“And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches.” II Kings 3:16.
I think you’ll want to listen to the sermon because the story itself is a very interesting one. So let me have your mind completely for five minutes at least.
Three kings with three armies are gathered together against Moab to battle. This is no problem. Moab will offer no important resistance to these three kings. Except difficulty arises and the kings are thwarted by one simple problem. That is, there was no water. God withheld His rain, and the wisdom and efforts of kings were set at naught once again. God reminds us, that after all, we are dependant upon Him. So, these kings find their forces stopped, and their progress stopped. They find the battle being staid because they have no water. Well, there was a Baptist preacher in the crowd. (The reason I know he was a Baptist preacher is because he wanted water.) The kings came, and they inquired of him. His name was Elijah. They had not given Elijah any attention thus far. He had just come along for the ride you may say. Now they contact the preacher; and Jehoshaphat, one of the three kings, asked, “Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might inquire of him?” (I Kings 22:7)
Now, this is a very sad thing. Why didn’t the kings inquire of the prophet of the Lord when they had water? Why do you have to wait until the famine comes, or the drought comes before you start asking the preacher’s advice? Why is it that you have to turn to God when you are in trouble? These three kings should have asked the prophet of God a long time ago what to do. Now they face the battle against the Moabites, and they have no water. Though they be strong enough to win the battle, God does not provide water, and now suddenly they say, “We had better call a preacher; we had better call the preacher.”
I recall one day when Diane Hammers came to my office. She had called and made an appointment. She came in and said, “Pastor, could I see you for a few minutes?” I said, “Why, of course you may.” And as I almost always say, I said, “What is your problem?” Good night, what do you want to see the preacher for if you’re not in trouble. Diane sat down and she said, “Pastor, I have made an appointment with you for one reason and one reason only. I have come to tell you that everything is all right, and that we have no problems. Everything is fine. I thought you’d like for someone to tell you sometimes that everything is fine.” (Now, please. Let’s don’t have a rash of those this week. I don’t want a thousand folks coming by the office this week saying everything’s okay.) But, Diane just made an appointment. She came all the way from Highland, or Griffith, or Indianapolis, or wherever, and she just came by and said, “There is nothing wrong. Everything is fine. I’m happy. We’re happy. I just wanted you to know that.” And then she said, “I thank God for you.” And then she went away.
Isn’t it a sad thing we have to get in trouble before we turn to the Lord? One fellow was dying, or sick, and the doctor said, “I’m afraid you’re going to have to call on the Lord.” And he said, “Has it come to that? Has it come to that?” That means nobody else can help you. Call on the Lord.
In the Bible, God’s greatest men had a sense of humor. The Bible has a lot of humor in it and one of the funniest stories follows.
Elijah, who said, “Call a little louder. Your god’s probably gone hunting or fishing. He’s pursuing or being pursued. Call a little louder.” He had a sense of humor. Well, they came to Elijah, these three kings. These kings came and knocked on the door of Elijah, the prophet. Elijah had been neglected. Nobody had asked his advice about anything, and he was the man of God. Now the kings were in trouble, and they came—can you feature three kings knocking at the door of the Baptist preacher? To me, that’s funny, but here is something funnier. Elijah came to the door and said, (this is, by the way, in Hebrew. You won’t find this in the English.) “Hi, fellows. What do you need?” They said, “We want to talk to you.” Elijah said, “I’m tied up right now.” Three kings sitting out in the waiting room waited to see the preacher. The preacher was sitting there laughing, nothing to do, but he just wanted to keep them waiting for a while. No, what he really said was, “You kept me waiting, now you birds wait for a while.” (That’s in the Hebrew also, “you birds.”) He said, “I’ll keep you waiting for a while,” and so they sat there. Then the kings came in, and Elijah said, “I’m not in the mood right now. I think I want to hear some music. You know any musicians that can come and play for me so that I can get in the mood to tell you?” Oh, boy. I like Elijah. God bless him.
