Saturday, January 9, 2016

Living Water

“Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3 NKJV).

From where do you draw your water? I was reading about the people of Flint Michigan who are buying bottled water because high lead content was found in their water supply. That just adds to the pain of having a destitute economy with the auto industry failure there. How about the people of California going from a severe drought with no water to floods and mudslides? One of my wife’s favorite things is visiting springs throughout the country. She loves the cold artesian water bubbling up from the center of the earth. One of our favorites is the “Giant Springs” beside the Great Falls of Montana. This spring flows from deep traveling miles to the surface. The water is always 54 degrees and was the source of water for the Native Americans for centuries until found in 1805 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  There are also springs that nourish the body with life renewing minerals, like Lithia Springs of Ashland Oregon. We visit this one as one of our sons lives there. The water tastes metallic but gives you a kick from the natural lithium in it.

Enough about springs in the U.S. The Bible has some amazing descriptions of springs. Above we read metaphorically of drawing water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah is sharing with the Israelites the joy of these wells that bring life and life eternal. I suspect many readers didn’t know that the Old Testament is full of verses referencing Jesus Christ and salvation. In Zechariah 13:1 the prophet says, “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.” Numbers 19:17 speaks of running water from a vessel being sprinkled on them for purification of sin. This is symbolic of the cleansing of Jesus Christ for salvation. It also is one of the verses from which the baptisms of today are taken. However, the normative or preferred biblical baptism is full emersion as John the Baptist performed for repentance of sins.

I love Jesus' description of His sending the Holy Spirit to us in John 7:37-38, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  Can you just imagine our hearts flowing like rivers of the water of life in the Holy Spirit?

In the story of the Samaritan Woman we find Jesus saying regarding the water from the well of Jacob, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water…Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life” (John 4:10).  I love what this sinful woman says next, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw” (John 4:15). Today, salvation is preached and the Gospel shared throughout the world, yet very few come and drink. All are thirsty, but few want the water that will quench the fires of sin and the world’s lies.

Water is the symbol of life and life eternal through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit throughout the bible. Jesus uses it, walks on it, calms it and heals with it. He baptizes with the Holy Spirit, but water is life. Without water we die in a few days. Food we can go without for weeks, not water. Here along the Great Lakes we often take water for granted. We still need to purify it because mankind has poisoned it with every chemical and pollutant imaginable. But the pure water that Jesus gives bubbles up to life. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow” (Isaiah 35:7 NIV). See to it that your thirst is quenched by the refreshing spring of life in Jesus Christ. It is a free gift for the taking to those who would believe.

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