Saturday, November 22, 2014

Flowing Triplets: Fount of Every Blessing

As we saw last week, the signature of the Trinity is evident even in the triune nature of water that sustains, nourishes, and cleanses us! This is true not only in the physical realm, but also in the spiritual sense. Christ Himself is the Living Water, the Fountain of every blessing, and the cleansing Flow Who alone can give us eternal life (John 3:16), abundant life (John 10:10), and salvation from our sins (Romans 1:16).

When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42), she had come to draw water to satisfy her physical thirst (v. 13), but her needs were deeper than that. Her broken relationships had left her in an emotional desert (v. 16-18), and her spiritual drought led her to seek answers in religious tradition (v. 20) rather than in the Living Water Who had come to her personally.

Jesus knew the significance of this Divine appointment, for He left Judaea, and was headed to Galilee, but “must needs go through Samaria” (v.3-4). This was an odd route to choose, as the Jews of that day were prejudiced against the Samaritans and would have gone to great lengths to avoid them (v. 9). Yet He tells her that if she had realized the gift of God the Father in sending His Son to earth, she would have asked Him for Living Water, referring to the Holy Spirit (v. 10) He gives freely to anyone Who trusts Him.

Still not recognizing Who sat before her, the woman brings up three worldly obstacles to accepting Him, which are still a stumbling block to those who reject Him even today. She saw Him as lacking physical power (for He appeared to have no bucket to draw the water), as being no match for the physical challenge (the well was deep), and as lacking the prestige of the patriarch Jacob, who had given the well to provide water for himself, his descendants, and his cattle (v. 11-12):

Sadly, many lose out on the freely given gift of salvation because instead of trusting Him, they trust their own flesh (Philippians 3:4-8), they fear the opinions of the world (James 4:4), and they rely on their religious traditions (Colossians 2:8; 1 Peter 1:18).

Jesus told the Samaritan woman that whoever would receive His gift of living water would never thirst; for that water would be a well (fountain) of water, springing up into everlasting life (John 4: 14).  Later He offered the same free gift to the Jews gathered at the feast of tabernacles, saying “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. As the Scriptures had prophesied, whoever believed in Christ would have rivers of living water flowing from his belly, with the Holy Spirit giving him the Word of Truth (John 7: 37-39).

God brought His chosen people, the nation of Israel, into the Promised Land, described as a good land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills (Deuteronomy 8:7). On their journey, God provided water in the desert by standing before Moses on the rock in Horeb, having Moses strike the rock, and causing water to spring from the rock (Exodus 17: 5). God’s provision of water for His people was spiritual as well as physical, for Christ was the Rock from which their spiritual drink flowed (1 Corinthians 10:4).

But Moses was not permitted to enter the Promised Land because of his subsequent disobedience (Numbers 20: 7-12). On that occasion, God gave Moses clear instructions to provide water to the people by speaking to the rock which would give forth water, proving God’s goodness before their eyes, and bringing them water that flowed from the rock.

Instead, Moses did not believe God would do this, so he chastised the people and struck the rock twice with his rod. Because of the earlier incident, Moses may have thought the power was in the rod rather than in the One Who had given it to Him as a sign of His power. Moses even implied that he and Aaron, not God, had the power to provide the water by asking the people “must we fetch you water out of this rock?”

The sin of Moses was therefore threefold: lack of faith, disobedience, and pride, which are the root cause of all sin even today. The consequences of his sin were that he lost the power of his testimony with the Israelites; he was not permitted to enter the Promised Land; and he had struck the rock, or Christ, twice, foreshadowing how the Jews would scourge and crucify their promised Messiah.

Even though God provided abundantly for His people, they rejected Him as the fountain of living waters (Jeremiah 17:13). Instead they placed their trust in false gods that were as useless as broken cisterns that held no water and as polluted as the Egyptian waters of Sihor (the Nile) and the river waters of Assyria (Jeremiah 2:13-18).  But thankfully, God extended His gracious offer of salvation to all people, the Samaritan woman being an early example of a Gentile who could be grafted into God’s family tree by trusting in Christ (Romans 11:17-24).

The Song of Solomon speaks of the Bridegroom and His beloved as a metaphor foreshadowing the relationship between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:23-32), meaning all those, whether Jew or Gentile, who are born again (John 3:3-8). He is a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon, and she is an enclosed garden, a spring shut up, and a fountain sealed, referring to her spiritual purity in Him. His living water allows her to be fruitful, producing pleasant fruits, spices, and healing plants (Song of Solomon 4:12-15).

As soon as the Samaritan woman realized that Jesus was the Christ, sent of the Father to be worshipped in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23-26), she left behind the cares of this world, symbolized by her water pot; ran back to the city without fear of facing those who had rejected and scorned her; and spread the Good News that she had found Christ (v. 28-29).

