DITCHES  5'1m*f RT: Kings of Judah, Israel and Edom dig ditches

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

JEHOSHAPHAT -- (enters wearing royal robe, crown and sandals,
crosses to podium) Good Morning. I am Jehoshaphat King of Judah.
The reason I called this press conference is to announce that
our coalition with the armies of Israel and Edom was successful.
We have defeated the Army of Moab roundly and soundly.

REPORTER -- Your Majesty, are you aware that many citizens of
Judah have criticized you for allying yourself with Israel?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- You can't get more successful than victory. Why
would anyone object to that?

REPORTER -- I will remind you that the northern tribes of Israel
broke away from Judah and formed a separate kingdom. Doesn't
your alliance with the new kingdom give them legitimacy as a
separate kingdom?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- I think this is one of those exercises in
interpretation, like asking "is the cup half full or half
empty?" As the king on the throne in Jerusalem, I will take ANY
opportunity to reunite the divided nation, even if it's only
against a common enemy.

REPORTER -- Can you tell us WHY you went to war with Moab?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- Yes. At the conclusion of the previous war with
Israel, Moab agreed as a condition of the cease-fire to supply
Israel with meat and wool. Then they immediately backed out of
their agreement. Then, when Israel moved to enforce the terms of
the ceasefire, the Moabites conquered Edom, so they would be
isolated from attack by the desert of Edom.

REPORTER -- How can a war against Moab in the desert of Edom be
considered as a compelling national interest of our people? Why
should anyone in Judah care if Moab didn't send meat and wool to
our neighboring kingdom?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- The meat and the wool are not the issue in my
mind. The issue is national unity. The Lord God of Israel gave
us Jews this land as our inheritance. It was one nation under
God. But men's pride and greed have divided us in two. This is
an insult to the God who created us as a nation. I will do
whatever I can to reunite the two kingdoms into one, even if
that means allying myself with the son of Ahab and Jezebel.

Besides, it we hadn't dealt with Moab when we did, they would
have become a thorn in our sides sooner or later. Let's not
forget that the Moabite religion is against virtually everything
that our God is for. For example, during the battle, when we
pursued the King of Moab to a fortified city, he sacrificed his
own firstborn son to his gods of Moab in a vain attempt to win
the battle for the city. And when the sacrifice didn't work, he
retreated from Edom and went back home to Moab. Because of our
united forces arrayed against him, it will be a long time before
the Moabites try anything like this again.

REPORTER -- Can you give us a summary of the casualties on both

JEHOSHAPHAT -- Yes. The Moabite army was completely annihilated.
On the other hand there were hardly any casualties among the
Edomites, the Israelis or our own men.

REPORTER -- To what do you attribute the big difference.


REPORTER -- Excuse me? Did you say GOD?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- Yes. If God is fighting on our side, we will
always win. It's a given.

REPORTER -- There is a report that your combined armies almost
died before even confronting the Moabites.

JEHOSHAPHAT -- That's true. The Moabite army stationed
themselves on the other side of the Desert of Edom. When had
only marched half way through the desert, we ran out of water.

REPORTER -- How did you survive?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- We dug ditches.

REPORTER -- You dug... ditches?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- That's right.

REPORTER -- But even the deepest ditch in that desert would
never reach water.

JEHOSHAPHAT -- That's right. But we didn't dig the ditches to
find water. We dug the ditches as a step of faith in God.

REPORTER -- Can you be more specific?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- Elisha son of Shaphat is a prophet of God. He
inquired of God and God told him to have us dig ditches. So we
did. As far as the eye could see, we dug ditches and then we
went to sleep. When we got up in the morning all the ditches we
dug as a step of faith were filled with water. Our men and our
animals drank to their hearts content. Then we marched on and
conquered the Moabites.

REPORTER -- Are you sure it didn't rain while you were sleeping?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- Quite sure. Our men were sleeping under the
stars. I'm sure that at least one of the tens of thousands of
soldiers would have noticed if it had rained.

REPORTER -- So, you attribute your victory over the Moabites to
God himself?

JEHOSHAPHAT -- Not just our victory, but our very lives we owe
to God. I came away from the Desert of Edom convinced that our
alliance with Israel was God's will.

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