Good morning, beloved,
Your love is like a river…
37 On the last and ·most important [L greatest] day of the feast Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. [C The feast of Shelters/Tabernacles featured a water pouring ritual that may stand in the background of Jesus’ speech.] 38 If anyone believes in me, rivers of living water will flow out from that person’s ·heart [L belly; gut], as the Scripture says[Is. 55:1; 58:11; Ezek. 47:1–12; Zech. 14:8, compare John 4:10–11; Rev. 7:17; 22:1].” 39 Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit. The Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been ·raised to glory [glorified]. But later, those who believed in Jesus would receive the Spirit. John 7 EXB
I didn’t know where the Lord was taking me this morning with this song. Yet He had a plan, and I needed to listen. Come with me? Water is a powerful metaphor in the Bible. We can all agree on this. I think where we fall short is our understanding of the context of this beautiful passage. The Expanded Bible gave me some hints of the depth of this passage. Notice in the brackets in verse 37, I’ve highlighted them. The feast of Tabernacles was nearing the end. This feast...
The Bible reveals dual significance in the Feast of Tabernacles. Agriculturally, Sukkot is Israel’s “thanksgiving,” a joyous harvest festival to celebrate the ingathering of grain and wine. As an historical feast, it’s main characteristic is the requirement to dwell in temporary shelters or booths in remembrance of God’s protection, provision and care during their 40 years in the wilderness. There are many interesting customs associated with the celebration of Sukkot. These are explained in detail by About.com’s Judaism Guide, Ariela Pelaia.
Jesus and Sukkot:
During Sukkot, two important ceremonies took place. The Hebrew people carried torches around the temple, illuminating bright candelabrum along the walls of the temple to demonstrate that the Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles. Also, the priest would draw water from the pool of Siloam and carry it to the temple where it was poured into a silver basin beside the altar. The priest would call upon the Lord to provide heavenly water in the form of rain for their supply. During this ceremony the people looked forward to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. (Feast of Tabernacles, Mary Fairchild)
So as the Jews were looking forward to the time of the Messiah, looking forward to an outpouring of God’s favor by bringing the Messiah to them, Jesus stood and provided the answer. He was the source of living water! So when Jesus spoke these words, He was declaring Himself as the Messiah and the fulfillment of these promises, these prophecies.
·Spoken words [L The words of a person’s mouth] can be like deep water, ·but [or and] the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing stream. Proverbs 18:4 EXB
Isaiah 44: 3 I will pour out water for the thirsty land and make streams flow on dry land. I will pour out my Spirit ·into your children [on your descendants/offspring/seed] and my blessing on your ·descendants [offspring].
I realize as I get older how much I love to be near water. I grew up spending time on the shores of Lake Michigan every summer. The warm sand, the cold water, the waves, the stillness, the thunderstorms that would fly across the water…so much of the Lord speaking to me. Now, as I take my children to Lake Michigan, as we live very close to a small lake, as we vacation (courtesy of my sweet neighbor) God draws me to Himself by way of His waters. I listen to music today and He declares to me, His Love is Like a River. Then I hear this one:
I really like the message of the Bible, I just don’t think Jesus is the only way to God. There are many pathways to God.
Oh, my friends, if we truly look through the Old Testament, searching the clues, there is no way that we can come to this conclusion. I found this amazing article that discusses how Jesus is the only way. He is the way, the truth and the life. Right?
17 “The poor and needy people look for water, but ·they can’t find any [there is none]. Their tongues are ·dry [parched] with thirst.But I, the Lord, will answer ·their prayers [L them]; I, the God of Israel, will not ·leave them to die [L abandon/forsake them].18 I will ·make rivers flow [L open rivers] on the ·dry hills [barren heights] and springs flow through the valleys.I will change the ·desert [wilderness] into ·a lake [pools] of water and the ·dry [arid; parched] land into ·fountains [springs] of water.John 7
Pray on. Pray on.
- Have you come to the source? (eyesonchildren.com)
- Sukkoth – The Feast of Tabernacles (lastdaysbible.wordpress.com)
- An encounter with the Divine transforms (joelmlayblog.wordpress.com)