by Bruce Okkema
As we close this section on living water for now, would you take a few minutes to do something very Hebraic? Take a glass … fill it with water … hold it up and look at it for a time. Think about God’s faithfulness to you and think about how so many people don’t have this simple glass of water so easily. Bless the Lord for his precious gift, then, take a big long drink. Let it soak deep into your soul as you read these beautiful passages about the Living Water:
“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
“For I will pour out water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water.” Isaiah 44:3-4
“On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.” Zechariah 14:8-9
“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’” John 7:37-38
For more on this topic, please read our Director’s Article of April/May, 2003 titled, “Living Water.”
by Lois Tverberg
“Happy is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or taken the path of sinners, or joined the company of the insolent; rather, the teaching of the LORD is his delight, and he studies that teaching day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, whose foliage never fades, and whatever it produces thrives. ” Psalm 1:1-3, JPS Tanakh
Jewish readers of the scriptures over the centuries have enjoyed examining the images of scriptures, and how they can speak to our lives today. In reading the above passage about the one who studies God’s word as being a tree by water, they have meditated on God’s word as “pure water” or “living water.” From this they have found a remarkable number of lessons: (1)
- Just as rain water comes down in drops and forms rivers, so with the scriptures: one studies a bit today and some more tomorrow, until in time the understanding becomes like a flowing stream.
- Just as water has little attraction unless one is thirsty, so too, God’s word is best appreciated when one has great yearning for it.
- Just as water leaves a high place and flows to a low one, so too, God’s voice speaking through the Scriptures goes past one whose spirit is proud and remains with one whose spirit is humble.
- Water is a great equalizer — no matter your station or class, all can drink water. So, too — a scholar should not be ashamed to say to a simpler fellow, ‘Teach me a chapter, a verse or a letter’.
- Just as water is a source of life for the world, as it says, A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters (Song of Songs 4:15), so God’s word is a source of life for the world.
- Just as water is cleansing, the words of the Scriptures are purifying.
We can see how God’s Spirit enlivens the Scriptures, and when we study them, it flows into us like life-giving water. The Spirit is like that in not just one way, but many. We only need to get a taste to see that this is the thirst that we have at the root of our very souls.
(1) From a Jewish commentary from about 900 AD, Song of Songs Midrash Rabbah, quoted at the following site: http://www.saratogachabad.com/mainpages/water.htm
Photo: Dimitar Krstevski