Our Blog
Subscribe to feed

About This Blog...

Check out our new blog!


Recent Posts
Other Blogs

A Mile Wide and An Inch Deep
August 1, 2017

In 1889, American journalist and humorist Edgar Nye introduced the phrase "A mile wide and an inch deep." He was referring to a river found in the Midwestern and western United States, called the Platte River. The Platte is a muddy, wide, shallow, meandering stream with a swampy bottom, these characteristics made it too difficult to ever be used as a major navigation route. Though the Platte is an important tributary system in the Missouri River Watershed, it was disqualified from use because of its lack of depth.  Nye wrote that the river "had a very large circulation, but very little influence. It covers a good deal of ground, but it is not deep. In some places it is a mile wide and three-quarters of an inch deep."

And so the phrase was born. It's not meant to be a compliment. In fact, it quickly began to be used in politics, academia, and other fields to describe people who seem to be knowledgeable and impressive, but in true reality are superficial.

In the Old Testament, Jacob, the favourite of his mother Rebekah, deceptively manipulated his brother Esau, to gain his birthright.  Then presented himself to his father as Esau to also steal his brother’s blessing.  In spite of his “mile wide and an inch deep" appearance, he was all about himself and ended up fleeing for his life and then being treated to the same “meal” of deception by his father in-law. 

At the end of his life, we see a changed man.  We see a man of faith who blessed his grand-sons with the same blessing he had received; the promise to become a great nation and living in their own land (Genesis 48).  Jacob, now Israel, believed that God was faithful and kept his word and that someday God’s people would inhabit their own country.

What are some promises that we see in God’s word? i.e. answered prayer, provision for life, healing.  How are you doing in living in faith that God is and will be faithful to His promises?



Brandon Hatmaker, A Mile Wide (Nelson Books, 2016), page xi

Post A Comment

Please enter the text you
see in the image above.
(This is just so we know that you're human.)

Can't read this image? Click SUBMIT for a new image.