You’ve heard me tell about the Mayor of Hammond calling our office and Mrs. O’Brien answering the phone. The Mayor said, “Is Jack there?” This is Joe.” She said, “Jack who?” He said, “I want to talk to Jack; this is Joe.” Mrs. O’Brien, to make a long story short, wouldn’t let him talk to me until he asked for Brother Hyles – I mean, the Mayor. (That just tickled the fire out of me.) So finally, he asked for “Brother Hyles,” and she let him, but she wouldn’t let him talk to “Jack” because I don’t care if it’s the Mayor, or a garbage collector; it’s not “Jack,” it’s “Brother Hyles.”
So Elijah said, “I want some music. I’m not in the mood right now.” These three kings—I’m sure they were fuming and fussing and stewing and smoking. (Not the kind of smoking you do, but the other kind.) And angry—said, “Well, why can’t he talk to us? We’re kings. Now, let us talk to you. We want water.” “If you want water, go ahead and get the water.”
So they had to go back and get Elijah some musician to come back and play to him to get him in the mood. Then Elijah said, “Make this valley full of ditches.” “Make this valley full of ditches? Why?” “Because water is going to come. You will not hear the wind; you will not see the rain, but God is going to give you water, the prophet said so. Make this valley full of ditches.” I can just see the kings going back and lining up their men to start digging ditches and making the whole valley full of ditches. Now, here’s the thought. “Make this valley full of ditches.”
1. Prepare for the blessings of God. Get ready for the blessings of God.
I’m convinced as much as I am that I’m standing behind this pulpit that one reason God does not do more for us is because we don’t dig enough ditches for his blessings. We don’t expect the blessings of God. We don’t dig ditches until the rain begins to fall. We don’t make the preparation until the rain is falling, and then it’s too late. The ditches overflow.
God told the man of God, “Tell the kings to make the valley full of ditches. Get ready for the water.” And God sent the water.
Before the Nile River begins to rise, you’ll see the Egyptian people preparing for the rise of the Nile River. A long time before that great river begins to lift out of its bank, you’ll see Egyptian people doing several things. You’ll see them deepening the channel. You’ll see them enlarging the reservoir. They will make small canals and minor pools. From the river to the channel, to the reservoir, to the canals, to the minor pools, they prepare contributories. Why? Because they know the Nile is going to rise. They know at the time of rising, the great river will rise; if they’re not prepared, their crops will not be irrigated. So they dig the ditches and reservoirs, and minor tributaries, preparing for the rising of the river.
Our God is saying here, “I would love to bless you. I would love to give you My blessing, but you do not get ready for it. You do not dig the ditches. I want so much to bless you, but you do not prepare to receive My blessings.”
You recall the story of the Apostle Peter. When Peter was catching no fish, the Lord said, “Let your nets down over here.” And you recall that Peter didn’t let his nets down. The Bible says that he put his net down over here, and his net did break. Why? God said to get nets. God said, “I’ve got a lot of fish for you.” And Peter said, “Just one net is all I’ll need.” And because just one net came or was let down, the net broke, and the fish were all lost. Why? Because God said, “Dig ditches. Get ready for my blessing.” But Peter didn’t do it, and the net broke.
You folks who know about farming, check with the farmer just before the harvest time as he cleans the barn and prepares for the gathering of the harvest. He’s getting ready for God’s blessings. Check when a vessel of cargo is to come into the wharf; the wharf is cleared. Why? The cargo is coming in. “Get ready for it,” say the helpers. “Get ready for it. Clear the wharf.” Why? Because the cargo is coming in. Maybe a cargo of coal is coming in; clear the wharf. Why? Get ready for it, and that’s what God is saying here.