Once we are born again by placing our trust in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6), should we not do the same, and tell everyone how He has  changed us? Thanks to the Samaritan woman’s testimony, her salvation led to the salvation of those who believed her witness, and to the salvation of those who were just curious at first but who came to see Him for themselves (John 4:39-42). Praise God that whosoever believes in His Son can now have the Spirit of living water within him!

Not only is God the Living Water and the Fountain of every blessing, but His blood is the cleansing flow that washes away all our sins (1 John 1:7). The covenant God had with Israel was that He would wash her with water, thoroughly wash away the blood of her sins, and anoint her with oil (Ezekiel 16:8).

Old Testament sacrifices requiring animal blood and ritual cleansing with water and herbs only covered sins and had to be repeated often (Leviticus 14: 4, 51-52). Trespass offerings of oil and blood of the slain animal had to be placed on the right ear, right thumb, and right great toe of the person to be cleansed (Leviticus 14:14,17,25,28)

Yet Christ’s shed blood that flowed freely for us has once and for all removed us from our sins (1 John 1:7), past, present and future. He is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, Who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and made us kings and priests unto God and His Father (Revelation 1:5-6).

Before Jesus even reached the cross, His blood flowed mingled with sweat (Luke 22:44) in His passionate prayer at Gethsemane; from the crown of thorns piercing His head (Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17); and from the agonizing whipping He bore on His back (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24). On the cross, blood flowed from His nail-pierced hands and feet (Luke 24:39-40) and gushed from His side, where the soldier stabbed Him, releasing not only blood but water (John 19:34).

Even in the Great Tribulation, those who trust Christ and deny the antichrist will be washed clean in the blood of the Lamb, will never thirst again, and will be led to living fountains of waters (Revelation 7:13-17).

Praise God that Christ will come again, bringing peace to Israel like a river and glory to the Gentiles like a flowing stream, nourishing all with His life-giving sustenance! (Isaiah 66:12). In that day, when living waters shall flow from Jerusalem; the Lord shall be king over all the earth, there shall be one Lord, and His Name shall be One (Zechariah 14:8-9).

Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

© 2014 Laurie Collett
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Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
I have always been intrigued by the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. She has had several failed relationships, yet Jesus loved her, and instead of condemning her for her sins, he offers her living water. If there was hope for this woman, there is hope for all of us.
Furthermore, Jesus did not show any prejudice towards her for being a Samaritan, and that, I think, despite her disgust for a Jew to have the temerity to ask for water after a lifetime of hate, prejudice and rejection by the Jews. Yet the Lord knew how to win her over, and eventually received the living water he promised.
An excellent post, God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Praise God for His infinite, self-sacrificing love. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. He did not condemn this woman, or the woman caught in adultery, or even Saul of Tarsus who persecuted His followers, but forgave and saved them. Praise God that His freely given offer of salvation is open to everyone, regardless of past sins, race, religion, or anything else.

Thanks as always for commenting and for your kind words, and God bless,


Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
Yes, it is wonderful how, when our eyes have been opened to the spiritual meaning of the word spoken to us, we want to spread the good news just as the Samaritan lady did. I have always loved Ephesians ch. 5 vs. 25 and 26
'Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,'
That truly shows the Lord's love for us.
lovely post Laurie
God bless you.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
That is indeed a wonderful verse, linking His self-sacrificing love to His cleansing us with the water of the Word, imparting His holiness to the church. May His living water flow through us always, manifest as love and sharing the Good News with others.
Thank you as always for your kind and insightful comment, and many blessings to you and your ministry,

Donald Fishgrab said...

another great post, Laurie. When men do not accept Christ, it is the result of their own decisions, because he has done everything possible to make it accessible to them. as you pointed out it shows how much he loves people.

a joyful noise said...

Thank you for sharing your study of three's in the Bible with us here at Tell me a story. It is amazing how we can use three as perfection. May Jesus bring us His peace during this season and to our world.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Donald! To paraphrase Shakespeare, the fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves. May you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Hazel, for your lovely comment and for hosting! I agree with you in prayer asking Christ fir His gift of peace to our troubled world.
Many blessings,

Anonymous said...

I love you connection of the Trinity to the triune of water that sustains, nourishes and cleanses us. It is amazing how certain themes run throughout God's Word. Thank you for taking the time to share this here. Blessed you linked up with The Weekend Brew.

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Mary, for your lovely comment. God truly is the Master Author, weaving His great themes through His Word like golden and scarlet threads through a tapestry.
May you have a blessed week in Him,

Tina at said...

Wow! There is a lot there to think about! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Tina

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Tina, for your sweet comment 7 for hosting!
God bless,