If anyone leads into captivity, into captivity he will go, if anyone kills with the sword, with a sword he will be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Rev 13:10.
A characteristic of the saints is patient endurance. Followers of God are persistent in well-doing. They are faithful in trial. They are not content to live on the surface, they go deep into God's Word, willing to follow wherever the Word leads.
In 1938 the King of Saudi Arabia, Abd-al-Aziz ibn Saud, authorized a team of American engineers to explore the trackless desert bordering the Persian Gulf, an arid landscape marked only by the occasional palm-fringed oasis. He hoped they would find water. A tribal leader with precarious finances, Ibn Saud believed the Americans might discover places where he could refresh his warriors' horses and camels.
But the team, from Standard Oil of California, had something else in mind. Oil had been discovered in other countries in the region, and the engineers thought they would find more in Saudi Arabia. Over several years, they drilled more than half a dozen holes without result. They could easily have given up in frustration. Instead, they decided to see if going deeper than normal might make a difference. So they set up their equipment again at well number 7 and dug deeper than they had ever dug before. They burrowed all the way to a depth of 4727 feet and finally hit the first sign of what would turn out to be the largest supply of crude oil in the world. A willingness to go a little deeper was all that stood between failure and unimaginable success.
Oddly enough, the King did not appear to appreciate the discovery at first. He ignored the news about the oil for an entire year afterward. Finally, he and his retinue arrived in a caravan of 400 automobiles at the pumping station of Ras Tanura in time to witness the first tanker hauling away its cargo of Saudi crude. This discovery would change everything.
Up until this time, the primary source of income in the Saudi kingdom came from servicing pilgrims in Mecca, Islam's holiest city. But even the first shipment of oil produced wealth beyond all expectation.1 The lives and lifestyles of Arabian bedouin would never be the same. This isolated country with no other exportable product now became a major factor in global politics. The Saudi royal family became major players on the world scene. Their wealth became a crucial factor in Middle East politics and the bargaining over global energy supplies. Today their nation is at the center of world attention. All because a handful of American engineers were not willing to be content with a surface approach to their task.