Let me ask you a question today, just as seriously and sincerely as I can. Is there something you want? Now, don’t misunderstand me. I mean is there something that you want? You were spiritual. You were living for God. You were living in the will of God, and suddenly you wanted to delight in something. “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4) All of a sudden, you believe God gave you an appetite for something. I mean God gave you a desire for something. You were serving God. No, I don’t mean you connived, and I don’t mean you were out of the will of God. I mean you were in the will of God and all of a sudden, without your own seeking, God gives you an appetite or a desire for something while you were delighting in Him. You believed God wanted you to have it. All right, then work and pray and prepare your ditches and get it. You see, ladies and gentlemen, God wants us to dig our ditches and get ready for His blessings.
I recall a story in the book of I Kings. (Maybe it’s II Kings, I’m not sure, but anyway.) Jehoshaphat joins Ahab, and he says, “Ahab, there’s a certain spot that’s a very strategic spot on the hilly side of the Jordan River. That spot is ours. It belongs to us. It’s called Ramoth and Gilead. It’s a high place. It’s a coveted place. It’s on that the King of Syria promised to give us, but after the battle was over, he didn’t give it to us. Now, we’re bigger than the King of Syria; let’s join forces,” and Ahab and Jehoshaphat joined forces. This question was asked. “Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not?” (I Kings 22:3.)
Oh, God has so many things He wants to give us if we’ll dig our ditches. Prepare for His blessings. The staff here know that I can get hard-boiled sometimes. Now, usually, I’m a kind and loving and sweet fellow like I am in the pulpit, but I can get hard-boiled sometimes. One time I do get hard-boiled is when we don’t have enough slips to take the names of all the folks who come forward—I think there are a few staff members who still have marks on their bodies where I beat them—because we are going to get the ditches ready.
One Sunday, I read the names, and we had all the names on a little prepared slip, then I got one on a white card, then I got one on a piece of paper torn out of a book somewhere, then I got a name written on the back of a card, and one was written on an envelope. After the service, I called that staff member in, and I said, “Now, wait a minute.” I said, “Why didn’t we have enough decision slips?” She said, “I didn’t expect to have that many people saved.” I said, “Then expect it.”
Look. God’s blessings are wrapped up in our faith. And our faith is determined by our expectancy, and our expectancy is determined by our preparation. Dig your ditches!
Here’s the prophet of God, and the kings say, “We need rain. How can we get rain?” Elijah says, “Let me have a little music. I’m not in the mood right now.” He gets in the mood and says, “Thus saith the Lord, make this valley full of ditches.” (II Kings 3:16) Prepare for it. Prepare for it.
2. Prepare largely. Make the valley full of ditches—full of ditches!
“Now, we don’t need that much water,” a king could have said. “We just need one big ditch down through the valley; that’s all we need.” And Elijah said, “Make the valley full of ditches.” That means a ditch in the street in front of your house, a ditch in the alley, a ditch between the houses. Every place you’ve got room, I’m going to give you blessings. Now, he said, “Make it full of ditches.”
When I thought about this, I thought about the story of Elijah and the little lady that had a cruse of oil. The man of God came and said, “God’s going to give you some oil,” and the cruse got full. The Bible says she got every pan she had in the house. In the Hebrew it says, “She got the jars, and she got the buckets, and she got all of the peanut butter glasses that she had, and she got all the pots and pans, and so forth.” And the oil kept coming. And it kept coming. And she said, in the Hebrew, “Good night in the morning, wheat am I going to do with all this oil? Oil just everywhere.” It kept coming and kept coming. So she told her son—this is also in the Hebrew. It says she had a son or two or three sons—”Do something. Get this oil. It’s coming. I’ll go next door.” She went next door, and she asked the lady next door if she could borrow her vessel. She got all of her pots and pans. The oil kept coming and kept coming and kept coming. Well, good night, lady! If God’s going to give you oil, God’s going to give you oil! Consequently, she wasn’t prepared, but God kept giving it. And Elijah said, “Make the valley full of ditches.”
