Once there was a battle. Both sides had been fighting  evenly for several years, until finally one side had the other on the run. That is until the side running found the perfect location to dig in. Not only did the place have a height advantage, it was very close to a fresh stream, allowing the troops steady access to good water. The side that was advancing figured out how to keep some supplies from coming in, however they could not keep the fresh stream from flowing. 

Over the next few weeks there was seemingly a stalemate, until a captain from the advancing side came up with an idea. “What if we can convince their troops to no longer drink from the stream, forcing them to dehydrate or move out into the open?” So the captain carefully planned his strategy. Once his planning was complete, he reasoned correctly that the first and major step would be to convince their enemies to no longer trust the water in the stream.

So the captain strategically sent a few of his soldiers in undercover. They persuaded several key troops from the opposing side that the stream could not supply all the water that they needed. The newly deceived soldiers reported directly to those able to make decisions, convincing them that wells should be dug if the battle was to be won. So troops were given the task of relentlessly digging wells, until, to their own dismay, many were completely worn out, with no fruit to show for it, but dry holes in the ground. 

Then the undercover soldiers passed on a second lie. This time they managed to convinced the captains of the need to look far beyond the river’s water.  They were duped into believing that there were bigger and better sources of water beyond the stream. Once convinced, several regiments were ordered onward, only to find desert and wastelands.  They became weak and weary, and many did not make the journey back.

These first two lies weakened and ruined many, however the third lie was the most tragic of all. This final lie did not focus on the insufficient water supply provided by the stream, nor did it lead the troops to believe that there were bigger and better sources to discover.  No this lie deceived the troops into believing that the stream itself had become poisoned.  Once most of the remaining troops were convinced of this, they ceased to even sip from the stream. (Their actions proved that they honestly believed the water source could no longer be trusted.)  Only two weeks after this lie, the enemy easily advanced up the hill.  And sadly, most of the troops that were before so strategically positioned were now of no strength. And many were found dead only feet from the freshly flowing stream convinced that the waters were poison to them.

Thoughts on the meaning of the parable are welcomed. I’ll be posting mine in a few days.