even when it conflicts with your own understanding?
Especially when it conflicts with my own understanding!
Beats digging ditches.

Fade out/lights down.

The end.

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