I get so weary at little piddling blessings folks seek from God. I get so weary at people who don’t want the big blessings of God. I get so wear of going to churches, and they run a hundred in Sunday School, and they say next Sunday we’re going to try for 120. I get so weary of that. I get so wear of going places and a fellow says, “Our goal is to baptize 50 next year.” I get so weary of that. Why don’t you make the valley full of ditches? I mean, open up the windows of Heaven with God. He would, if we would prepare for His blessings, and so make it full.
This morning, I was thinking about the time when I wanted to be a soul winner in East Texas. I wanted so badly to be a soul winner. I’d go out and knock on doors, and I couldn’t win anybody. I’d beg. I’d plead. I’d argue, and I’d get mad, and I’d cry, and I’d beg folks to get saved. It was like Joe Boyd’s dog. Joe used to have a big old dog that had a bushy tail. Everybody stepped on the tail. Never missed it. Never missed it. Everybody stepped on the tail. So the dog got to where when company would come, it would lie right at the front door, stick his tail out so that they could stomp on it and get it over with. And that’s the way I was. I would go out soul winning and I’d say, “You wouldn’t want to get saved, would you?” You know, and one day—I’ll never forget it—we were having a city-wide revival in Marshal, Texas. A fellow named Buckner Fannon, a very well-known young preacher, one of these glamour-boy type preachers—he was preaching at the Marshal Baseball Stadium, out in the fairgrounds. A city-wide revival, and we weren’t having anybody saved. Nobody. I mean, that well-known preacher, and he had a white jacket and a red tie. That ought to get a lot of folks saved, but he even had on suede shoes. I thought surely we’d have a big crowd saved, but nobody was getting saved. Nobody. And all the churches were cooperating, and great crowds were coming, but nobody was getting saved. One night behind the Grand Stand I said to myself, “Good night, if they won’t get them saved, then I will.” And then I said, “Who said that?” I didn’t expect anybody to get saved. I went alone myself that night and I said, “Dear God, You may as well bless me. That fellow, he’s famous, and he’s not getting anybody saved. You may as well bless me.” I took off the next day for the first time in my life, I expected to see somebody saved. I won 12 adults to Jesus Christ the next day. I carried that revival. I mean, they had 37 people saved, and I won 36 of them, and the whole revival was mine. Why? Because I decided to dig the ditches and make the valley full of ditches. I decided to believe God could use me in soul winning.
I told you about Yetta James a few weeks ago. She’s the deaf lady I mentioned. I went out to see her in the south side of Hammond. I think on Beech or Chestnut or Birch or Elm or Oak or Fir or Apple or Peachtree or something—one of these streets out in the south of Hammond. I knocked on the door, and her married daughter came to the door. I said, “I’m Brother Hyles, pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond. I’ve come to talk to you about Jesus.” And the daughter said, “Don’t say that word here.” Well, I didn’t know which word she mean—Jesus or Brother Hyles. And she said, “Don’t say that word. The last one. We don’t’ mention His name here. We’re orthodox Jews.” “Orthodox Jews,” I said, “I’m half Jew myself.” I’ve told that story all across the country. Put it in print. I am half Jew myself. And she said, “Half Jew yourself?” You don’t look like it or sound like it.” (And the other half is Texan, by the way.) I said, “Well, it’s because I haven’t always been a half Jew. For the first 11 years of my life, I wasn’t a Jew at all. I became half a Jew when I was 11.” She said, “You did what?” I said, “But don’t worry. Any day now, I’m going to become a full-blooded Jew.” She said, “How can you do that?”
