Streams of Living Water

Denise J. Hughes

Day: 9 | Plan: That You May Believe

Today's Reading: John 7:32-53

John 7:37-38 (ESV) "On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, "out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."'"

Living in Southern California, I'm well-acquainted with drought and desert-like conditions where water-conservation is a part of everyday life. So, when I took a trip to the Northeast and stood next to Niagara Falls, I marveled at the millions of tons of water gushing over the curved ridge in endless supply. This magnificent river has continued to rush forward and fall below — for years! — in a never-ending flow.

Living in the wilderness, the people of ancient Israel were also well-acquainted with drought and desert-like conditions. But God miraculously provided for His people by bringing forth water from a rock. (Exodus 17:1-7)

Centuries later, the Jews would celebrate God's provision through the Feast of Booths, where every day for seven days the priest would carry a golden pitcher to the Pool of Siloam to fill it with water. He would then carry the water back to the temple and pour it onto the altar. The people staying in booths around the city would follow in procession to the pool and back to the temple. In this way, they remembered where the true source of their water came from.

The Feast of Booths meant everyone's focus was on water, so when Jesus stood in the temple on the last and greatest day of the feast and offered streams of living water that would flow from their hearts for all eternity, His words would have gotten everyone's attention.

Through the ages, the temple was the place where God had made Himself known through the rituals, sacrifices and feasts. For Jesus to stand in the temple and invite all who thirst to come and drink was another way of proclaiming His identity as the Messiah, which was why the religious leaders became so furious. Jesus' actions were tantamount to blasphemy, except His words were true.

In this moment, Jesus echoed the words of Isaiah, "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters" (Isaiah 55:1). We can trace this theme of living water to John 4 when Jesus offered living water to the Samaritan woman at the well. Hinting at the days to come, Jesus knew that those who believed in Christ would soon receive the Holy Spirit, who would dwell inside them, and the Spirit would become a source of living water flowing from deep within every believer.

Just as the rock in the desert poured forth with water to save the people in the wilderness, Jesus is now the rock of our salvation, and His living water is the only thing that will ever sate our spiritual thirst.

Today, it's easy to take water for granted. With the simple turn of a knob, water is readily available inside our homes. And yet, for all our modern advances in the world, the human soul still thirsts for the living water only Jesus can provide.

And His invitation still stands: Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for being the one true source that satisfies our deepest longings. You do not leave us in a state of want; You fill us with more of You. You lead us beside still waters and quench our souls with Your living water. In You alone our souls find rest. Lord, we live in a world that is spiritually dying of thirst. Help us to be bold in sharing the truth of who You are. You are the reason for life, and we are so deeply grateful. In Jesus' name, amen.

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