John 7: If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
One of the big events in Jewish life in this day is the feast of the Tabernacles. Everyone moves outdoors for the event, camping out, and there are special worship activities at the Temple each day. Jesus is here, teaching at the Temple and many believe he’s the Messiah. On this last day, as the priest pours water mixed with wine on the altar Jesus shouts out: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” Jesus offers to all who will come what’s being symbolized at the altar. What an offer it is. To the weary one who has been worn down by their journey in life he offers himself as the Living Water. To the bruised one who has tried other things that promised satisfaction only to be disappointed and scarred by their effort Jesus calls out “Come to me.” To those hurting, confused, and broken Jesus offers healing, understanding, and wholeness. To you and me Jesus extends the invitation to come and be satisfied.
Take Away: The only one who can really satisfy our lives invites us to come and receive what only he can give us.
The real thing
Isaiah 55: Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water!
I like to drink my share of coffee and enjoy a diet Dr. Pepper once in a while. But when I’m really thirsty, I reach for a glass of water. Nothing quenches my thirst like a glass of cool, sparkling water. Spiritually speaking, there’s thirst-quenching water. I can turn to a million substitutes that promise satisfaction, but they’ll all let me down. For some reason, though, I tend to turn to almost anything but the Real Thing. No, I’m not talking about Coca-Cola! Into the market place of life Isaiah comes, shouting out his message of hope to those who’ve tried everything else yet are still dissatisfied with life. His message reminds us that there’s a genuine Source of satisfaction. That Source isn’t a “thing.” Rather, it’s a “Person.” Are you thirsty? Come to the water. His name is Jesus.
Take Away: Only Jesus, the “living water,” satisfies the soul.
Isaiah 12: Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water from the wells of salvation.
As I read this statement from Isaiah about drawing “buckets of water from the wells of salvation” I can’t help but think of Jesus and the woman at the well. Jesus offers the Samaritan woman “living water” that she might “never thirst again.” As I see Isaiah promising a day when abundant “salvation water” will be available and remember Jesus offering just such water, well, I can’t help but focus in on this wonderful offer. I’m glad today that Jesus didn’t just offer a philosophy of life or a new approach to religion. Instead, his “well of salvation” contains that which is “living” and fully satisfying. Whether Isaiah’s prophecy really applies here or not, it does remind me of all Jesus has made available. In the words of the woman at the well, “Give me that living water that I might never thirst again.”
Take Away: The “living water” is nothing other than an abiding relationship with the Lord, himself.
Water from the well
2 Samuel 23: There is no way, God, that I’ll drink this.
As David’s life is being summed up, we find a listing of significant warriors who served him. Three warriors are especially outstanding: Josheb-Basshebeth, Elazar, and Shammah. These three men were the most fearsome of all the fighters in Israel. As an example of their ability and faithfulness to David, we hear one of their stories. David and his men are holed up in a cave while the Philistines occupy nearby Bethlehem. David remarks that a drink of water from the well there would taste very good to him. The Three decide to get him that drink. They fight their way through enemy lines to that particular well, draw water out of it, and then fight their way back out of the town. The Philistine soldiers must have been very confused by all this! When the three return to camp, they offer David water from the well. At this point, the focus turns from the Three to David. He pours the water out as an offering to God, remarking that the water in that container is like the blood of these brave men. To drink it would be to take their lives too lightly. I’m thankful today for the bravery of another Warrior. His life started in that very town, but, when the time was right he fought his way to the very gates of Hell to provide me living water. The blood of that brave Warrior is precious to me too.
Take Away: Life is mine by the precious blood of Jesus.