I told her how I was a sinner, and at 11, I received Christ and God made me a spiritual Jew. I told her that any day now, Jesus was going to come, and He was going to rapture me in this robe of flesh. I’ll drop and rise and seize the everlasting prize, and I told her that I’d become like Christ. Then in a few minutes, that married daughter was sweetly saved. Now, I said, “Let me talk to your mother.” She said, “You can’t talk to my mother. She’s deaf. The only reason she came to First Baptist Church was because there are deaf people there, and somebody to talk to with sign language.” She said, “I’ll call her in.” She called her, and I think she was 65 at the time. That daughter turned to her mother, and I said, “Tell her what you just did. Tell her what I just told you. Tell her that she’s a sinner. Tell her how that sinners are lost. Tell her that Jesus died for sinners. Tell her how to be saved.” And that lady who had told me not to mention the name of Jesus, in just a few minutes was using her hands in the sign language to talk to her mother, and she won her mother to Jesus Christ—an orthodox Jewish deaf lady.
They sat back here one Sunday night, and down the aisle they came. They were baptized the next Sunday night. And what happened? Now, the lady, Mrs. James, the older one, died and went to Heaven last night—that deaf lady. She can hear today. She’s hearing my voice for the first time. She’s hearing the music of our church for the first time. Her ears have been unstopped, and now she can hear the chorus of Heaven. Why? I’ll tell you why. Because a long time ago, I said, “Let’s dig the ditches. Let’s make the valley full of ditches.” If you want the blessings of God, dig ditches.
The prophet said, “Prepare and prepare largely.” He said, “I want you to prepare now. Dig the ditches now.” There was not a cloud in the sky. He said, “You won’t hear the wind; you won’t see the rain, but dig the ditches. Make the valley full of ditches. Do it now.” God wants to bless you now. Now, you say, “Brother Hyles, what do you mean?” I mean this. Now, listen. God wants you to have what you began wanting while you were delighted in Him. Did you hear me? When you delight in the Lord, and are living for Him, and meditating in His word day and night, and serving Him; then, if you have a delight from Him, He wants you to have it. He wants you to get ready for it and work to get it. And so, the prophet said, “Prepare now.” Not in a little while.
I’ve told this story many times here about my Aunt Octa, and it’s so appropriate here. Uncle Roy, one of the finest men I ever met, has been in Heaven now for a number of years. He was my mother’s favorite brother, and probably there’s never been any closer brother/sister relationship on the face of the earth than my mother and her brother, Roy. His wife, Octa, is still alive. O-C-T-A. They had some dumb names back there. Octa. Coystal. My mother’s name is Coystal. God bless them. They’ve called her that all her life. Not even Crystal—could have been Crystal—but Coystal. They call her Coys for short. Anyway, my mother’s brother, Uncle Roy, was not saved. They tried to get him saved. They’d send a preacher around, but they couldn’t get him saved. He’d go to revivals, but he wouldn’t get saved. He’d go to preaching on Sunday, but he wouldn’t get saved. One day, he decided he would go to the afternoon baptizing. So they were baptizing out in the creek in the afternoon—back in those days you had to baptize folks occasionally in the creek. Uncle Roy looked at Aunt Octa while they were baptizing, and he said, “You know what?” He said, “If I had a change of clothes, I’d get baptized right now.” And my Aunt Octa said, “You do have a change of clothes.” And he said, “No. No, I don’t.” She said. “Oh, yes. I brought it for you. I brought it for you.” And Uncle Roy was saved and baptized that afternoon. You know why? She prepared. She dug some ditches. She dug some ditches. She expected it.
I haven’t told this story in a long time, but I want to hear it. I was in a church out at Boise, Idaho, and a preacher met me at the plane–and this is such a perfect illustration. Very seldom do I ever have any perfect illustrations. I’ve got to use it again. Anyway, the preacher met me at the plane, and he took me to the church. I said, “I would like to see your baptistry.” We walked in. They had a curtain up there over a big hole I thought. So I opened the curtain and looked in and my head hit some sheetrock. Drywall. I couldn’t see, and I said, “How do you see the baptistry?” “Well,” he said, “We have drywall over it.” He said, “You go back to the back. The hole is back there.” Well, I went back behind and looked. Oak floor was laid over the baptistry. Oak floor.
