What would we do without it?
We can’t do without it! We can’t exist without it.
That is how important water is.
Water is one of the most marvelous substances God created. He blessed this terrestrial globe abundantly with it.
In many of its manifestations it is a thing of beauty. A gentle rainfall at the end of a dry season. A babbling woodland brook. A rushing mountain stream. A peacefully flowing river. A majestic waterfall. The ceaseless, restless waves of the ocean rolling onto the shore. Falling as snow, it paints the landscape as a fantasy fairyland. Sparkling in a fountain or in a glass, waiting to quench our thirst, it is most welcome and appreciated.
Water is a thing of awesome power and danger. Those waves of the sea, when whipped by the powerful winds of a hurricane become a devastating, destructive force, eroding shorelines and smashing buildings. That once peaceful river, swollen by torrential rains can be a devastating flood that drives people from their homes, causes massive property destruction and tremendous financial loss – and even more tragically, the loss of life.
Its power can be subtle and unseen. Given time, water creates great valleys and deep canyons. It wears down mountains and fills the valleys below. It creates new land to be occupied by all kinds of flora and fauna as little by little it carries those mountains downstream and deposits the sediment in ever spreading deltas. Through its solvent properties along with a little carbonic acid it creates caverns in solid rock as it seeps and flows in its unseen movement underneath our feet.
We play in it, wade in it, bathe in it, travel on it, fish in it, do our laundry in it, swim and dive in it, cook with it, make refreshing beverages with it wash our cars with it and put out fires with this marvelous liquid. Kids love water balloons and water guns.
Those puffy white clouds as well as the dark, foreboding thunderheads are made up of water. The humidity (moisture content) of the air around us either makes us comfortable or makes us miserable. Water is all around us even though we are not aware of it being there.
Indeed, water can be a curse or a blessing. This is dramatically underscored in the words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”
- “Water, water, every where,
- And all the boards did shrink;
- Water, water, every where,
- Nor any drop to drink.”
Water is the most abundant compound on Earth’s surface, covering about 70 percent of the planet. In nature, water exists in liquid, solid, and gaseous states. Wikipedia
Water is indispensable. We can’t live without it. We are mostly made of it!
“Up to 60% of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight, as is the brain; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. About 83% of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. Each day humans must replace 2.4 litres of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten.” (USGS; The water in you).
Then, of course, there is the role of water in our spiritual life. As Philip the evangelist conversed with the Ethiopian nobleman as they rode along in the chariot, he had told him the good news about Jesus’ coming and making it possible that men could be free from their sins. Obviously in the course of his conversation he had pointed out to him the need of being baptized as Jesus had commanded.
“And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8:36-39).
We might point out here that although it played a part in this man’s obedience to the Lord, the water didn’t cleanse him of his sin (see 1 Pet. 3:18-21). God, through his grace forgives us, cleanses us and restores us unto himself. Since the Ethiopian went on his way rejoicing he must have had a good conscience before God which Peter says we obtain through baptism.
Jesus emphasized the importance of a different kind of water while he was upon the earth. A different kind of water? How can that be?
In his teaching, water becomes a metaphor for himself and for the Holy Spirit. It stands for the life-giving blessings we obtain through faith in him and in the resultant relationship we have with him. He means, of course, that we can have no spiritual life apart from having him in our life. As vital as water is to our physical life so he is vital to spiritual life. There is no spiritual life without him.
In his conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4, he offers her “living water” – a kind of water that once she drank it she would never thirst again!
“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
“…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
“Jesus said to her, “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 again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:10,14; 13-14).
When this woman found out that Jesus was the promised Messiah whom both the Jews and the Samaritans were anticipating she became so excited that she forgot all about the water she had come to the well to draw and hurried into the city to share the water of life she had just received. The water began to flow out from her just as Jesus had said. Many others believed, came to Jesus and drank from that living water themselves and no doubt formed the nucleus of those who later believed the preaching of Philip in this same region.
“But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12).
Notice what Jesus told this woman about the water he would give to anyone who wanted it. “The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” This water does not only have the property of giving life as natural water does, but even “to eternal life.” A flowing fountain or spring, bubbling up from the depths of one’s being that does not just quench thirst, but is satisfying of the deepest desires and needs of our being.
Jesus further said that the water he gives is for anyone who will receive it.
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.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39).
After Jesus ascended back to the Father he sent the Spirit upon his disciples with the promise that that same Spirit would be received by everyone who repents and is baptized (Acts 2:38). That water continues to flow as men and women continue to come to the Lord and receive the “gift of the Spirit.”
Finally, this precious water is seen in the final scenes of the Bible as being available and blessing whoever desires it.
And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment” (Rev 21:6).
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev 22:1).
“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Rev 22:17).
Best of all, there is no water bill! It’s pure. It’s wholesome. It is free for the taking! It comes with the eternal life we have in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. But though he doesn’t send you a bill for the water of life, you will give your very life for it! It is that precious!
Do you believe in him? Come take the water of life freely!