While We Wait, Jesus Leads Us By Still Waters
Here’s the amazing story of how Hezekiah dug deep while he waited and watched his enemy come closer and closer. We can learn from this great king.
This fascinating accomplishment, recorded in Chronicles, describes Hezekiah’s ingenious plan. He realized that to endure a potential siege by the enemy, water would be needed for survival. He also knew that the enemy, while camped outside the city could not survive without a source of water. The challenge was ironical, though. There was, in fact, a source of water outside Jerusalem’s walls – plenty of water to sustain the enemy. There was not, however, a natural water supply within the city walls.
Hezekiah had a choice. Either he could fret and worry over the approaching army and accomplish little, or he could call together the greatest minds in his kingdom and lead them to develop a potential mode of survival.
Realizing that wait training is a joint effort he turned to the Lord. It was then he heard the voice of Almighty God. “Dig deep.”
“Dig deep.” The king continued to rely on God’s Word knowing that its power provides resources and sustenance beyond every need. Hezekiah began to fantasize. What to many might have been fearful and fretful “what-if’s,” became focused and fantastic “why –not’s” for the king! Why not bring water into the city through an amazing and incredible act? While the sovereign ruler paced the city walls, looking out toward the possible invasion, one would have thought he was soberly stewing about the future. To some it might have seemed an act of concern and trouble. In reality, his deep thoughts had developed into a careful tactic to save his citizens! He determined to control the adrenaline, brought on by sincere concern for his nation, into a channel forcing a rush of energy rather than a flow of dread. As he walked back and forth, praying and pondering, a far-fetched idea developed. Could it be that the answer to his dilemma lay deep underneath the city of Jerusalem?
Early the next morning King Hezekiah summoned his architects and engineers, his spotters, and led them on a hike outside the city walls to a place where the Assyrian army would soon be setting up camp. Leaving the city they followed their king, single file, toward the Gihon Spring. There, Hezekiah pointed to the source of water and challenged his brightest minds to divert the flow of water. “The Assyrians will not survive without water. Neither will we. I don’t want the enemy to enjoy this spring. Is it possible to direct this water under ground and into the city?” With plans drawn, measurements taken, the workers began their digging in two locations, hoping to meet somewhere in the middle, probably “along the course of a natural fissure in the rock.”
Once accomplished an underground conduit for water was created! Engineers achieved this amazing feat with only a slight error. They didn’t quite meet, but by chiseling away at the rock for a few more feet, they joined the two passages by diverting each tunnel a short distance. The 533 meters (581 yards) water channel proved successful. Water flowed into the city during the enemy’s siege!
Hundreds of years later, Jesus invited His followers to come to Him. “…whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) Fortunately for us, we don’t have to grab spades, shovels, wheelbarrows, buckets and surveyors’ instruments to find water or spiritual sustenance during times of siege. Our nourishment is close by, hidden, yes – deep in God’s Word. It is readily available to refresh the soul, seeking refuge from the enemy called fear, destruction, doubt, lies, despair, rejection, depression, illness, and hopelessness. Like Hezekiah, we need to take a hike. Find the spring. Commit to dig. Soon the refreshment will come. You will thirst no more.
We will continue digging Friday. Until then remember, God is always near!