God, speaking to Israel through the prophet Isaiah said, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.” (44:3).
I have thought a lot about water on this trip. We spent the first night in Israel next to a body of water, the Mediterranean Sea. We have visited the Lake of Ginneseret (Sea of Galillee), the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. We have seen ritual baths, water cisterns, and just today we hiked a half kilometer or so through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which carries water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Silaom. Add to the sights the thirst we have felt from walking around, a thirst quenched by the water our driver keeps for sale in the cooler, and you quickly discover that water is just under the surface of every decision made in Israel. In every period of Israel’s history – including today – water has been a source of concern and even conflict.
But, to be honest, the significance of water was etched on my mind today as we sat on the steps of the Pool of Siloam and read the words of Jesus from John 7:37 “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” These words sunk into my soul in a new way today. Water is essential to life. It is the exlixir of existence. So to us Christ is the sustenance for our soul. He is what we need. I have heard Jews talk about the Torah. I have seen Catholics cruising the stations of the cross, laden down with images and crucifixes. I have cringed at the volume of the Muslim call to prayer in the Old City. But I have come to realize this essential truth – Christ is enough. Set aside all the religious garb, all the jargon, all the web of traditions and ask yourself this question – what remains? It is incidentally, what Isaiah goes on to write about after calling to Israel to experience the refreshing gifts of his presence. He talks openly about false systems of worship and gods that are not God. If you are gripped by no other thought today, be gripped with this, the essence of what you believe, the abiding reality of your faith, must be Christ. Without him, you are condemend (John 3:18) and with him, you are promised life eternal (John 17:3).
Jesus is the source of the waters of eternal life. Oh that the land of Israel would know this truth!
Grace and Peace from Israel,
Herb the Pastor