I said, “Well, look. Where’s the hole?” He said, “Underneath the oak floor.” I said, “Well, how do you baptize?” He said, “We don’t.” He said, “We baptized seven years ago once.” He said, “We haven’t had an invitation in seven years.” And I said, “What? Well, what if you had to baptize tonight?” He said, “We will saw it out.” I said, “Get a saw.” That night I preached. Right before I preached, there was sitting over here on the side a little adding room like, and the preacher come over to me, and he was as nervous as I ever saw a man. He said, “Brrrrrother Hyles.” He said, “The bbbbbiggest atheist in BBBBBoise is sittttting on the frrrront row. Whhhhaaat are you goooooooing to do?” And I said, “I am goooooing to prrrreach.” So I walked out, and there he sat, a big old ugly-looking guy. He had his arms folded like he came to blow up the building, and he looked like he was Chairman of the Deacons. Invitation time came. Would you like to know who the first person that got saved was? The town atheist. The biggest atheist in Boise and nobody ever thought he would get saved. Numbers of folks got saved. Did you know after the service that night, ladies came by the dozens and said, “Tomorrow night my husband is going to be here. If that man gets saved, my old man can get saved too.”
The next night, we had that place packed and jammed with folks sitting in the aisles and standing back in the back with folks outside looking in windows. We had hundreds of people. The State Attorney General was there. The State Comptroller was there. The State Legislatures were there, a dozen or more. The biggest atheist in the whole county got converted, and they were there. That night we had 26 people saved. We had politicians saved. We had grown men saved. One lady started shouting at the altar. So when the invitation was all over, the pastor stood up and he said, “Well,” he said, “I don’t know what to do.” I said, “What do you mean?” “Well, it’s been seven years,” he said, “What do you do with these people now?” I said, “You might start off taking their names.” He said, “Anybody got any paper?” And very kindly, I said, “I’ll tell you how you can start off. The first thing to do is sit down and let me take care of it.” I had to get up and get the names, and read the names, and talk about baptism, and talk about church membership. Why? He didn’t even have one single hole dug for the water to come in–not a ditch.
No wonder God doesn’t bless us. Elijah said, “Make the valley full of ditches and do it now. Today.”
3. Prepare vigorously. Vigorously!
Did you know ditch digging is hard work? Now, I never have dug a ditch, but I’ve dug a fox hole, and I broke an all-time record digging it too. I wasn’t in combat, but on maneuvers one time. They said, “We’re going to start shooting machine guns right through here in so much time.” They put a deadline on it. “And the best thing for you to do is figure out someplace to be.” They gave us a shovel. My hole was deep with room to spare before they started shooting those machine guns. Now that’s work! They gave me a little shovel not much bigger than a tablespoon, and it’s work.
He said, “Make the valley full of ditches. Do it now.” Look. Church after church could have the blessings of God if they would make the valley full of ditches. Sunday School departments and classes could grow if they would make the valley full of ditches. Folks could be saved if they would make the valley full of ditches. Sunday school trench. Soul-winning trench.
May I say this to you folks this morning? You folks who are not saved, and I say this lovingly. Did you know that we’ve prepared for your coming? We have made the valley full of ditches for you. You know right now—ladies that take the names, would you raise your hands, please? All the ladies. These ladies all over the house, they are prepared to take your name when you come forward. Would all the deacons raise your hand, please? All the deacons. We have trained these men to talk to you about Christ. Name takers, do you have your decision slips? How many do you have? We expected you to come. Don’t you see what I’m saying? We’ve made the valley full of ditches. We’re ready. We want to see you saved. We don’t want you to die and go to Hell. We don’t want you to live a life without God. We don’t want you to perish in the fires of eternal damnation. We don’t want you to spend eternity without your loved ones who are saved. We want you to go to Heaven. We’ve asked God to saved you. We’ve asked God to speak to you. We’ve made the valley full of ditches. Now, you come and say, “Yes,” to Jesus Christ.
