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In the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twelve years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, though not like his father and mother, for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless, he clung to the sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from it.

Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he had to deliver to the king of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So King Jehoram marched out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. And he went and sent word to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to battle against Moab?” And he said, “I will go. I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” Then he said, “By which way shall we march?” Jehoram answered, “By the way of the wilderness of Edom.”

So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. And when they had made a circuitous march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. 10 Then the king of Israel said, “Alas! The Lord has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.”

King Jehoram is out to get the King of Moab.  Jehoram strategizes a victory. He marches along and recruits all Israel, and then Edom.  After they march roundabout seven days in the desert, there was no water for the three armies to continue their mission – not for the men or the animals. Jehoram does what we do a lot. We depend on ourselves, we want to be self-sufficient.  We make our own plans, using our own self effort, and we recruit own help.  We end up in a self-inflicted wilderness circumstance thirsty for life giving water to rescue us.

Full of woe, the King of Israel cries, “we’re all going to die.” The three armies are so thirsty and tired, victory seemed impossible.  So, the armies sat, probably wondering what’s going to happen to them and if they should get a new leader, if they should live so long out in the wilderness near Moab.  We’re like that too, sitting in the midst of our battles wondering what’s going to happen next. Stuck in places where we didn’t plan on being stuck. Trying to handle multitudes of conflicts on our own. We thirst for peace, purpose, comfort, and refreshment.

Some of God’s created creatures never thirst, man is not one of them. This story narrates the armies physical thirst, due to lack of preparation and planning perhaps.  But there’s a spiritual thirst as well.  The King of Judah has been wronged and he’s determined to make things right.  Emotionally frustrated, he wants what’s due him from King of Moab. Often we don’t realize how thirsty we really are – desperately thirsty for the only living water that will really satisfy. God, as the living God, has life in himself, and is the fountain of life and all happiness to those who are his.  Living souls can never take up rest, find peace, or be delivered by anything less than the living God because they were made for him and by him.  The thirst for physical water is nothing compared to the thirst for relationship with the living God.  Today, take your thirst to the throne of the living God.

 

“As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.”
– Psalm 42:1

“A camel does not pant after water brooks, because it carries its own water within it;
but the hart does, because it has no inward resources.
After being hunted on a hot day, it has no inward supplies;
it is drained of its moisture. So are we.
We do not carry a store of grace within of our own upon which we can rely;
we need to come again, and again, and again, to the Divine fountain,
and drink again from the eternal spring. Hence it is because we have a new life,
and that life is dependent upon God, and has all its fresh springs in Him,
that therefore we pant and thirst after Him.
O Christian, if you had a sacred life which could be maintained by its own energies within,
you might do without your God, but since you are naked, and poor,
and miserable, apart from Him, you must come and drink day by day of the living springs,
or else you faint and die”.
C. H. Spurgeon

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By Donna Burns  

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