Here in Israel we we are entering our summer months that are very hot and dry; there is no rainfall at all usually from late April until October or even November. We do not take rainfall, or fresh water in general, for granted. As some of you may know, even though it does not seem like this from looking at a map or when being here, 61% percent of the land in Israel is considered desert. Water is very important here in Israel. God designed it that way: He has many things to teach us using this metaphor.
The amount of annual rainfall is higher in the north and the amounts drop drastically as you go further south.The climate and rainfall creates two types of rivers, one that flow all year round called ‘Nachalei Eitan’ meaning ‘strong/steadfast rivers’ and the other that flow only in the wet season called ‘Nachalei Achziv’ meaning ‘failing/disappointing rivers’. As the rainfall begins to decline, the failing river’s flow starts to diminish and the water comes to a stand still, at which point they become murky and dirty, filled with slime and germs.
The main attribute of the steadfast rivers is that they are connected to a source of living water, usually in the form of a spring or underground river.
In a wilderness where water is rare, a flow of living water is priceless and attract the entire sphere of living creatures in the surrounding area.
In Ancient times, life evolved around living water. Habitation occurred only near and around fresh, or living, water sources. Even the travel routes were parallel to water sources. Yeshua did not take Route 6 from Jerusalem to Nazareth. He either travelled along the Jordan river and the Prat valley that contains the water of the Prat river, or He travelled on what is known as ‘the route of the fathers’ that runs from north to south straight through Judaea and Samaria and is riddled with wells and springs. Another example is the Babylonian exile. The Israelites did not make a bee-line east from Judah to Iraq, but went up north along the Jordan into what today is Syria, and then down the Euphrates into Iran/Iraq.
Where there is living water there is life. Man and beast can go for many days without food, but any more than a number of hours without living water and they shall not survive.
Jeremiah 2:13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (NKJ)
The God of Israel is the source of living water. The cisterns spoken of here can be seen throughout Israel even today. They were large holes in the ground, sealed from the inside so that water could not escape. If there was even one small crack in the sealant the water would leak out into the ground and be lost. Israel left the source of living water for stagnant water that was disappearing and not able to last. This verse is a picture of people who are nourished by God and act according to the Spirit as apposed to people who act according to their own desires and strength.
Living water Isaiah 12:3 Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation (NKJ).
We are called to be connected to the spring of living water, but why do we need to be? Here are some points to think about:
1. Purification. In Matthew 3:11-12 John the Baptist says that he baptizes with water, but the one who comes after him shall baptize with fire. Just a physical water cleanses our bodies from filth and uncleanness, so the living water of God, cleanses our inner man and purges whatever is not of Him.
2. Spiritual fullness. In John 4:3-14 Yeshua meets the Samaritan woman at the well. At the end of the conversation between them Yeshua says that the water the He gives shall cause us never to thirst again and shall spring up into everlasting life. This is the water that never ends, that forever quenches thirst and brings us eternal life.
3. Produce fruit. Psalm 1:1-3 says that those who live according to God’s word shall be like tree planted by rivers of water that give much fruit. We have to be connected to the spring of living water in order to be able to produce fruit. We are commanded to produce fruit, and the verses that speak of fruitless trees/people are harsh.
4. To bring life to others. Ezekiel 46:1-12 describes the Dead Sea coming back to life because of the living water that flows out from the sanctuary eastward and into it. There are so many spiritually dead people walking around in the world, but those who have the living water flowing out of them can bring life where there is death.
Isaiah 41:17-18 “The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, Their tongues fail for thirst. I, the LORD, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in desolate heights, And fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, And the dry land springs of water”. (NKJ)
This is the current spiritual situation in Israel and in most of the world. People are spiritually poor. They have nothing. Their idols and false gods are worth nothing. These people are thirsty but do not have the living water that comes from the Most High. There is hope though, since the Lord wants to use us in order to be that river of living water that brings life where ever it goes just as Yeshua said during Succot many years ago: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38 NKJ)
We have the promise of living water flowing from within us, all we need to do is remained connected to the source and be willing to be vessels for that water to flow through us to those who are around us.
Let’s pray and remind the Lord of His promise in Isaiah 47:17-18, that He will send His living water to this nation and this people and revive us.