Summary: Get back your dance once again and rejoice in the Lord!
I. Dancing in the Ditch?
A. Text: II Kings 3:9-20
B. There were only two reasons why people danced in the OT
(1) At a time of celebration because of a victory.
(2) Or in the presence of God (as with David and the Ark of the Covenant).
C. Dance represents joy.
D. The Psalmist David spent much time dancing before the Lord.
(1) Psalms 149:3 “Let them praise His name in the dance: let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp.”
(2) Psalms 150:4 “Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.”
E. One of David’s most famous verses is found in Psalm 30:11-12. He says: “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth (of mourning) and clothed me with gladness. To the end that my glory (or my soul) may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”
F. David understood all too well the need to dance when he should have been mourning.
G. How many of you know that it’s easy to shout and dance when God supplies your need; when the answer comes right away; when the walls come down; when the bills are paid on time; when the sea parts?
H. But, the thought came to me; can you dance in a dry ditch?
II. Dancing When It’s Dry?
A. This is what Miriam and her friends did after the Israelites crossed over the Sea on dry ground.
B. But, is it really possible to dance in a dry ditch? In other words, can you truly praise and worship God and rejoice in His goodness when you’re not seeing what you want to see happen; when the economy falls flat; when you have to reach up just to touch bottom?
C. This is what God instructed His people to do in our text today.
D. In the beginning of chapter 3 of II Kings, we find that the king of Moab has rebelled against the king of Israel. So king Jehoram (king of Israel) went to king Jehoshaphat (king of Judah – means ‘praise’), and said, ‘(Mesha) the king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?’ And he said, ‘I will go up.’” (vs. 7)
E. So the two got together and determined that they would take a short cut across the desert by way of Edom. That way, they could gain alliance with the king of Edom also.
F. Now, there are three armies charging towards one.
G. This is where our story picks up.
H. They decided to cut through the wilderness, without preparation of water, so that they might surprise their enemy. In other words, they sought out their own plan of attack without consulting God.
I. Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever decided to try a different route, a short cut, without calling on God’s direction? Without any preparation at all just so that you can beat your enemy to the punch?
J. Now, these men were military men. They knew what they needed – or so they thought.
(1) They had their armor
(2) They had their swords
(3) They had their shields
(4) They had their chariots and horsemen.
(5) They even took the man of God along with them.
(6) What else could they possibly need to make this attack a successful one? After all, here are three kings making this journey. Aren’t three heads better than one?
K. As they began to march their the valley; halfway through, they find themselves without water. Their horses are thirsty, their lips are parched. Their plans are not working out.
L. It’s here that they have to make a choice, either go back, or go forward toward the enemy, without any water.
M. Have you ever been in the midst of a wilderness only to discover that you were without the one thing that could sustain you all the way through? Have you ever been in a dry place without the one thing that would keep you? Have you found yourself in the midst of a barren wilderness without the source that could keep you going?
N. They realized that they couldn’t survive for very long without some water from somewhere. In a dry place, every now and then, you need to tap into a source and renew your strength. You need to be able to dig down deep and find a new strength that will enable you to keep marching into battle!
O. So, they called on the man of God. They called on Elisha, the personal servant of Elijah. When Elisha was called, he asked for a musician. When the musician began to worship the Lord, the Lord finally spoke through Him. The message? To dig ditches in the valley.