Living Water

 

 

Exodus 17:1-7

Romans 5:1-11

John 4:5-42

Psalm 95

 

The psalmist has God saying: If only you would listen to him today, ‘Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, when your ancestor challenged me, tested me, although they had seen what I could do.’ TJB

That day in the wilderness is described in the Exodus reading. The whole community camped at a place with no water. So they grumbled against Moses. ‘Give us water to drink’ they said. Moses answered them, ‘Why do you grumble against me? Why do you put Yahweh to the test?’ TJB

There are several lessons in these two verses, but water is the theme today, specifically, life-giving water. The people of Israel focused on their material needs instead of waiting on God. They lurched from one crisis to another and never considered that God would provide. Even Moses at times despaired.

This does not mean sitting on our hands and never providing for ourselves. We trust God when we are standing on the edge with nothing in sight. When the doctors say, there is nothing left to be done, we let God do His thing.

Jesus offered the Samaritan woman Living Water. He did not tell her to forget about the well water. We live in this world and must do what it takes to survive here. But we have the promise of life in God’s world.

Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty againESV Some people take this statement—and others—to mean that once we accept Jesus, all our earthly needs will be provided. We will always have food and money for what we need.

That is not what Jesus meant. The Living Water Jesus offered and still offers is of the New Jerusalem—heaven, if you will. Real life only comes after our earthly deaths.

Paul’s comments on this idea are instructive: This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have only a hope of future joys—we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troublesPhillips Even in our trials and troubles. Following Christ does not give us a free ride in this world. It identifies us as aliens in this world. We become targets of abuse by this-worlders. Nor can we take over the government and make Christianity the state religion—as many American Christians have tried to do for some time. The only way this can become a Christian nation is if there is no government and every individual listens to God alone, not filtered through a President, Pope, preacher, or prophet.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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