I can go a step further. The baptistry is filled. We expected you to come. We have people now in the baptistry dressing rooms getting ready for you. We expected you to come. We have robes and towels all hanging up there, jus ready for you. We expected you to come. We have prepared for you. We have made the valley full of ditches. Why? Because we want to see you go to Heaven. You say, “You’re trying to make a Baptist out of me.” I wouldn’t get up in the morning and drive my car to this church and spend my time in this pulpit to make a Baptist out of anybody because you can go to Hell from the Baptist church roll just like you can from a tavern if you’re not born again. I want to see you saved. I want you to go to Heaven. We have prepared for you. We have made a valley full of ditches.
But I’ll go a step further than that. Some more ditches are prepared for you. God looked down when eternity passed and saw 1970, and God saw that you were a sinner. God said, “I don’t want him to go to Hell. I want that person to be a Christian.” And God began to dig ditches for you. God began to dig ditches, and He’d dug the ditch of sending His own Son. In Bethlehem’s manger God looked down and said, “There’s a person in 1970 sitting in the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, who is lost. I don’t want him to go to Hell. I’ll leave my Heavenly throne. I’ll come to earth. I’ll become man. I’ll live 33 years on earth, homesick for Heaven. I’ll do it because I want to dig ditches.” God is doing that preparing this morning for you. God’s kept on digging. God and Christ went to the cross, and as we said awhile ago in the song and also in the Lord’s Supper, God, in Christ paid the penalty for you sin on the cross. He looked down and saw you sitting out here in 1970, a lost sinner, not prepared to die—without God, without hope. God said, “I don’t want them to go to Hell,” and so God gave His Son, and His Son gave His life on the cross as a sacrifice for your sins. What was He doing? He was making the valley full of ditches.
But that isn’t all. God rose in Christ from the dead after three days and three nights, and He ascended to the Father. God said, “I want to sit at the right hand of the Father. I want to intercede. I want to be the lawyer, the attorney. I want to be the intercessor or the mediator.” And Christ today is at the right hand of God. He offers Himself as your mediator and as your lawyer or your attorney, before the throne of God. God said, “I want to make the valley full of ditches.”
But that isn’t all. He sent His Holy Spirit to tell you that you ought to be a Christian. He sent the Holy Spirit to walk up and down these aisles, in and out of these pews, and say, “You ought to be saved. You’ve got to die one of these days. You’re going to go to Hell if you don’t get converted. You know you’re not happy without Christ. You ought to receive the Savior. You ought to get saved today. You may not live till next Sunday. Hey, you folks over here. You’ve got to die. You’ve got to face God. You’ve got to meet. You’ve got to stand judgment.”
The Holy Spirit of God was sent that He might convict you of sin. God prepared ditches for you. Now, wait a minute. While we sat here this morning, up yonder somewhere in the Eternal City of God, our Lord is preparing a place for you. He wants you to go to heaven. He’s been digging ditches for you since eternity. He loves you today. Everything He’s ever done was to get you saved. Everything he’s ever done was to make it so that you who have fallen in sin could be saved from an eternity without God and the priceless Hell. God loves you, and everything God has done has been for making the valley full of ditches.
By the way, Mrs. James, the deaf lady, this means “yes” in sign language. I’m quite a linguist. I guess this means “no.” I don’t know. But I know this means “yes.” I saw her daughter turn to her. I couldn’t understand what she was telling her, but I saw her do this. That’s the Jesus Book—the Bible. The nail prints, and the hand, and the book, and I saw her daughter in the sign language tell that lady, up in years, about the Jesus Book and what it says. Then she pointed to her heart, and she pointed to the heart of her mother, and then she asked her mother in some way if she’d trust the Savior. The mother did like this, and then the mother went like this.
Today, won’t you today look to the Jesus book? Won’t you say yes? Let Him come into your heart? You have got to die someday.
Let us pray.