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God's Promise to the Thirsty (John 7)

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). With one invitation, one sentence, Jesus calls powerfully to the heart of every individual. Who is not familiar with being thirsty? Who cannot easily apply the concept of thirst to the soul and spirit? In every tribe, nation, and people group, mankind is thirsty. There is a thirst for love, for security, for freedom, for comfort, for that which is dependable and steadfast. There is a thirst for value, purpose, and truth. There is even a thirst for spiritual experience and for the “divine.” Man’s problem is not with his thirst. Man’s problem is with his sinful solutions to quench that thirst. The LORD addressed this through the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

The issue of what source we will use to quench our inner thirst is the central issue of our lives. The glorious good news is that Jesus Christ Himself is the perfect answer to the thirst of man. Yet, this makes us capable of great evil, because as soon as we find a substitute to quench our inner thirst, we have found an idol. Every substitute is an idol! That is why only Jesus can cleanse us from our idols, because only He can satisfy our thirsty souls. He designed our souls to be satisfied in Him.

When Jesus spoke these words, it was the seventh day of a ritual ceremony in the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, in which the priests went in joyful procession, drawing water out of the Pool of Siloam, carrying it back into the Temple, and pouring it out as an offering. This was to remember the miracle in which Moses struck the rock in the wilderness to give water to the children of Israel. On the final, most intense day, perhaps while the temple was packed with Jews from across the nation, watching the water be poured out with a sense of hush, Jesus suddenly raises His voice to say “come to Me and drink!”

If that were not shocking enough, He declares, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38). This statement is stunning and gloriously fulfilling. No longer do they need to look back to a time when God miraculously satisfied their thirst. No longer do they need to settle for this beautiful, yet external, ceremony in the Temple. Jesus knew the problem with man was (and is) his inner thirst. I have no doubt that some people in the crowd found these outward rituals only increased their inner thirst! And He boldly declares to them that, by believing in Him, they will find a thirst-quenching river of living water that is set up within their “innermost being”! Jesus was getting ready to pour out the Holy Spirit, in the very depths of man’s heart, right where the thirst was.

Do you, or someone you know, have an inner thirst? Jesus wants to bring living water. Do you, or someone you know, have a need or a void? Jesus desires to pour out the Holy Spirit. The key to unlocking that door is that we believe what Jesus said and who He is. If you find yourself empty, return to a childlike faith in Him, receiving His words afresh. Begin praying for others to do the same. Then, watch as His Spirit satisfies your soul and makes you a blessing to those around you.

Alex Mack

Teaching Pastor

The Rock Church

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