My mama’s Bible study group and I were reading through and studying the book of Jeremiah recently, and in the second chapter, God reveals His frustration at Judah for forsaking Him, the fountain of living water, for broken cisterns that they had made themselves – meaning that they had sunk deep into idolatry and sin following after man-made gods and religion instead of worshiping and relying on the one true God.
After we read that passage, it brought to mind other passages in the Word about water, and the imagery of living water – fountains of it (Jer. 2:13), rivers of it (John 7:38), being planted by it (Psalm 1:3), drinking it (John 4:13-14), resting by it (Psalm 23:2)….there are so many Biblical references to water!
In the agrarian times of Bible culture, water would have been an undeniably easy image for people to relate to – Water. Was. Life. Flocks needed it. Crops needed it. Families needed it. They fought over it, searched for it, staked claims to it and stayed near it. Drought was utterly devastating, as we see many times in the Bible.
God used water so many times throughout history as a vehicle to show His glory and power because He knew its importance to all living things – He made ways through the water of the Red Sea and the river Jordan for his people and prophets to pass through unharmed. He turned the water of the Nile to blood to send a message to unrepentant Egypt. He withheld water as rain in the time of Elijah as a sign. Jesus’s first miracle was done through water. Baptism uses water as a powerful image of washing away sin and rising in new life. God knew that His people would understand when He said He was a source of living water for them – water was something essential to their very lives.
Its summer now, and I make sure to water my tomato plants every day because they are subject to the heat and being exposed a little more than normal to the elements since they sit in pots on my patio, unprotected by being planted deep into the ground. I water them because I see the green tomatoes coming out and I am looking forward with great anticipation to those great, big, juicy red tomatoes that are coming! What an amazing image for me to see every single day…how much more should I be daily filling up on the Living Water of God so that I too can bear gorgeous, big, juicy fruit for Him? He alone is the water that brings life. He alone is the water that brings nourishing, beneficial, delicious fruit in our lives that will also touch the lives of others.
We are all thirsty and can drink other things, but everything else will leave us wanting more. We all have God-given thirst within us that only He, the fountain of living water, can quench. All else we reach for is just not enough.
Draw near and drink deeply. You too are subject to heat, and to exposure and to drought – so be sure you are drinking of the water that sustains, the only living water of our great and merciful God.