#649: Living Water
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Reflections by the Pond
March 31, 2014
"Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
And shudder, be very desolate," declares the Lord.
"For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water."
° ° °
It is a convulsive, seismic event in the universe when a people turns away from God. Just as there is rejoicing in heaven when just one individual turns away from a life of sin to embrace the Lord, its foundations tremble when His chosen people forsake Him.
Why? Why should He care? Does their apostasy remove something from Him? Does their rebellion somehow taint His grandeur, His glory? No. Oddly enough apostasy on the scale exhibited by ancient Israel takes such a toll on the heavens precisely because of the profound level of God's love and grace.
Would such a thing occur under a god who just shrugged his shoulders with apathy or disdain over the behavior of his people? Rejection of affection only has such a devastating effect when the giver of that affection cares as deeply, as earnestly as the Lord God of heaven.
Almighty God looks down from His throne and (to put it in strictly human terms) is stunned that a people would reject His bountiful, fresh, living waters in favor of meager, stale, stagnant water stored in leaking vaults. One can imagine His incredulity; from which would you rather quench your thirst, a fast-running mountain stream or a brown, stagnant pond?
° ° °
One reason man may choose badly is that he has little appreciation for the difference. After all, water is water, right? The Samaritan woman conversing with Jesus at Jacob's well didn't understand the difference. As she handed Him the drink He requested of her, she expressed surprise that He, being a Jew, would ask it of her, a woman and Samaritan. In His reply, Jesus immediately steers her away from the temporal to the eternal.
Jesus answered and said to her, "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."
But the woman cannot get past the earthy liquid that waters both man and livestock. So Jesus tries again.
Jesus answered and said to her, "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."
It is true that she eventually believed that Jesus was the Christ, but in their conversation she remained stuck in the temporal. She still thought He was referring to the water she carried home in her clay jug.
The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw."
° ° °
In His grace and love God has given us the means by which we can pry our minds from the muck of earth to apprehend the spiritual and eternal. Man, as born, cannot grasp the difference between stagnant well water and the living water offered by the Father. As with creation itself, the one who delivers this gift is Christ Jesus Himself.
"I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come."
God so loves us that He sent not just His Son, but His Spirit to educate, inform, illumine. And by the understanding we gain through Him, we make the correct choice—the living water that comes from above.
And thus quenched, we need never go looking for a different god.
"...but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."