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What Is the Water of Life?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Fulfilled, Part 4

by Erik Lutz on March 7, 2011
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Erik Lutz, AiG–U.S., discusses the concept of living water that is found throughout Scripture.

For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring. (Isaiah 44:3)

Today’s big question: what is the water of life?

Picture a desert in your mind—not a dessert like an ice-cream sundae—a dry, barren wasteland with rolling sand dunes and nothing green for miles other than an occasional cactus. That kind of desert is pictured in today’s verse. However, the focus of this passage is not on a physically dry land but rather on a spiritually dry land—the lifeless ground of people’s sin-hardened hearts.

Numerous Old Testament passages also use the vivid imagery of a dry, thirsty wilderness to portray our need as humans for the life-giving water of God’s Spirit. The prophets often used water as a picture of salvation, as we see in today’s verse and a number of other times in the book of Isaiah alone (e.g., Isaiah 12:3). One of the richest of all these passages (and a personal favorite of mine) is the first part of Isaiah 55, where the Lord calls to any who will come and drink of His salvation:

Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. (Isaiah 55:1–2)

This life-giving water of salvation was prophesied throughout Scripture—even by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Ultimately, this promise finds its fulfillment in Jesus and the salvation offered through His blood.

When talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). The woman was understandably confused, so she asked how and where Jesus would get this living water. His answer is powerful:

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13–14)

Jesus Christ is the water of life, and those who are His have an eternal well of living water. Are you drinking from that fountain, or are you parched and thirsty?

Today’s big idea: Jesus Christ is the only source of living water, which is eternal life.

What to pray: be refreshed in Christ.

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