The water of life
Water is an amazing substance. It originally covered the whole earth (Gen 1:2). Today it covers 70% of the earth - 140.5 million square miles, or 330 million cubic miles. It is a simple substance made of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom. Without it no life can exist. Much tax money has been spent trying to find evidence of water on the moon, Mars, and other planets to determine if life can be supported there. Virtually all of the major population centers of the world are located near a large body of water - an ocean, a lake, or a river. 60% of the weight of the human body is water. 1 day’s activity without water would raise the body temperature 300 degrees. Most of animal blood, and most of plant sap, is water. We need water to grow food. 1 corn plant uses a gallon a day. 1 acre of cotton takes 800,000 gallons to grow. An egg is 74% water, watermelon 92%, and lean meat 70%. 100 billion gallons are used in irrigation in the U.S. daily. The average bath uses 25 gallons. We use it to wash clothes and. dishes. We use in cooking, transportation, and shipping. The average person in the U.S. uses 50 gallons per day. That equals 110 billion gallons used daily in the U.S. We use it for fighting fires, A/C and heating, cooling machinery (car radiator), steam turbines and engines, street cleaning, and hydro-electric dams. 10 gallons are used to refine 1 gallon of gas. It weighs more as a liquid than ice. It takes the shape of its container. It boils at 212 degrees, and freezes at 32. The water cycle shows us that it is used but never used up. 96% of earth’s water is salt water – 321 million cubic miles. 62% of all fresh water is in 3 bodies: Lake Baikal in Russia – 22%, the Great Lakes – 21%, and Lake Tanganyika in East Africa – 18%. These 3 bodies contain 15,639 cubic miles of water. Ground water is 2,526,000 cubic miles – over 100 times all rivers and lakes. It costs 3 cents per gallon to get it to us.
There is much spiritual significance to water in the Bible. It is mentioned relating to ceremonial washing 61 times. These washings were essential and required 16 times. The body can only go a few days without water, but it can go much longer without food. The soul cannot go long without the spiritual water of the Holy Ghost:
1. Ps 63:1 – dry and thirsty land
2. Ps 143:6 – my soul thirsts for you as a thirsty land
3. Is 44:3 – I will pour water on the thirsty, my spirit
4. Mt 5:6 – hunger and thirst after righteousness
5. Jn 6:35 – never thirst
6. Rev 7:16 – thirst no more
The child of God is like a tree planted by the rivers of waters (Ps 1:3), draws water out of the wells of salvation (Is 12:3), has healing waters to swim in (Eze 47:1-12), has a well of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn 4:10-15), has living waters flowing out from within (Jn 7:37-39), and has free access to the river of life (Rev 21:16, Rev 22:1 & 17). At the feast of tabernacles the Israelites were to remember their wilderness journey during which God miraculously provided water several times for several million people (Lev 23:34-43, Deut 16:13-16, Ex 15:22-27 – Elim, tree, 12 wells, Ex 17:1-6 – Rephidim (smite the rock), Num 20:1-13 – Meribah (speak to the rock). Water is symbolic of the Holy Ghost, which is part of the new birth (Jn 3:1-8). Water is also an element in the new birth through water baptism (Mk 16:15-17, Lk 24:47-49, Acts 1:5, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:12-17, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6, Acts 22:16, Rom 6:1-4, Col 2:8-12).
God offers us life, but it is a choice (Deut 30:15-20, Jn 10:10). If we are dead in sin, we can be born again (Acts 2:38, Rom 6-8). If we are in a spiritual desert place, God can make streams in the desert (Is 35:6). If we suffer in this life, it only serves to make us long for eternal life that much more. Someday, God will restore the life lost in the garden of Eden (Rev 22:1-2). In the meantime, we can drink from the well of His Spirit and enjoy life now. The world will leave us "high and dry". There were wells in the Bible where people could draw fresh, clean, cool, refreshing water. There were also cisterns which could only hold stagnant water. After a while, stagnant water goes bad. This is what the Bible means by living water. It is literally moving water. We choose where we get our water. "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (Jer 2:13)." There is no reason to drink the dirty, stale water of sin when God is freely offering us the best, freshest. cleanest, most satisfying water ever. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at her well, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn 4:13-14)." She did not understand what He was talking about, but she said she wanted it. You cannot understand what it is to be born again of water and the Spirit until you experience it yourself.